DISD Board Danger to Democracy
Ruthless Power Must Be Stopped…
"Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and never will." – Frederick Douglass
DALLAS-In her own words, Dallas Independent School District tells it like it is when it comes to the DISD and its dealing with its citizenry.
As an insider elected to represent her district, Ranger’s warnings are stunning and should be an eye opener to all activists, taxpayers and citizens concerned about dictatorial totalitarian rule.
“What this vote reveals are Trustees who seem to have no respect for the public who voted to elect us but also Trustees who are ruthless enough to assault the very foundation of the democratic process itself - the right of the public to vote in fair elections open to all - especially during a time when there is a growing crisis of confidence, Ranger said. “Democracy is not a consent agenda item. This Board is a danger to democratic rule.”
She was commenting on the Nov. 20 action where the board voted 7-2 to adopt four year terms postponing upcoming elections for some board members under fire for mishandling school funding issues and supporting embattled superintendent Michael Hinojosa who has led the district down a path that has it currently with a $64 million deficit and has many schools in African-American neighborhoods lacking resources and in disrepair.
Ranger represents District 6 and was elected to the Board of Trustees in June 2006.
“The Dallas ISD culture is one of arrogance, deceit, cover-up and cronyism,” she said in a statement.
Ranger intends to file objections with the U.S. Department of Justice and have already contacted both the Secretary of State's office and Commisssioner Robert Scott for further clarification of the Texas Education Code Subsection 11.059(e)December 31, 2007 deadline, along with a request for possible assistance in obtaining an Opinion of the Texas Attorney General, if that is necessary. Others will probably do the same.
”I do not believe four year terms serve the public interest,” she said. “It is the duty of a Trustee to oppose what might be a violation of a state law contained in the Texas Education Code until the matter is settled.”
The board acted despite opposition and numerous protests by citizens, organizations and activists, the current board has failed to respond to a call for Hinojosa to step down or to issue a report defining where the money went or how it was spent throughout the district.
According to Ranger, the current turmoil demonstrates the willingness of the Dallas ISD Board to use “ruthless” politics to preserve it own power - That move is now being reviewed by the Texas State Attorney General.
She also blasted a culture of cronyism led by Board President Jack Lowe – who himself has blocked a confidence vote on Hinojosa and is not listening to citizens who also are calling for him to step aside.
Her thoughts on the vote are prophetic and revealing.
The vote to change Trustee terms from three to four years was all about preserving a wrongheaded administration and a wrongheaded Board - nothing else, she said.
Some people want open government. Dallas ISD wants closed government with committees operating in secret without public accountability.
All of this is about an intolerant agenda that seeks to stack the deck toward majority exclusion of minority political rights. Only certain political majorities can prevail or even have issues considered. Board policy is violated by the President and the Board allows it.
We have seen this before in Dallas ISD history but not as clearly attached to an agenda that threatens democracy itself.
“The Dallas ISD needs to be cleaned up and cleaned out, beginning with the Board right on through the Superintendent,” she writes. “His (Hinojosa) deeply flawed administration appears to have little respect for truth, teachers or taxpayers.”