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Eddie Bernice Johnson, Others Taking a Keen Interest In DISD Trustees' Efforts to Gut Magnet Schools and Learning Centers

Things are popping a bit today on the Dallas Independent School District magnet schools front.

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson's office confirms that Johnson is talking to the U.S. Department of Education seeking "clarification" of its current position on Title I money and school funding.

Dallas school headquarters has been insisting it must slash budgets for learning centers and magnet schools because of new federal guidelines. Apparently, Johnson is asking the Department of Education if it ever told anybody at DISD such a thing.

I must have missed a message from DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander at the end of last week. He tells me today he left me one Friday informing me that DISD is seeking new legal advice on all this from outside counsel.

Also, I may not have made it clear enough in my piece on Friday, but the Texas Education Agency informed me Friday afternoon that, "USDE and TEA are asking DISD to rerun their calculations and to be sure to include all Title I and non-Title campuses in their computations. TEA and USDE will look at that and see what it says."

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How do I read between the lines on that one?

Take it again from the top, boys and girls. That last one didn't come our right.

In addition, I think other elected officials who have been hearing from magnet and learning center advocates all weekend are beginning to ask sharp questions about other cities: I Dallas suddenly must slash its magnet schools because of federal rules, then the same thing should be happening across the country. So is it?

Expect more action between now and Thursday, when the school board meets.

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