On Tuesday, the Dallas Independent School District announced it's splitting Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center into two schools, divvying up the six magnets housed within and reducing the number of principals from seven to two in an effort to save money -- and teachers. Shortly after the release went out, I called district spokesman Jon Dahlander and asked if this was something that could be done without the approval of the board of trustees. Absolutely, he said: "The superintendent has the authority to make those changes."
But Carla Ranger disputes that: Writing on her blog this morning, the trustee insists that, per local board policy concerning magnet schools, only the trustees have the power to make that decision based upon the administration's recommendations:
These are difficult times, and difficult decisions must be made. Trustees might decide to make other changes or simply accept the recommendations of the administration. That is understood. What is not understood is the failure to follow Board policy.
Decisions cannot be made by Trustees outside of an official Board meeting. This would be a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act. And nothing has been presented to the Board for an official decision.
If Ranger can gather enough fellow trustees who agree with her, they can place an item on the board's agenda for further discussion. But Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's contract does give him the power to "assume administrative authority and responsibility for the assignment, reassignment and evaluation of all personnel other than the superintendent." Furthermore it says he has the "authority to organize, reorganize, arrange, direct, assign, reassign and transfer all staff in the manner which best serves the district."