Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sounds Like Government Class To Me!

Before I was elected by the NEA-Dallas membership to serve as their President, I taught U. S. Government and AP U. S. Government at Skyline High School. One year there was a discussion at the DISD Board about trying to draw up a second majority Hispanic district. My students and I had many conversations about how that idea may or may not play out. I asked my students to think about this question: Since it will be the Trustees that vote to create a second district, who do you think that currently sits on the board will vote to put themselves into that district?

You see, if they would have appproved its creation, then one of the non-Hispanic members of the Board of Trustees would then be in a district that was majority Hispanic. What politician would vote do possibly get themselves defeated in an upcoming election? Their disappointed answer was, "No one."

Well, ladies and gentlemen, tonight's vote by the Dallas ISD Board to extend their terms of office is just like this one from several years ago. The three Trustees up for re-election next year were bound to vote for it. Then you have three more that get an extra year at the end of this thing bringing them up for re-election in 2012 instead of 2011. It doesn't take a rocket-scientist or Harvard graduate to do that math.

So, tonight, the Board of Trustees voted in THEIR OWN BEST INTEREST! They became typical politicians, except for Carla Ranger in the end, and became self-preservationists. They blindly accepted the independent ruling of Rolando Rios, Jack Elrod and some other attorney that Mr. Elrod had sitting next to him that the DISD Board could do this. Could do this even though none of the attorneys had spoken with the Secretary of State's Office or the Attorney General's Office to "make sure" that their interpretation was correct. Could do this even though Trustee Ranger presented a ruling from the Secretary of State's Office saying that the timeline had expired on December 31, 2007.

I presented each Trustee with a ruling from our state affiliate's General Counsel Joey Moore (Texas State Teachers Association) that also stated the timeline had passed. I guess, in the end, a judge will probably have to decide who's interpretation is correct.

We will be looking to find out. But, in the meantime, NEA-Dallas will re-double it's efforts to make sure that our children, our teachers, and our support staff are treated fairly and equitably by this Administration and the Board.

Because, believe it or not, after all of the things that have happened this semester, there are still Great Students and Great Teachers doing Great Things in the Dallas Independent School District!

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