election

Early voting began Monday for Dallas ISD school board elections (Photo courtesy Flickr/Vox EFX).

In this month’s budget workshop, the drumbeat got a little louder: a Tax Ratification Election would be needed (and an increase passed) to continue some of the vital programs that have kept Dallas ISD’s academic trajectory on a laudable level.

And now, just a couple of weeks before a school board trustee election, many look to the outcome as an indicator — a litmus, if you will — of the fate of that potential TRE. (more…)

Dallas ISD

Dallas ISD board president Dan Micciche and superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa discuss district plans for five schools facing possible closure.

With five schools facing closure, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees heard plenty last night from the parents of students attending those schools — but there aren’t a lot of options, district officials reiterated.

Four of the schools — Carr Elementary, Titche Elementary, Ray Learning Center and Edison Middle — have been on the state’s Improvement Required list for four years or more. If they remain so this year, the Texas Education Agency will be required to close the schools or take over the district. (more…)

Photo illustration NPR See this? This is what we should be talking about, but we arent.

Photo illustration NPR
See this? This is what we should be talking about, but we aren’t.

I will be honest – I’ve been dreading this snapshot for the District 7 election. It’s the final one, and every day that has passed has only made me more nauseous when I look at how nasty the Dallas Independent School District’s District 7 race has gotten. It’s gotten bad enough that I’m actually going to move the “my two cents about District 7” feature of these snapshots that usually goes at the end up here, up top.

It’s that bad. And if I sound cranky, it’s because I don’t like having to devote a perfectly good story on what I’m about to devote a perfectly good story on. Very little grinds my gears, but this is one of those things. (more…)

Photo courtesy Blue Diamond Gallery.

Photo courtesy Blue Diamond Gallery.

In our third installment looking at the Dallas Independent School District’s school board election, we will be looking at District 5, which includes Oak Lawn, Wilmer, West Dallas, Hutchins and parts of east Oak Cliff. Incumbent Lew Blackburn, Marquis Hawkins, and Linda Wilkerson-Wynn are running.

One of the highest-profile issues facing District 5 right now is the condition of South Oak Cliff High, and where it will fall in the tiered system that determines when schools tapped to receive bond money for repairs, improvements or replacement – as well as whether repairs and improvements are enough for the aging structure that is, much like many other schools in the district, suffering from years of deferred maintenance.

And just as a reminder, I am breaking down each race and assigning a mathematical value to key endorsements for a final score. Because of the volume of candidates, I’ll be featuring one race a day through Sunday. Early voting begins Monday and lasts until May 3, with Election Day on May 7. For information on early voting, click here.

The scoring system goes a little something like this: Experience, I think, should be given some weight. So it is assigned a number value of one. Endorsements should matter too, so each one those are also given a value of 1. I considered six sets of endorsements in this system, largely because the organizations providing them have a regular history of endorsing candidates. Those endorsements are The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Kids First, Educate Dallas, the NEA, Alliance AFT, and The Real Estate Council PAC.

In this race, Educate Dallas did not endorse a candidate, so there will be a possible score of 6 (DMN, DKF, Alliance AFT, NEA, TREC and incumbent). (more…)

Photo courtesy Flickr/Michael Swan

Photo courtesy Flickr/Michael Swan

(Note: At the time of writing this story, Educate Dallas’ endorsements were not readily available. Since this morning, I received a press release regarding their endorsement for this race, and have updated the story throughout accordingly.)

Not to sound like a broken record, but the fact that three of the four races for school board trustee have more than two people running is incredible when you consider that in 2011, Dallas Independent School District canceled elections.

Today, we will take a look at the District 4 race. District 4 includes Balch Springs, Southeast Dallas, Seagoville, and Pleasant Grove. Omar Jiminez, Jaime Resendez, and Camille White are running for the spot currently held by Nancy Bingham, who announced she would not run for reelection.

And just as a reminder, I am breaking down each race and assigning a mathematical value to key endorsements for a final score. Because of the volume of candidates, I’ll be featuring one race a day through Sunday. Early voting begins Monday and lasts until May 3, with Election Day on May 7. For information on early voting, click here.

The scoring system goes a little something like this: Experience is assigned a number value of one. Endorsements should matter too, so each one those are also given a value of 1. I considered six sets of endorsements in this system, largely because the organizations providing them have a regular history of endorsing candidates. Those endorsements are The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Kids First, Educate Dallas, the NEA, Alliance AFT, and The Real Estate Council PAC.

In this race, there is no incumbent, so there will be a possible score of 6 (DMN, DKF, Educate Dallas, Alliance AFT, NEA, TREC). (more…)

FullSizeRender (6)

So, you probably feel like you should be keeping an eye on the school board meetings. But those meetings, you hear, can be marathon sessions of wrangling and hyperbole and you have a four-year-old to put to bed. You have sleeping to do. You have a life to live.

This is probably why I got so excited this weekend when I met with Melissa Higginbotham of Dallas Kids First, and she showed me the group’s latest endeavor – a school board vote tracker. The last school board meeting is already up and ready to go, complete with how your trustee voted on each item on the agenda, which items got moved from the consent agenda for more discussion, and whether the item passed. They’ve also taken the time to note certain measures they feel are important – usually ones that impact students and teachers.

(more…)