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Corporate reformers don’t like democracy. They don’t like elected school boards. They like mayoral control, state takeovers, all-charter districts, emergency managers. Anything but democracy.
In Dallas, the corporate reformers had the idea that the way to by-pass democracy was to utilize an obscure state law that would turn the district into a “home rule” district. Billionaire John Arnold helped to fund a group called “Save Our Public Schools,” which collected signatures for a referendum to create a home rule district. No one knows how it would have worked, but its backers were hoping it would turn Dallas into an all-charter district like Néw Orleans.
Despite the money and activity, the proposal simply died. With Dan Patrick, a voucher advocate as Lt. Governor, it is likely to come back again.
“Last night in Dallas, the commission that could have completely redesigned the city’s school system—handed control to the mayor, done away with elected trustees or rewritten teacher contracts—voted instead to call off its school reform experiment entirely.
“It’s a quiet end to a dramatic reform drive that began almost a year ago, when a group called Support Our Public Schools announced its plans to make the state’s second-largest school system into its first “home-rule charter” district.”
Investigative journalist George Joseph called this reform the “Big Dallas Plunder.” he says the business community wanted to open the charter floodgates. All those poor kids with low test scores, they thought, need charters, not small classes.