DALLAS The 15-member committee that could decide the future of the Dallas Independent School District met for the first time Monday night.

Consisting of lawyers, teachers and community activists, the group will weigh whether or not to adopt a home rule charter for the district.

Home rule would change the Dallas ISD's board structure. It could also consider curriculum changes and it would separate the district from some state oversight.

The committee met for just over three hours Monday night, the bulk of it dealing with administrative topics that must be addressed before moving forward.

The biggest concern for many watching the home rule process play out is how quickly these 15 people could decide on a new constitution.

A group opposed to home rule attended the meeting, asking that the committee take all the time it is given by law which is one year to research and make a decision.

Others believe those in favor of home rule could be hoping to have the new charter on a November ballot.

But between the rules, the research and public feedback, there is a lot for this committee to cover.

'There seems to be a lot to go through after listening to the attorneys, so I'm not putting any time frame on it,' said Ron Oliver, a DISD teacher who was elected vice-chair of the committee. 'I think everyone needs to have a voice. The parents need to have a voice, and that is part of the process also.'

With general housekeeping issues out of the way, there should be actual debate and discussion over home rule at the next committee meeting, but the group left without setting a date for it, saying they'll communicate via e-mail to determine the timetable.


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