Letters to the Editor

Arlington’s mean district; end of elections; Patrick’s meetings; for the kids

Local elections were held Saturday.
Local elections were held Saturday. Star-Telegram

Arlington’s mean district

How can it be that two Arlington ISD incumbents lost and one only survived by a few votes when they serve on the “Best School Board in Texas”? I would like to explain.

AISD has gotten a reputation for being one of the meanest school districts in the area. Examples include driving off one of the most well-liked and competent elementary school principals in Arlington.

To believe that this principal just decided for no reason to walk away from the children before the end of the year is laughable. You don’t necessarily have to fire someone to drive them off.

Second, when helping teachers fill out retirement paperwork, I have found that Arlington is the only district that tries to bully teachers and tell them they can’t retire at the end of a semester when it is clearly allowed by the Texas Teacher Retirement System.

These are just two examples of how a district reflects a non-caring attitude and a public perception of indifference. New members, please bring back the days of James Martin when AISD was a family.

— Dick Powell, Arlington

End of elections

The real blessing to the election being over is that the rude, invasive, irritating phone calls will stop — at least until the next election.

They should be against the law.

— Betty Stevens, Fort Worth

Patrick’s meetings

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s regular conference calls to select business leaders and donors for advice on issues is an example of a good idea but with poor application.

I am surprised that no one on his staff alerted him to the possibility of the political fallout for such activity.

Regardless of the good intentions, meetings held by public officials about public business should have public access. Even though this procedure meets the requirements of the Texas Open Record law, it smacks of secret meetings.

— Johnny Ellis,

Arlington

For the kids

Sen. Konni Burton has introduced legislation (SB 1862) that would prohibit school districts and other public institutions from advocating on behalf of their constituents.

Aren’t our elected officials in Austin there to seek all viewpoints, then decide on a course of action?

There is a huge difference between lobbying and advocacy. Pearson lobbies for approval of funds (textbooks, assessment tools) that directly impact public education. If they are successful, the only “winner” is Pearson.

On the other hand, the Texas Association of School Boards advocates on behalf of the more than 7,000 public school trustees. TASB and other education advocates are the “voice” for the over 5 million public education students (and growing) in the state.

Unlike Pearson, TASB is not focused on self-interests but advocates for student issues relating to funding, graduation requirements, curriculum and myriad other topics.

Public education students deserve the right to be heard in Austin; SB 1862 would quiet that voice to the detriment of all students.

The responsibility of our representatives in Austin is to listen to all voices, not to silence those whose opinions differ from their own.

— Craig Rothmeier,

Southlake

Letters

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