Volunteers discuss ways to improve DISD schools

With changes at the top in Dallas ISD and an upcoming bond election, a small group of volunteers are hashing out their wish list for Dallas schools.

Our Community, Our Schools is a group that grew out of the opposition to a make DISD a home rule district.

The group successfully pushed back on the idea of home rule about a year ago and is now recommending other reforms, including having DISD implement a  community schools model.

That means increasing the level of social services provided in Dallas schools for students and their families. 

With the exit of Superintendent Mike Miles, who resigned in June, and the possibility that Dr. Michael Hinojosa, the interim superintendent and lone finalist for the job, will take the reins once again, the group says now is the time to get a jumpstart on turning around struggling schools. 

 “There are some big transitions that are happening in the district right now, and the community voice needs to be heard,” said Rena Honea, Alliance AFT President. “We need to be able to have an avenue to express their thoughts about what's happening.”

“We want transparency,” said Dr. Juanita Wallace with Our Community, Our Schools. “We want honesty. We want everything to be done with the collaboration of the trustees as well as the community. We want community input at all times."

The group also wants the school board to do more to explain what’s in a proposed bond package.

Trustees just agreed to put a $1.6 billion bond question to voters in the district on Nov. 3.

The district says the package would pay to build nine new or replacement schools, add classrooms and make repairs to existing schools.