City Hall

Mayor's Chief of Staff: Yes, Rawlings and Blackburn Met Friday, But Not About Charters

Oh, and there's one more thing to ask Edwin Flores about tonight: his $10,000 check from the Dallas Regional Chamber-connected EducateDallas political action committee. At least, Carla Ranger, Flores's fellow Dallas ISD trustee, has some issues with it; she says so this morning on her blog, beneath the headline "Dallas ISD Trustees for sale - starting price $10,000.00."

I also see that Ranger posted to her blog yesterday, wondering if perhaps her colleagues' vote on Thursday to shutter 11 campuses didn't have something to do with converting one or more into charters, speaking of. Specifically, she wonders if DISD board president Lew Blackburn and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings met Friday to discuss "Dallas ISD school business" and just maybe turning over D.A. Hulcy Middle School to Deion Sanders, who wants to get into the charter-school business himself.

I asked DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander and the mayor's chief of staff, Paula Blackmon, if they could answer Ranger's questions. Dahlander doesn't have access to Blackburn's schedule, so he wasn't sure. I'm trying to reach Blackburn now. (Update: He's out of town, at a conference, and unavailable.) But Blackmon confirms: Rawlings and Blackburn did meet Friday, but not to discus Hulcy, she says. "They did not meet about specific schools," Blackmon tells Unfair Park. Rather, she says, Friday's sit-down was about "real broad stuff" and one in a series of periodic conversations between the mayor and the school board president concerning "overarching city and district issues."

Blackmon says Rawlings also wants to talk with Blackburn about the mayor's trip to Seattle planned for Thursday. Rawlings, she says, is going to meet with representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I asked: About what? "I don't know specifically what the agenda is." Ah, now I have something to do this week.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky