Thursday, April 21, 2011

Trustees must approve any restructuring of Dallas ISD magnet programs

 We have been here before.

Last Thursday evening I was told of a plan to change the organization of Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center.  I listened, and it was indicated that all other Trustees had already been informed.

This was not a discussion of the merit of the plan.  It was merely passing along information stating what had already been decided and what would be done.  Then the press release was issued on Tuesday.

Under Dallas ISD policy it appears that only the Board can make such sweeping changes to the Magnet program organization.

  • Board Policy AE (Local) - "The District shall maintain a program of magnet schools, including Montessori schools.  The program shall offer unique educational opportunities through specialty curricula that cannot be found within the neighborhood schools..."
  • "Nothing herein shall limit the ability of the Board of Trustees to add additional programs or to modify or eliminate existing programs in accordance with the recommendations of the District's evaluation."

That seems to be pretty clear.

This is a major restructuring of Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center with no official Board approval before it is done.

The administration recommends.  Only the Trustees can restructure the magnet school program.

These are difficult times, and difficult decisions must be made.  Trustees might decide to make other changes or simply accept the recommendations of the administration.  That is understood.

What is not understood is the failure to follow Board policy.

Decisions cannot be made by Trustees outside of an official Board meeting.  This would be a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

And nothing has been presented to the Board for an official decision.

Board Policy AE (Local) - Declaration of Commitments and Covenants - Magnet Schools