Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dallas ISD did not vote last year to close "11 underperforming schools"

Editorial: Dallas ISD trustee's outrageous outburst
  • "Dallas ISD trustee Bernadette Nutall has often impressed us. She brings valuable experience as a community outreach educator to the board, has supported several important reform efforts and courageously voted last year to close 11 under performing district schools, including five in her southern Dallas district. We’ve admired her composure and professionalism."
The above statement from a recent Dallas Morning News Editorial is incorrect. Dallas ISD did not vote to close 11 under performing district schools. Test score performance played no part in the decision.. On January 26, 2012, Trustees voted to close the 11 schools in order to save money - $11.5 million dollars.
The crowd reacts as DISD trustee Lew Blackburn, center, called for the removal of Joyce Foreman, not pictured, prior to a vote on a proposal to close 11 schools. Trustees approved the $11.5 million cost-cutting plan in a 6-2 vote... Dallas ISD trustees vote to close 11 schools
The money saved was a mere drop in the billion dollar budget.

At the end of the 2011-2012 school year - four months after voting to close the schools - Dallas ISD ended the 2011-2012 school year with a budget surplus. Another surplus is expected at the end of this school year.

Within five months after closing the schools, the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board and Todd Williams, who had become Chair of the Dallas ISD Citizens Budget Review Commission wanted the schools to be turned over to private charter school operators.

City Park Elementary, Frazier Elementary, Wheatley Elementary, Harllee Elementary, Arlington Park Elementary, Fannin Elementary, Bonham Elementary, O.M. Roberts Elementary, H.S. Thompson Elementary, D. A. Hulcy Middle School, Pearl C. Anderson Middle School
Editorial: Opportunity for DISD, charters in closed campuses-June 17, 2012

"Todd Williams, a former Uplift Education board member who chairs DISD’s citizens budget review commission, sees it, too. His idea to require charter tenants to maintain at least state-recognized standing makes sense for quality control.
"Those eight elementary schools and one middle school are closed, perhaps forever. Shifting school-age populations left these buildings too empty to keep open. DISD trustees were right to make the wrenching decision to shutter them and save about $11.5 million in operating expenses.

Now, those campuses represent something different: opportunity."
Todd Williams - Williams Preparatory Charter School - Uplift Charter Education
Todd Williams - appointed by Trustee Bernadette Nutall to represent District 9 on Dallas ISD Citizens Budget Review Commission
Todd Williams - former Uplift board member
Todd Williams - head of Committ
Todd Williams - former chair - Dallas ISD Citizens Budget Review Commission
Todd Williams - Education Advisor - Mayor Mike Rawlings
Phillip Montgomery - first Chair - Dallas ISD Citizens Budget Review Commission
Phillip Montgomery - founding Chairman - Uplift Charter Education - 2003-2011

Proposed budget cuts, mid-year grade level changes and school closings on Thursday’s agenda
DISD Trustees Don't Want to Close Campuses. But They're Told:They Have No Other Choice
Pressure mounts to pull school closure plan from tomorrow’s Dallas ISD school board meeting
Mayor Rawlings and Dallas ISD Board President Blackburn agree on: the need for more charter school
Dallas ISD says it won’t sell school buildings that were closed this month

What should DISD do with the closed schools?
 DISD Trustees Don't Want to Close Campuses. But They're Told:They Have No Other Choice

" Later, Carla Ranger would characterize that number as "arbitrary..."

 "Ranger, who spent most of Thursday trying to put off the inevitable by delaying several items on the January 26 voting agenda, once again requested the trustees to put off voting on consolidation. But she wasn't asking for a mere month.

"I think we ought to take the opportunity to look at this for another year," she said. "There's a lot to be considered." Yes, she said, these campuses are small, "but there's a lot to be said for smaller schools. They have been and are being touted and promoted as being very successful schools, and many of these are high-performing schools. It was an arbitrary decision: 'Let's go below this number.' ... I am not ready or convinced this is what we ought to do."