ANCHIA FILES BILL TO IMPROVE DISD GOVERNANCE
Proposals in HB 2579 would go to voters for approval
Last week Rep. Rafael Anchia filed HB 2579, a bi-partisan bill that would implement provisions related to the governance of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) by requiring the DISD school board to order an election on six individual proposals. The proposals would:
- Establish a non-voting student trustee to serve on the DISD Board of Trustees;
- Allow the board the flexibility to consider a start date prior to the fourth week of August;
- Change the DISD elections to November;
- Allow for termination of the Superintendent's contract or other employment to be terminated upon a vote of at least two-thirds of the District's Board of Trustees at a public meeting posted for that purpose ( to begin after the current superintendent contract);
- Allow for District Trustees to receive compensation equal to the amount of the average salary of a teacher with a Bachelor's degree; and
- Implement redistricting reforms almost identical to those adopted by the City of Dallas and overwhelmingly approved by voters in the November 2014 elections.
"This bill is not aimed at criticizing current trustees," said Rep. Anchia. "This legislation strengthens school board governance and seeks to rally the community around issues that had broad-based support during the DISD reform discussion of the last months."
The Dallas Morning News editorial of March 15, 2015 urged legislators to pass HB 2579: "Dallas residents want something done to improve our schools. The best we can do as voters is to consider ideas that might give the district the government it needs to support real and lasting reform."
"Representative Anchia's bill offers a set of common-sense reforms that free up our institution to determine the best course for the 160,000 students in DISD," added DISD Board President Miguel Solis. "Ultimately, if HB 2579 were to pass, any final decision would rest with our local voters, making this bill the epitome of local control."
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins had this to say about paying trustees: "Voters in the DISD boundaries should determine whether and how much DISD trustees are paid. Serving on the DISD board, which oversees a district with over 150,000 students, is a huge time commitment not many working people can make and our children deserve the very best our community has to offer.â€