Dallas judge calls November home-rule vote unrealistic

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 18 at 7:41 PM

DALLAS -- Any hopes to get the Dallas ISD home-rule charter initiative on the ballot for November may have been dashed Wednesday afternoon.

The home-rule initiative objective is to remove DISD from under state jurisdiction and to form a new governance model in hopes of improving education.

Dallas civil court Judge Carl Ginsberg called the November target date for a district-wide election “inconsistent with reality” given all the deadlines and timetables that must be met.

Ginsberg held a hearing on a lawsuit filed by the teachers union, Alliance AFT. The union sued DISD, saying it illegally appointed four teachers to the 15-member commission charged with drafting a new home-rule constitution.

DISD trustees are charged with selecting the other 11 members, and at this point, have not made any selections.

The four teacher representatives were selected by DISD’s District-wide Advisory Committee. But Alliance AFT filed suit arguing that the all of the members of advisory committee were not elected, as required by state law.

While he has yet to issue a formal ruling, Ginsberg agreed after four hours of testimony Wednesday, saying the evidence “clearly shows that the District-wide Advisory Committee was not assembled according to the law.”

Ginsberg postponed a formal ruling because he wanted to contemplate “what harm has been done” by the district not following the law. He is expected to rule Thursday.

Ginsburg indicated that if he rules in favor of the teachers union, the DISD District-wide Advisory Committee could meet again at the beginning of the fall semester and select its four representatives to the home-rule constitution committee in accordance with state law.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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