Why SOPS Is Losing Me

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.

One thought on “Why SOPS Is Losing Me

  1. Watching the phrases SOPS is trying to claim hit a new low point today when they put “Our Schools, Our Community” on a video they posted on their web site. They must have had a spy at a meeting of those fighting “home rule” the day before. That group had voted to adopt the reverse of that name: “Our Community, Our Schools.”

    SOPS is neither made up of, nor funded by, a majority of people who live in our communities sending students to DISD.

    Those fighting the so-called “home rule” are overwhelmingly Dallas residents intimately involved with DISD schools.

    You touched on many of our concerns. Those concerns are growing and expanding as time passes. Apathy is the greatest barrier to excellent schools! The best mechanism for the public to control our schools is already in place, but I agree it must be improved! We must rid DISD districts of the gerrymandering that confuses voters and lessens turnout. It also lessens the number of community leaders willing to step forward to run for trustee positions.

    We also need to be able to recall trustees who suddenly engage in behaviors that are not acceptable, and should move all school board elections to November. All this can be done without any “home rule” Trojan Horse danger being necessary.

    Just attend school board meetings and speak up! Apathy remains the biggest factor stopping our schools from improving.

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