Group organizes opposition to DISD home rule - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Group organizes opposition to DISD home rule

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There is now organized opposition tothe Dallas Independent School District home rule effort.

A group called Keep Our Schools Publicwill outline its reasons for opposing the move.

It's made up of former staff and DISDparents.

Members say home rule is not neededfor reforming the district, and they believe the backers of home rule want toget rid of the elected school board.

Some members of the DISD school boardattended a Dallas City Council briefing Wednesday, where the home rule petitionand what would happen if it succeeds was explained.

Some council members toldSuperintendent Mike Miles they want the city and school district to worktogether.

"I want a collaborative solution thatunites us and is not divisive," saidCouncilman Philip Kingston.

At least 25,000 signatures are neededto force the school board to create a commission to write a new charter forDISD. That proposal would then go to voters.

"Home rule for DISD is unnecessary and very inappropriate," said Keep Our Schools Public leaderHarryetteEhrhardt at a press conference on Thursday.

Ehrhardt is a former educator and DISD board member, and says whatSupport Our Public Schools has said publicly are things that can be donewithout changing the district.

"We can change ourboard election date, have year-round schools, alter the school day, pay ourteachers more, have full day kindergarten, reduce class size," said Ehrhardt. "Allsuggestions made by the Support Our Public Schools group, and we can do all ofthis without the very questionable legislation."

And, says the group, questionablemotives.

"I am deeply troubled that we now havefive people, two of whom do not reside in Dallas, who have decided they havethe knowledge and credibility to create a new system of education in Dallas,"said Dr. Kyle Renard.

Former 15-year teacher and one-timeDISD Teacher of the Year John Fullinwider says Support Our Public Schools hasput forward zero significant educational innovations.

"For this group tomount a takeover of the schools in the ninth largest city in America, it is theheight of arrogance to do so without substantial involvement of teachers andprincipals," said Fullinwider.

Lastly, Erhardt says this fight is notone minority groups alone should battle.

"This is a DISDproblem, and we're a part of that and we support their effort and we want tojoin them," she said.

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