You know, I was really trying to keep an open mind about the Support Our Public Schools campaign to make DISD a “home rule” district. (You can read my initial thoughts on the topic in this month’s Lakewood Advocate Magazine.) I liked the idea of an open, honest, public conversation about the pros and cons of home rule, and who doesn’t love a good referendum? I particularly liked the idea of creating self-regulated sub-districts within DISD, so East Dallas could have its own school district.
I even accepted the premise that Mayor Rawlings wanted to put control of our schools under the mayor, but that wasn’t a deal breaker for me because I frankly didn’t think he could pull that off. A lot of cards would have to be stacked just right to make that happen, and I haven’t seen Rawlings exhibit the kind of political skills necessary to engineer something like that. I wasn’t to the point that I would have signed their petition, but I was open to being persuaded, and at the very least, I figured we could have a healthy conversation about our schools.
But the mayor and other home rule supporters are making it awfully hard to like SOPS. What with the lack of transparency about donors and supporters (and the asinine response of “We don’t have to tell the likes of you!”), to the cloudy motives behind the initiative, to what seems to be an anti-teacher, pro-charter school attitude, they’ve pretty much lost me.