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Chapter 4
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT

This chapter of the report reviews the personnel management function of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) in five sections:

A. Organization and Management
B. Operating Policies and Procedures
C. Compensation Plan and Practices
D. Recruiting, Hiring and Retention
Part 1
Part 2
E. Records Management

D. RECRUITING, HIRING AND RETENTION (PART 1)

In the state of Texas, there were approximately 40,000 teacher vacancies for the 2000-01 school year, according to a study co-sponsored by the Texas Education Agency and the Texas A&M University System's Institute for School-University Partnerships. DISD has between 275 and 300 teacher vacancies each year; therefore, the district must aggressively recruit qualified teachers and staff. The ability to recruit, hire and retain qualified staff is critical for the overall success of DISD and its nearly 160,000 students. At the beginning of the 2000-01 school year, DISD had over 19,000 employees of which 10,101 (52.6 percent) were teachers. Slightly more than 62 percent of employees were instructional personnel - classroom teachers and professional support including teaching assistants, librarians and counselors.

Exhibit 4-13 shows the number of employees in the district by employee classification for 2000-01.

Exhibit 4-13
Number of DISD Employees
2000-01
Employee
Classification
Number of
Employees
Percent of
Employees
Teachers 10,101.2 52.6
Professional Support 1,844.4 9.6
Campus Administrators 512.0 2.7
Central Office Administrators 63.0 0.3
Educational Aides 1,653.7 8.6
Auxiliary Staff 4,482.4 23.4
Other Staff 536.3 2.8
Total Employees 19,193.0 100.0
Source: Texas Education Agency, PEIMS 2000-01.

Exhibit 4-14 compares the number of administrative/professional employees for DISD with its peer districts' professional staff.

Exhibit 4-14
Administrative/Professional Employees
DISD versus Peer Districts
2000-01

District
Student
Enrollment
Central
Admin.
Campus
Admin.
Professional
Support

Teachers
Total
Professional
Staff
Austin 77,862 50.0 279.6 790.4 5,161.8 6,281.8
Fort Worth 79,764 68.0 283.1 850.8 4,752.2 5,954.1
El Paso 62,412 12.0 202.0 726.4 4,077.8 5,018.2
Houston 208,672 17.0 569.6 4,047.1 10,536.6 15,170.3
San Antonio 57,339 43.0 167.6 624.6 3,561.0 4,396.2
Dallas 161,670 63.0 512.0 1,844.4 10,101.2 12,520.6
Source: Texas Education Agency, PEIMS 2000-01.

Exhibit 4-15 shows the number of DISD teachers hired by ethnicity from 1998-99 through 2000-01. The number of teachers increased by 17.55 percent from 1998-99 to 1999-2000, and by 29.41 percent from 1999-2000 to the 2000-01 school year.

Exhibit 4-15
DISD
Number of Teachers Hired by Ethnicity
1998-99 through 2000-01
School
Year
African
American
Hispanic Anglo Native
American
Asian
American
Other Total
1998-99 329 143 431 2 17 18 940
1999-2000 391 178 482 4 10 40 1,105
2000-01 614 177 595 10 29 5 1,430
Source: DISD Human Resources Services Department Recruitment Plan 2000-01 School Year.

Exhibit 4-16 illustrates the years of experience for teachers, and Exhibit 4-17 shows the number of DISD teachers with advanced degrees.

Exhibit 4-16
DISD Teachers
Years of Experience
2000-01
Years Number
of Teachers
Percent
of Total
Beginning Teachers 1,423.3 14.1
1-5 Years of Experience 2,921.3 28.9
6-10 Years of Experience 1,390.7 13.8
11-20 Years of Experience 2,106.6 20.9
More than 20 Years of Experience 2,259.0 22.4
Total 10,101.2 100.0
Source: Texas Education Agency, PEIMS 2000-01.
Note: Totals may not be exact due to rounding.

Exhibit 4-17
DISD School Teachers with Advanced Degrees
2000-01
Degree Number of
Teachers
Percent
of Total
No Degree 298.3 3.0
Bachelor 7,020.9 69.5
Master 2,625.8 26.0
Doctorate 156.2 1.5
Total 10,101.2 100.0
Source: Texas Education Agency, PEIMS 2000-01.

The DISD recruiting budget was $66,000 for the 2000-01 school year. On the first day of school, a total of 1,430 teachers had been hired for the year, and there were 150 teacher vacancies compared to 259 vacancies at the same time for the 1999-2000 school year. As of December 31, 2000, an additional 145 teachers were hired for the 2000-01 school year. The executive director of Teacher Certification and Staffing, the director of Recruitment and Central Staffing, renamed as of February 2001, and nine employment administrators (EAs) are responsible for filling teacher vacancies in the district.

FINDING

DISD's recruitment strategy is jointly planned by the executive director of Teacher Certification and Staffing and the director of Recruitment and Central Staffing of HRS. The fall and spring recruitment efforts were targeted at colleges and universities with a high number of teacher graduates and degreed professionals who were eligible to enter the Alternative Certification Program (ACP) or who could obtain a Deficiency Plan from a college or university.

The ACP intern program consists of individuals who have degrees in fields other than education and meet the State Board of Education requirements to become certified teachers. DISD has focused the ACP to produce teachers in the areas of early childhood education, general elementary, math, composite science, English as a Second Language (ESL), bilingual, reading, special education and music.

The district begins intern training in June. Training continues during the year while interns teach. After a year of training, the interns usually obtain certification. There are a few instances where interns may need an additional year of training before they are certified. Deficiency plans are developed for individuals who qualify for teaching areas supported by ACP. An emergency permit is offered to individuals who seek employment to teach after the ACP intern program has begun. Those placed on emergency permits to teach are required to commit to entering the DISD ACP for the next class session, as well as meet the requirements for entry into the program.

DISD hired 352 individuals from the ACP for the 2000-01 school year who either did not have a teaching certificate or had a teaching certificate but not for the specific subjects that they were teaching. Also, the ACP approved 219 Emergency Teacher Permits; these individuals will begin the intern program May 31, 2001 if all deficiencies are cleared. The majority of these individuals were recruited through job fairs at colleges and universities.

Attendance at local, statewide and out-of-state job fairs is determined by previous recruiting success at colleges or universities. Once the fairs are selected for attendance, the area superintendents, principals, curriculum managers or staffing personnel decide who will be on the recruiting teams. Principals and area superintendents are invited to accompany HRS staff to the job fairs. DISD participated in more than 40 teacher job fairs at colleges and universities in Texas and surrounding states to recruit teachers for the 2000-01 school year. The director of Recruitment and Central Staffing is responsible for tracking job fair attendance across the country. Exhibit 4-18 shows the number of new hires from job fairs attended locally and out-of-state for the 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01 school year. Historically, the majority of teachers for DISD are recruited in Texas.

Exhibit 4-18
DISD New Hires from Recruitment Fairs by State
1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01
Number Hired
STATE 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01
Alabama 8 8 8
Arkansas 36 30 38
California 15 27 13
Florida 6 18 15
Indiana 6 11 7
Illinois 18 22 14
Iowa 7 6 10
Kansas 6 11 19
Louisiana 45 75 95
Michigan 0 0 7
Missouri 0 0 13
Michigan 0 0 7
Minnesota 0 0 7
Mississippi 31 20 31
Ohio 8 0 8
Oklahoma 51 45 79
New Mexico 7 7 6
New York 0 0 9
Puerto Rico 5 10 8
Tennessee 11 20 16
Texas 676 850 800
Source: DISD Human Resources Services Department.

Human Resource Services sponsored a number of job fairs for teaching and non-teaching positions, some of which were targeted at critical subjects. Three teacher job fairs were held at Molina High School, one job fair at A. Maceo Smith High School, three at Cesar Chavez Learning Center and two at the HRS office in 1999, for a total of nine job fairs to hire teachers for the 2000-01 school year. Exhibit 4-19 is an example of a teacher job fair announcement that was posted in the HRS office, on the district's website and at the school campuses.

DISD has also initiated several innovative approaches to recruiting, including targeted job fairs for recruiting in critical teaching areas, rehiring retired teachers of DISD, allowing pre-hire authority for the director of Recruitment and Central Staffing and the recruiting teams and posting job openings and applications on the Internet. The director of Recruitment and Central Staffing conducted a multi-media blitz consisting of newspaper, magazine, radio and television to market DISD as the employer of choice for teacher candidates. Targeted areas for newspaper and magazine ads of job openings are Texas and Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The director of Recruitment and Central Staffing conducted research to determine what radio stations teachers listened to and the times they listened. As a result of the research, a 30-minute interview was conducted with the director of Recruitment and Central Staffing to promote DISD and 10 commercial spots were aired on KPZS and K104 radio stations to announce upcoming job fairs.

Exhibit 4-19
DISD Job Fair Announcement

 Job Fair Announcement
 Job Fair Announcement

Source: DISD Human Resource Services Department.

The DISD Teacher Application packets are given to potential candidates during job fairs and at the HRS office. The application packet contains an application and instructions and information about teaching in DISD, the district, its compensation plan and general information about housing and the Dallas area.

To attract teachers to DISD, the Board of Trustees approved a signing bonus compensation plan on March 30, 2000. DISD offers signing bonuses of $1,500 to the first 1,000 new teachers; signing bonuses of $500 to $1,500 to teachers in Math, Science, Special Education, Early Childhood Education and Bilingual Teachers, which are critical shortage areas; and signing bonuses of $1,500 to teachers with dual certification in critical shortage areas. Teachers must sign a contract and report to work to receive the applicable signing bonus or bonuses. A total of 1,548 teachers in DISD were awarded signing bonuses for the 2000-01 school year as a result of the signing bonus compensation plan. Exhibit 4-20 shows the number and amounts of DISD Signing Bonuses awarded for the 2000-01 school year as of December 19, 2000.

Exhibit 4-20
DISD
Signing Bonus Awards (as of December 19, 2000)
2000-01
Bonus
Category
Number
Awarded
Dollar
Amount
Signing Bonus - New Teacher 1,048 $1,524,697
Signing Bonus - Math Teacher 78 38,070
Signing Bonus - Science Teacher 67 31,912
Signing Bonus - Special Education Teacher 135 66,068
Signing Bonus - Early Childhood Teacher 87 43,500
Signing Bonus - Bilingual Teacher 117 58,500
Signing Bonus - Dual Certification 16 22,000
Total 1,548 $1,784,747
Source: DISD Human Resources Services Audit: Signing Bonus Program School Year 2000-01.

The district also offers annual stipends in the amounts of $500 to $3,000 to teachers who teach in the critical shortage areas. Although the Texas Legislature abolished the Career Ladder stipend in May 1993, DISD continues to pay the stipend to teachers hired if the teacher had Texas Career Ladder status as of August 31, 1993. Annual Career Ladder stipends are $1,500 for Level II and $3,000 for Level III. Also individuals transferring into the district with Career Ladder status are eligible for comparable Career Ladder status for the 2000-01 school year.

Several teacher support programs are offered through the Staff Development office to ensure professional growth and to improve performance of new and veteran teachers in the district. These programs are described in detail in the Staff Development section of the Educational Services Delivery chapter. As a result of these programs, DISD's rate of turnover for its teachers was the second lowest among its peers for the 2000-01 school year. Exhibit 4-21 compares teacher turnover rates of DISD to peer districts.

Exhibit 4-21
Teacher Turnover Rates
DISD versus Peer Districts
2000-01
School
District
Number of
Teachers
Turnover
Rate
El Paso 4,078 16.3%
Austin 5,162 15.9%
Houston 10,537 15.9%
Fort Worth 4,752 14.0%
Dallas 10,101 13.0%
San Antonio 3,561 10.7%
Source: Texas Education Agency, PEIMS 2000-01.
Note: Number of teachers have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

COMMENDATION

DISD uses innovative and creative ways to recruit and retain qualified teachers.

FINDING

Human Resource Services does not have performance measures or an evaluation tool to determine which aspects of its recruitment and retention programs are effective. Also, the staff does not know which activities are ineffective or produce low results. Although HRS uses innovative methods in its recruiting activities, many district stakeholders do not believe that it does. In surveys conducted by TSPR, more than one-half of the respondents either disagreed or strongly disagreed that the district had an effective employee recruitment program or accurately projected staffing needs. The responses are shown in Exhibit 4-22 and Exhibit 4-23.

Exhibit 4-22
DISD
TSPR Survey Results
Respondents to Survey Question:
"The district has an effective employee
recruitment program."
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree
District Administrators and Support Staff 3% 25% 20% 37% 16%
Principals and Assistant Principals 1% 31% 12% 41% 15%
Teachers 1% 21% 27% 29% 22%
Source: TSPR Survey Results, November 2000.

Fifty-six percent of the principals and assistant principals responding disagreed or strongly disagreed that the district has an effective recruitment program, 53 percent of the district administrators and support staff and 51 percent of the teachers supported the opinion. For example, during principal focus groups, some participants told TSPR that they had to identify their own perspective teacher candidates without the appropriate assistance from HRS.

To address the future staffing needs of DISD, the director of Recruitment and Central Staffing developed a recruitment plan. However, a majority of district stakeholders disagreed that the district successfully projects future staffing needs. Their responses to a TSPR survey on the subject are shown in Exhibit 4-23.

Exhibit 4-23
DISD
TSPR Survey Results
Respondents to Survey Question:
"The district successfully projects future
staffing needs."
Strongly Agree Agree No Opinion Disagree Strongly Disagree
District Administrators and Support Staff 3% 29% 11% 35% 22%
Principals and Assistants Principals 2% 27% 11% 44% 16%
Teachers 1% 11% 17% 39% 32%
Source: TSPR Survey Results, November 2000.