Dallas schools set transfer timelines

DALLAS — Last year, the Dallas School District used a process to manage interdistrict transfers that worked so well, the board approved its use again this year.

The process limited interdistrict requests — those on behalf of students who don’t live in the district but wish to attend Dallas schools — to a one-month window from March 1 to April 1. Superintendent Michelle Johnstone said the primary reason was to know how many out-of-district students would attend before adopting the next year’s budget.

During the enrollment window, 21 students joined the district and 14 left.

“By setting that window and making sure we have that in place, it helps us when setting the budget,” Johnstone said. “We know who is coming and who is not coming, so we can do a better job of planning.”

She recommended the board adopt the same dates, noting that it won’t affect students who move into the district.

“Obviously, if kids move in and they are Dallas kids, they are coming no matter what,” Johnstone said. “We are trying to make sure we can accommodate the requests of those who aren’t Dallas kids.”

The board also approved a $680,005 transfer from contingency to pay for additional instructional and support services.

Debbie MacLean, Dallas’ business manager, said the money was placed in contingency during last year’s budget hearings with the intention of spending it on priorities not determined at the time.

MacLean said before the district adopted its 2017-18 budget, the state approved a State School Fund of $8.2 billion, up from $7.9 billion. That sent the district more money, some of which was budgeted, while the rest awaited later decisions.

“What we did after that time was a lot of additional staffing for class-size reduction and behavior management,” MacLean said. “So, we just need to move that $680,000 to the different instruction and support service areas.”

The board approved moving $430,605 to instruction and $249,400 to support services.

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