DISD home rule commission meets for first time - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

DISD home rule commission meets for first time

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DALLAS - The newly-formed commission that will draft a home rule charter for Dallas ISD met for the first time on Monday night.

The goal for the 15-member commission is to write the charter and present it to voters in time for the November election.

It would change the way the district is run and remove some state requirements.

At commissioners’ Monday meeting, the group took an oath and learned about the Texas education code that governs all school districts, and specifically, its chapter on home rule.

The1995 law had never been enacted until now.

“This is important work we have signed up to do,” said commission chair Bob Weiss.

But Commissioner Marcus Ranger, husband of DISD school trustee Carla Ranger, wanted to clear up any confusion over the relationship between the group and the school board.

“I'm really concerned that we do anything that gives the notion that we're subordinate to the board of Dallas ISD; we're simply appointed,” said Ranger.

Texas education code gives the commission one year to write the new charter for DISD.

The group Support Our Public Schools pushed home rule forward, getting 48,000 signatures, which forced the commission's creation.

If the charter is to be on the November ballot for voters to decide, it would need to be written by mid-August, which opponents think is too fast.

“No rush job,” said Suzette Wiseman with Texas Organizing Project. “It makes no sense. We're setting our students, our parents as well as my kids up for failure.”

Commissioner Lew Blackburn, Jr., appointed by his trustee father, agrees that writing a new charter in a month is too soon.

He believes a year is more realistic to write it and engage the community in a district overhaul.

“I think it's a start,” said Blackburn. “It's a chance for us to change not only Dallas ISD for the better, but change education itself for the better.”

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