DISD Home Rule Commission Raises Eyebrows

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Steve Pickett
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Dallas Independent School District now has a home rule commission. But exactly who is involved is already raising some eyebrows. And what that commission will do has yet to be determined.

Home rule is the ability to create the political and operational body of a school district, separate from some state rules. Those people assigned to the commission are supposed to be creating a charter, or a roadmap for the district. They have a year to create that plan.

But some critics are not happy with the individuals who have been appointed to that commission — the husband of a trustee, the son of another trustee, a former assistant superintendent who left under heated circumstances, a current administrator under Superintendent Mike Miles, two former school board members, and four current teachers.

If home rule is a proposition for change, critics have wondered, what really changed with the appointment of this particular commission?

School board president Eric Cowan explained that the rules did not prohibit trustees from appointing relatives or former board members to the commission. “There were some initial concerns,” he stated. “In the end, each trustee got to name their choice. There’s no rule that you can’t pick spouses, but we were advised that it would be a bad idea.”

The initial home rule petition, supporting the creation of a document or constitution that gives the Dallas ISD home rule autonomy, was signed by some 26,000 people. But voters must approve that document if and when it is completed.

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