PAC EducateDallas Endorses Incumbents For Dallas ISD School Board, Give Each 10 Grand

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Edwin Flores
Just got off the phone with tax attorney Mark Melton, who, as you'll recall, is co-chairing EducateDallas, that political action committee with ties to the Dallas Regional Chamber. I had questions following receipt of a release this afternoon that says the PAC is endorsing two candidates for the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees: Edwin Flores and Bernadette Nutall, each of whom will receive $10,000 along with the thumbs-up.

But, but ... just a few weeks ago the PAC said January 17 -- today -- was the deadline for would-be candidates to submit their questionnaires, after which they'd be interviewed by the EducateDallas board, after which there'd be an endorsement. And, and ... what about Bruce Parrott's seat? Is the PAC opting not to back the District 3 incumbent?

Actually, says Melton, EducateDallas just interviewed Parrott yesterday, and they do believe one other contender is likely to file. "We're just waiting till all the potential players are in place," he says. "We haven't made any decisions on who we will endorse in District 3, but we'll make it public in a few weeks."

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Bernadette Nutall
As for Flores and Nutall: Melton says there may be one challenger for Flores's District 1 seat, and though he did turn in his responses to the PAC's questionnaire he's yet to decide if he'll run. Nutall's would-be District 9 challenger likewise hasn't made his intentions clear and opted not to respond. Regardless, I told Melton, I thought EducateDallas intended to go out and recruit candidates for the school board. Right now, three incumbents and three maybes isn't much different than last year, when the district called off elections because no one wanted to run.

"The pool isn't extremely large yet," he acknowledges. "Historically, a lot of people have looked at the DISD board and said it's dysfunctional, and a lot of people haven't felt they've had much of a platform to make a difference. But for the first time in a long time, it seems to me the board isn't dysfunctional -- they're getting along well, and it shows in a lot of the policies they've passed recently. With regards to Bernadette and Edwin, we've seen the leadership role they've taken on, and we like the direction of the board. And while we want to encourage a good pool to run, we're most interested in getting people who will make the right decision for kids, and if they're incumbents, that's fine."

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16 comments
Jlewis7997
Jlewis7997

I see that Edwin Flores received $5000 from Todd Williams of Uplift Charter Schools. Does anyone know his stance on charter schools? Seems like an awful lot of money to just ignore. 

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Let us make it simple. REAL attempts at reform, especially in demanding financial accountability and transparency, were starting to work. When the Establishment saw that others were forcing the conversation on tracing the cashflow--in both directions, oh, no, hell no. They had to create a special PAC to regain the influence lost in the last 2 elections.

I would ask Mr. Melton to invite a group of us teachers---let me pick them---to a loooooong, tea/coffee. Let's see what it is they do not understand about letting the local subject matter experts, the teachers, help influence things for a while. After all, we have let minority group demands influence the choice of superintendent, the Citizens Council influence the trustee choices and contracts, etc...Look how well that has worked out.  I guess the thought of a few teachers really scares the bejeezus out of them.

RTGolden
RTGolden

How is the DISD not dysfunctional?? No, really, I'd love to hear the answer to that one.

A PAC can do what it wants with it's money, so more power to them.  But to try to scrub up DISD Trustees to bring on the shine is rather insulting.  This is Dallas, Just go down to Home Depot, buy you a little "SOLD" sign and place it on your Trustee's seat.

Sharon Boyd
Sharon Boyd

Edwin Flores is an arrogant jerk.  He tried to force an elementary into a ridiculous location -- over the objection of his constituents when the money would have been better spent updating 3 area elementary schools.  The DISD Board with Edwin Flores as an example is about granting construction contracts to buddies -- not about educating children.

bbetzen
bbetzen

Through all the smoke and debate, DISD is improving, and has been improving for about 5 years after a deadly 20 year decline. (See proof at http://schoolarchiveproject.bl... .)  Both Flores and Nutall have contributed to this progress.  We only need to accelerate that progress. 

We must identify those pockets of progress within DISD and identify what is causing them to happen. A simple study of today's enrollment numbers from the DISD web site indicates a powerful performer in this area, Sunset High School!   See http://schoolarchiveproject.bl... 

Why don't we spend as much time talking about DISD progress as we spend talking about DISD politics?

Sands13
Sands13

So after filtering through the smokescreens, this is just about the regional chamber keeping biz as usual? Nutall and Flores are there first endorsements. Just wow

OC Banshee
OC Banshee

And the veil is lifted. The WCC aka Regional chamber  is simply buying seats on the DISD BoT as usual.  Just this time they are openly arrogant about it.  10K is a lot of money for a school board race.  Small PACs and PTA moms can't begin to compete, especially when this is PAC money and the Breakfast club hasn't even begun to write out their checks yet.   Appears to me that things will be business as usual.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

What a joke. At least this group of pretenders didn't waste any time making it clear how serious they are about "reforming" DISD.

How on earth are you supposed to reform anything if you leave the same lunatics in charge of the asylum?

EastDallasResident
EastDallasResident

This is the board that voted to extend its tenure without a public vote.  They all deserve to go!

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Edwin Flores called Hinojosa a rock star.

While Hinojosa was superintendent, the DMN reported that DISD spent $57 MILLION on food and hotels.

Teachers were RIF'd, schools were turned upside down, 33 schools were rated Academically Unacceptable.

Now, schools are on the chopping block while trustees fight to open and build new ones where neighbors don't want them.

Endorse incumbents who supported Hinojosa?Keep the gravy train rolling, I guess.

SlamminSammySnead
SlamminSammySnead

I thought a PAC was supposed to endorse candidates after a reviewing them all. Since we won't know who all of the candidates are until the closing of the filing date in several months it is clear that the PAC is not interested in a true endorsement process.  I live in Trustee Parrott's district and find that his decisions are always "kids first".  Mr. Parrott initiated the DISD public budget group; is always visiting the schools and principals; works at least 30 hours per week on school issues and has always responded to constituent emails and phone calls. Trustee Parrott is a rather quiet and humble man who likes working behind the scenes to get things done and he doesn't blow his own horn.  I hope this PAC sees the light and will help keep his calming and reform-minded influence on the board.

Mark Melton
Mark Melton

Hi Diane.

I take every opportunity I can to speak with teachers and principals, and I would love to accept your offer to come talk with you and your group of teachers to hear your perspectives.  Please contact me directly or through educatedallas.org to find a time that will work for everyone.  I look forward to meeting you soon.

Mark Melton

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

DISD Teacher.Just because things are the way they are, its still no reason we have to see them that way

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Sir, I will. Even though I had already once emailed your group, or was it the OTHER recently formed PAC made up from the business community? I will have to research my old emails, because I recall asking the group who they were and what their point was.

Let me see when we can get them together.We would ask a lot of probing questions about which teachers you all talk to, since not one of the hundreds I know seem to know who you all are....

  We would also love to know why so much money has been fronted so early, unless it was to discourage anyone else from joining in. Interestingly, could anyone from your group be the ones beating the bushes over here in NE Dallas for someone to run against Parrott? You see, I teach at a high school in his district, and parents and neighbors have been telling me that the "Chamber" and "others" are trying to unseat him.

Just give me some time. You see, we have some more testing--the thing DISD loves to do.

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