Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Appointments to Citizens Budget Review Committee create potential conflicts of interest

I attended the first meeting of the newly appointed Citizens Budget Review Committee on Monday evening.

Are these meetings open? Yes.

In light of the fact that 9 of the appointments to this advisory committee were made by elected trustees, all of the meetings should meet the notice requirements of the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA) and be announced to the public in the same manner as all school board meetings.

The Board appointments are as follows:
  • District 1 - Edwin Flores - Louisa Meyer
  • District 2 - Jack Lowe - Debbie Sherrington
  • District 3 - Bruce Parrott - Michael MacNaughton
  • District 4 - Nancy Bingham - Jose Hernandez
  • District 5 - Lew Blackburn - Jim Kipp
  • District 6 - Carla Ranger - Kenneth E.Walker
  • District 7 - Eric Cowan - Andrew Newman
  • District 8 - Adam Medrano - Warren Westmoreland
  • District 9 - Bernadette Nutall - Todd Williams
  • Superintendent Michael Hinojosa - Phil Montgomery - Chair
There appear to be several potential conflicts of interest which are troubling.

Persons who formerly served on Dallas Achieves should not be on this committee. This committee should be a fresh start without citizen input being primarily influenced by previous recommendations.

Persons connected to charter schools have a potential conflict in light of the current push to expand charter schools in Dallas ISD (Charter School Ad Hoc Committee).

Uplift Charter has a potential conflict in light of the Superintendent's intention to partner with them on federal grants and charter school initiatives.

Final decisions about the budget remain the responsibility of the elected Trustees.