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Local ISD To Leave School Board Association

Carroll ISD Administration Center | Image by The Parkview Residences

SOUTHLAKE — The Board of Trustees for the Carroll Independent School District (CISD) became the first public school district to leave the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Monday evening, voting 5-1 in favor of leaving at a school board meeting with one trustee absent.

Before the vote, a handful of members of the public registered their opinions on the topic, as well as the adoption of a social studies curriculum program known as One Southlake, which was also on the board’s agenda.

Mitchell Ryan, a parent of two boys attending Rockenbaugh Elementary, took the podium, affirming a previous speaker’s claims that TASB officials are highly paid on district taxpayers’ dime.

“They’ve got all these other agendas and these agendas are not popular with Texas … I fully applaud you for bringing this resolution forward. And I want to encourage you to keep going,” he added.

District taxpayer and parent Jennifer Schutter also spoke but against both the TASB resolution and the adoption of One Southlake.

“I object to One Southlake’s xenophobic and myopic view of immigrants … Is CISD really about parental choice or just the choice of parents who donate to the Southlake Family PAC and buy their phones from Patriot Mobile? If you really believe in parental choice, you will allow us to [opt-in or out],” Schutter said.

One Southlake is a locally-developed program that claims to “educate students on what it is like NOT to grow up in the United States through the stories of people who have immigrated here … [hoping] to create a deeper appreciation of America and its history through the eyes of people who did not grow up with the liberties and opportunities many of us take for granted.”

She went on to claim that CISD leaving TASB would be a political decision that would result in increased legal fees, insurance costs, and expenses since the association provides a number of services to its member districts.

Another speaker in attendance was Frisco Independent School District Trustee Marvin Lowe, who addressed the CISD Board in support of the TASB resolution.

“I look at what [TASB] stood for and what your community stood for and those things didn’t go together … Why has it taken so long for some to say, ‘Hey, we don’t need to be a part of it.’… And I’m telling you, I know there’s so many other school boards that feel this way but have not taken the leadership to go out there and do something,” Lowe said.

When it came time to discuss the TASB resolution, Trustee Michelle Moore voiced her opposition, claiming that the board was moving too fast and had not officially made any moves to research alternative vendors for services the association offers, which include workman’s comp programming, legal services, employee surveys, comparative pay studies, and policy templates and guidance, among others.

“I think we just need to pause for a minute on this … I mean, there’s a resolution here stating that we believe as a board that all of these things will be readily available on the free market at competitive prices. We don’t know that. I think we’re jumping ahead here,” Moore said.

Multiple members challenged Moore, noting that a number of them were aware of TASB alternatives for some services and that the district could potentially save a lot in taxpayer money.

“Trust me, my name would not be on this resolution if I didn’t feel that the groundwork … has already been done to find substitutes that do not put economic hardship onto this school district,” said Trustee Andrew Yeager. “There may not be options that you’re familiar with, but there may be options that these officers that have our name on this are familiar with.”

Just before the vote was taken, Board President Cameron Bryan said, “We still have a membership [with TASB] through August, five months from now. We still have plenty of time for our administration to go and do an RFP process and present back to us all the bids for insurance purposes and any other services that we need. There’s literally five months to work on it.”

The board proceeded to vote on the TASB resolution, with Moore being the sole vote against.

The Dallas Express reached out to TASB for comment before the vote was taken. The organization issued the following statement:

“TASB is an organization founded on the tradition that locally elected school boards are best equipped to govern and lead their school districts. We respect the right of the Carroll ISD Board to assess and evaluate their membership in TASB and any additional services and programs their district participates in.

“It’s our hope that their assessment will result in what we know is true: TASB is a non-partisan, member association that has worked for nearly 75 years to support school boards and strengthen Texas public schools. Our non-profit programs and services are designed to help districts save taxpayer money – keeping resources in the classroom where they belong.”

TASB President Debbie Gillespie also shared with The Dallas Express before the vote, “As a 12-year trustee … I would [like to] add that I personally have benefited greatly from a wide variety of TASB services that are offered to school board trustees and the districts we serve.”

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2 Comments

  1. Karen

    It only takes one brave soul to start a movement. Kudos to CISD for taking the road less traveled.

    Reply
    • Donna

      Let us hope more follow.

      Reply

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