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Another Battle In The DISD ‘Home Rule’ Fight

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jennifer Lindgren
Jennifer joined CBS 11 News in September 2013. For her, the move ...
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Home Rule fight in the Dallas Independent School District  is on the brink of its next battle.

A group that wants to turn the school district into a charter district says it has enough support to move the war to the people — at the polls.

“Support Our Public Schools” member Louisa Meyer says the group collected about 48,000 petition signatures.

The petition – expected to be presented to DISD Board of Trustees either Thursday or Friday – would compel the board to create a commission of 15 people tasked with drafting the charter.

Proponents say it would shake up what’s not working for schools and students.

Critics claim the new system would mean trustees could be removed, teachers could lose contracts and the mayor could effectively run the school system.

The commission would include eight DISD parents, four teachers, and three others, and is required to reflect the socioeconomic, and racial diversity of DISD.

School Board President Eric Cowan says while the effort has moved quickly to this point, the Board still has a job this summer, in voting on the Teacher Excellence Initiative and passing next year’s school budget.

“It does seem like a quick process. We hope the commission takes their time and does their due diligence. If they are going to write a charter, to make sure it’s legal and make sense for the City,” he said.

Cowan added that of the 48,000 signatures, he expects enough will be legally valid to meet the 25,000 required to move the issue forward.

In the last few weeks, the group “Our Community Our Schools” grew in opposition to the plan. Lakashia Wallace, a parent of four, says she’s skeptical.

“I’m not interested in my child attending a program that has no structure. Currently DISD does have structure. I’m not saying it was a perfect district, but I prefer to know what I’m walking into rather than not.”

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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