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Parents Question Reason For FWISD Leader’s Resignation

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Twenty-four hours after his resignation some Fort Worth parents are still trying to figure out why the school district superintendent is leaving his job.

People in one Tarrant County neighborhood have paid close attention to what’s happened in the Fort Worth Independent School District over the last two days.

Superintendent Walter Dansby will soon move from heading the district to holding the title of Ambassador of Public Relations. The latter position will be his position until his official retirement in January.

The resignation Dansby submitted Monday night seemed voluntary on the surface, but some think the current superintendent did not make the move by choice.

Some east Fort Worth parents gathered at a local bookstore to talk about what’s happening in the ISD. Father Dalian Williams said, “Lately everyone’s been speaking positively about Mr. Dansby.”

Williams and others at the informal meeting also pondered why Dansby resigned. “We feel there may be some tensions, some pressures from some of the trustees, that encouraged such resignation,” Williams said.

Across town from the bookstore, members of the Fort Worth ISD School Board met, while the superintendent’s chair and parking space sat empty.

In a joint statement sent out Tuesday, the school board trustees praised the Dansby while extolling his accomplishments and 40-year career.

But when given to opportunity to voice their opinions independently some members minced no words. Calling it the end of an era Trustee Ann Sutherland said, “It’s very sad. Because in a sense it’s a failure, a failure of everyone to work together in success.”

The terms of Dansby’s resignation include a more than $906,000 payout by January 2015. The retirement agreement also includes a condition that both the board and superintendent can’t criticize one another.

As for the parents who met at the bookstore, they want to be heard as the district searches for a new leader. One parent described the possible scenario. “He’s going to come to town hall meetings here, spent time here with us, trying to get our feedback and our input. I know that going forward that’s something we want to be very proactive on.”

The Fort Worth school board will meet again next Tuesday. While there have been no additions to the agenda, the meeting will be the first time that trustees are expected to address the issue of how they find an interim superintendent for Fort Worth public schools.

(©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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