Sunday, May 3, 2009

DISD Trustees: You Should Listen to Us...

It came as no surprise to me last week that the Texas Attorney General ruled that the DISD Trustees had acted improperly when they voted to extend their terms last November. He merely reiterated what our state afffiliate's General Counsel had told me at the time.

On November 18, 2008, I sent that opinion to each of the Trustees and asked them not to vote to extend their terms. However, as is sometimes the case in life, they thought they knew more than we did. Guess they were wrong on this one!

Now they have had to schedule a special meeting to discuss the Attorney General's decision and POSSIBLY call for a special election in November for the Trustee positions currently held by Leigh Ann Ellis, Dr. Edwin Flores and Ron Price. Whether the election is held in November of 2009 or in May of 2010, one thing is certain: It is time to change the players!

The only way things will improve for employees in this district, and thus the children in this district, is to replace Trustees who blindly follow Dr. Hinojosa's every whim. Just look at what has happened in DISD since June of 2008: freezing/elimination of longevity pay; no salary schedule step for support professionals in DISD; the grading regulation change; the "surprising" $84 million deficit; the RIF of hundreds of employees; the extension of Trustee terms by Trustees; the limiting of pulling items for separate votes; the redoing of the staffing formula that could have as many as 530 teachers looking for a new assignment in the district for 2009-2010; the use of the CEI to "non-extend" hundreds of teacher contracts this year and the idea to take all teachers to one year contracts next year; and, the proposed change in pay date for all professional staff.

Wow, what a year! And guess what? The teachers and employees of this district have still come to work everyday and given their all to help our students succeed!

Now, it is time to support those employees. It is time for all of us to come together and ELECT new Trustees who will support student achievement by supporting our employees. Trustees who know that the former head of Southwest Airlines had a pretty good business model: one in which he stated that if he took care of his employees, they (the employees) would take care of him (Southwest Airlines). Trustees who also understand VERY CLEARLY that it is NOT THEM who works for the Superintendent, but it is the Superintendent who works FOR THEM!

I call on all of the organizations who care about our city's children to meet together and put together a unified front. Let's get together and do what is right for our most precious resource. Call me at the NEA-Dallas office, 214.821.2061, and we will set up a time and place to begin the work to, "Change the Players!"

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