FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Trustees with the Fort Worth Independent School District are talking about Superintendent Walter Dansby’s future. They called a special meeting to discuss his contract, but a lot of what they are saying will happen behind close doors.
CBS 11 News set out to find out more and the reason for tonight’s meeting.
Monday the boardroom was packed with Superintendent Dansby supporters. Many including members of the teachers association say all of the actions came as a surprise.
As it stands, Dansby’s future as FWISD superintendent is in limbo. He has led the district for three years, but now some board members want him to step down.
While board members aren’t talking publicly, supporters are rallying.
Pastor Ivy Haynes with Greater New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in east Fort Worth said, “It is absolutely political. We don’t think we can support Mr. Dansby if he violates the law or if he violates policy, [and] we don’t believe that Mr. Dansby has done either. So, we are gong to support Mr. Dansby.”
Pastor Haynes speaks not only as a church leader but a concerned Special Education teacher in the district. “Mr. Dansby has done exceptionally well with what he was handed. This is big ship and in order to turn a big ship around with a little rudder it takes time.”
A brief agenda of a special board meeting, posted on the Fort Worth ISD website, shows one action item – “consideration by the Board of the Superintendent’s contract.”
School board members have been tight lipped about the meeting. Sources say some members want Dansby to resign because of disputes about how the district’s money is being spent.
Another concern is said to be the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STAAR test results and student performance.
“A lot of people are scratching their heads on this one,” said Steven Poole, the Executive Director of United Educators Association. “We work really well with Mr. Dansby.”
According to Poole, the Educators Association believes the fact that Dansby has been with the district for the last 40 years speaks volumes. “The teachers really like the fact that he is one of them and he understands exactly what is going on in the classroom the challenges they face.”
Dansby is the first African American superintendent in Fort Worth. He is also reportedly one of the highest paid superintendents in the state — making more than $300,000 a year. Just last year he received a $10,000 bonus for a satisfactory evaluation.
CBS 11 News tried to reach board members for comment but at this publishing time had not gotten a response.
The Fort Worth ISD school board meeting begins at 5 p.m.
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