Fort Worth school board candidates talk about term limits, school funding

Posted Monday, Apr. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- Term limits, school funding and student performance were among the issues touched on Monday night in a forum for five candidates running for two seats on the Fort Worth school board.

District 1 Trustee Carlos Vasquez noted that schools in his district, which includes much of the north side and eastern parts of Arlington Heights, have improved their dropout rates and that District 1 has the most schools rated recognized, the second-highest of the state's four tiers of academic accountability.

His predecessor on the board, Camille Rodriguez who is running again for the seat, said Vasquez shouldn't take all the credit.

The groundwork was laid while she was on the board, Rodriguez said.

"Everybody in this room knows Barry Switzer won those Super Bowls with Jimmy Johnson's team," she said.

The line got a burst of laughter from the 100 people in the audience at Tarrant County College's Trinity River Campus.

Vasquez said his other challenger, Jacinto Ramos Jr., a political newcomer, did not know that the board does not have term limits.

"We can't afford a learning curve on the board," he said.

The forum was sponsored by the Fort Worth Council of PTAs. Candidates answered questions chosen by the organization's candidate forum committee and then questions submitted by the audience.

Two seats on the nine-member school board are up for election May 11. Terms are four years.

Ramos noted that he is the only District 1 candidate who has children. He's a father of three.

"I'm not here for politics. I'm not here to play," he said.

"With me you get the best of both worlds. You get a street-level guy who understands policy."

In District 9, which includes parts of north and northeast Fort Worth and extends to the near southside, Trustee Juan Rangel is challenged by Ashley Paz.

Melody Palacios dropped out of the race but not in time for her name to be removed from the ballot.

Rangel, without naming his opponent, touted his education, including a master's degree in public administration and bilingual capability.

Paz said she worked full time to put herself through college but left in her sophomore year to work. She then started her own business.

Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326

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