DISD could hire attorney for home rule debate - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

DISD could hire attorney for home rule debate

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DALLAS -

The Dallas school board could spend a lot of money to protect its interests if a home rule drive succeeds. It may hire a top law firm.

Thursday night, Dallas Independent School District trustees met to consider hiring a private lawyer who specializes in school board matters. As of 10 p.m. Thursday, the trustees hadn't discussed the issue yet, but FOX 4 is told that all nine agree on the hiring of David Thompson.

Thompson is a former Texas Education Agency attorney who now represents several school districts and has represented DISD in the past.

Hiring him could end up costing tax payers $250,000.

His job would be to advise district leaders on navigating home rule waters. The school board believes it needs to hire an expert because the home rule talk is picking up steam.

Supporters have a petition driving going. If they get at least 25,000 signatures then state law says the district must create a 15-member commission to write a proposed home rule charter.

Home rule school districts have a very different governing system that does not have to follow every state mandate. But, the exact details of how it would all work have not been released.

It's a complex process and the trustees want to make sure they are doing everything by the book and following the law, even though a majority of them do not support a home rule district.

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