Friday, May 16, 2014

Desoto ISD seeks to annex north Desoto residential area of Dallas ISD Trustee run-off candidate Bertha Bailey Whatley

District 6 Trustee run-off candidate Bertha Bailey Whatley, who received campaign contributions of $50,000 from the Educate Dallas PAC, (the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce PAC - Attorney Mark Melton-Chairman) and $11,705.54 from Dallas Kids First PAC, lives in Desoto, Texas.

Candidate Bertha Bailey Whatley is represented by Allyn Media, the same firm currently representing Support Our Public Schools (SOPS - the group behind the petition drive to change Dallas ISD governance to a  Home Rule School District Charter) and  previously representing Mayor Mike Rawlings' campaign. 

As of the 8th day before the May 10, 2014 election date, the Bertha Bailey Whatley Campaign made the following advertising payments to Allyn Media:
  • 4-1-14 -   $  8,000.00
  • 4-18-14 - $13,192.62
  • 4-28-14 - $12,918.36 
  • Total -      $34,110.98
Desoto ISD Annexation Effort

Since the Fall of 2013 Desoto Superintendent David Harris has been actively exploring the process to align Desoto ISD district boundaries with the same boundaries of the City of Desoto, especially the north border which currently falls partially in Dallas ISD - the area where Trustee candidate Bertha Bailey Whatley currently lives.

If Desoto ISD succeeds with this effort, it would mean that Bertha Bailey Whatley would live in the Desoto ISD school district and no longer be eligible to serve as a Dallas ISD Trustee.

I agree with Desoto ISD that the northern part of the City of Desoto that is currently in Dallas ISD should properly be a part of Desoto ISD.

The information below describes the current effort of Desoto ISD to begin annexing the north border which currently falls within Dallas ISD and in which District 6 candidate Bertha Bailey Whatley lives in the city of Desoto.


"Detachment and Annexation Meetings:
On March 4 and March 20 the DeSoto ISD Superintendent David Harris, along with Dallas Central Appraisal Chief Ken Nolan and Community Relations Officer Cheryl Jordan, and Dallas County Tax Assessor John Ames, provided information and answered questions regarding the proposed detachment and annexation of properties in the City of DeSoto while located in Dallas ISD or Duncanville ISD boundaries. 

Annexation Powerpoint Presentation

In the fall of 2013, DeSoto ISD explored the process to align district boundries with those of the city, in particular the north border which falls partially in Dallas ISD and partially in Duncanville ISD. Basically, there are three avenues by which ISD boundries can be detached and annexed by another ISD. Additional information is attached for others to review.
For additional information, contact Assistant Superintendent Levatta Levels
Phone (972) 274-8212 Ext. 214;

1.       Districts Agreement (Either district can initiate)
No financial transaction. 

2.       Detachment & Annexation (Resident Initiated)

Pursuant to Texas Education Code Section 13.051, detachment of territory from one (or more) districts and annexation of that territory onto another district may be initiated by petition of registered voters residing in the territory or the surface owners if the territory has no residents.  None of the affected districts could initiate this process on their own. 

This process is highly technical in terms of the requirements the petition must meet and requires each affected district to conduct a hearing to determine how the proposed change would affect the social, economic, and educational well-being of current or potential future students.  Each board must then make findings as to these issues and adopt a resolution either approving or disapproving the petition.  If all affected districts approve the petition, the change can go through.  If none do, the issue is closed.  If one or more districts approves the petition and one or more disapprove it, the matter can be appealed to the Commissioner of Education, who will hear it de novo – from the beginning.

The D & A process is complex.  For example, petitions have to meet certain requirements. In addition, the petitions are not just presented to the respective boards.  There must be a formal public hearing and a resolution must issue from the respective boards which outline the findings of the board to either approve or disapprove the petition.  The findings relate to the educational interests, social, economic and educational effects of the proposed boundary change. It is not just a regular motion vote.  Further, where all boards agree with the changes, the changes must then be submitted to commissioner’s court to allocate property and indebtedness.  

3.       Chapter 41 Wealth Equalization (Chapter 41 District Initiated)
Detachment and annexation by agreement is one of the options for reducing property tax wealth that a district may use under Chapter 41 of the Texas Education Code.  It is not frequently done, as most districts prefer to purchase attendance credits or educate non-resident students as a means of equalizing their wealth level.  In any event, to the extent that one or more of the neighboring districts may be a so-called “Chapter 41 district,” they could consider detaching territory in order to annex that territory onto a non-property wealthy district, such as DeSoto ISD.  This process does not require the petition and hearing process dictated by Chapter 13 as described above, but it does require agreement between the affected districts.  Furthermore, this option can be used by the Chapter 41 school district only to the extent that it would successfully result in reduction of property tax wealth."

2014 Desoto ISD Detachment and Annexation Information - Click Here