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  • Lori Kirkpatrick

Private Partnership Charter

Dallas ISD has scheduled four simultaneous community meetings on February 12, 2019 at 6:30 pm (see below) regarding the proposed policy change allowing private partnership charters. The District has updated the proposed policy known as ELA (local) and includes only the following change:

Applicability: The District will consider applications for pre-kindergarten Partnerships only.

While this narrows the current intention to pre-K, it does not change the fact that this amounts to taxation without representation and sets a very dangerous precedent. Looking at the timeline the District published over the weekend, SB 1882 was being considered early in 2018, and was never mentioned during the TRE campaign.

It is shameful that Texas apparently has the necessary funding to provide to school districts, but in order to access said funding districts are required to give up local control to private organizations. This strips our community of the most basic of democratic tenets.

There is but one reason for this partnership law, known as SB 1882 created by the state legislature in 2017, to allow for the privatization of public schools.

Some have tried to claim that the partnership private board will not be autonomous. The partnership charter clearly gives the partner full autonomous control:

ELA (local): The Board shall recognize the governing board of the Partnership as independent and autonomous from the Board and District, with full authority and accountability for the Partnership's performance and operations.

The devil is in the legal details. Read the ELA (legal), or the legal interpretation of the policy. It states:

The operating partner must have authority over the employees of the operating partner, including initial and final nondelegable authority for the operating partner to employ and/or manage all of the operating partner's own administrators, educators, contractors, or other staff. Such authority includes the authority to hire, supervise, manage, assign, evaluate, develop, advance, compensate, continue employment and establish any other terms of employment.

The operating partner must have:

Initial and final authority to approve all curriculum decisions...

Initial and final authority over educational programs....

Initial and final authority to set the school calendar and daily schedule....

Initial and final authority to approve all assessments that are not required by the state...

Initial and final authority to adopt and implement the campus budget.

DISD should use its voice and standing in the state to call out this very undemocratic means of funding and should honor this community's desire to maintain local control via our locally elected school board.

You can find more information and documents here.

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