At about 5:50 pm today, I received a call from a Fort Worth attorney, Ben Barlow, representing the Dallas Independent School District on the magnet school and learning center issue. He informed me that my piece posted to Unfair Park on Friday night was dead wrong and that there are no waivers for magnets from federal Title I requirements. Barlow -- who is, I bet, a very good lawyer -- read me the law and made a very persuasive case.
One hour later, I received a call from DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander, who informed me that at 5:37 p.m. DISD had been informed by the Texas Education Agency in Austin that waivers would be granted from federal Title I budget limits for seven of the Dallas school system's nine magnet schools. The seven magnet schools that will not be affected by budget cuts related to Title I requirements, Dahlander said, are Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, Harry Stone Montessori Academy, George Bannerman Dealey Montessori Vanguard and International Academy, William B. Travis Academy/Vanguard for the Academically Talented and Gifted, H.W. Longfellow Career Exploration Academy and Dallas Environmental Science Academy.
The lawyer and other DISD persons had been dealing with The Dallas Morning News all day, helping them, I'm sure, prepare a story saying we had been wrong and there could be no waivers. I only heard from the lawyer because DISD had already stalled me on talking to their lawyer for the better part of a week. They didn't want to have it come out that one of their lawyers had been chatting with The News all day but had refused to talk to me.
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More to come in the morning, after I talk to Barlow again.