Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Secretary of State Election Division confirms Texas Education Code deadline for 4 year terms has passed

Today, the Election Division of the Texas Secretary of State confirmed by telephone and then by email that the deadline for making changes in Trustee terms was established in Senate Bill 670 which amended the Texas Education Code to add Section 11.059(e).

Section 11.059(e) required that any changes in Trustee terms from three to four years must be completed by December 31, 2007.

Some have suggested that Dallas ISD has some special status that allowed it to escape this December 31, 2007 deadline.

The Elections Division today confirmed that there is no exemption from the December 31, 2007 deadline. All Texas Independent School District's were required to meet the same deadline.

This means that the proposal to be adopted by Dallas ISD Trustees on Thursday, November 20, 2008, changing Trustee terms from three to four years violates the Texas Education Code.

On Monday, November 10, 2008, I requested clarification of the December 31, 2007 deadline from the Dallas ISD General Counsel. I was informed that a response would be received in the Board update this Friday.

Regardless of the outcome, the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) must approve any plan to change Trustee terms as part of the required Voting Rights Act - Section 5 review.

If the current plan is approved, objections should be filed with the U. S. Department of Justice based on the violation of the Texas Education Code Section 11.059(e) December 31, 2007 deadline and other matters.

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