I'm running because I believe that DISD is Dallas’ biggest problem.
Dallas needs a first class public school system in order to retain and attract businesses, jobs, and families. Many companies will come to the DFW area, but not to the city of Dallas because of our school system. We have too many families who feel they must pay for private school (on top of their property taxes) or move away to another school district in order to provide the education they want for their children.
DISD has 158,000 students. Less than 75% of the students graduate in four years, and less than 10% of the students who take the SAT or ACT are "college ready." If you do the arithmetic, and the current trends continue, over 100,000 students will leave DISD over the next decade with little or no chance to succeed.
This is everyone’s problem, whether or not you have kids and whether or not your kids are in DISD.
DISD is a complex organization with more than 20,000 employees, 225 schools, and a $1.5 billion budget.Improvements are needed in budgeting, record keeping, technology support and especially human resources (for example, they don’t screen resumes or check references).I think we can do better than this.
As someone who went to public schools from kindergarten through college, and as someone who is the first in his family to graduate from college, I want the kids at DISD to have the same opportunities that I had.
Every child deserves an excellent education.
What inspires me to run, and what leads me to believe I can make a difference, is my experience at Fannin Elementary School and my background and experience as a business lawyer and partner in charge of hiring at my law firm, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P.
In 2005, I organized a school partnership between my law firm and Fannin Elementary on Ross Avenue. The school faces enormous challenges of poverty (99% of the kids are on the school lunch program), minimal parental involvement, difficult language barriers, a transient population, and hardly any of the families have computers. Over the past 7 years, we have regularly provided a consistent group of volunteers to tutor, mentor, and work on other projects at Fannin, and we have had many more people who have made contributions of money, clothing, shoes, books, and school supplies as well as holiday gifts.
In 2009, the school attained exemplary status. WFAA did a news story on the school's success. What stands out most to me about our school partnership is the commitment and devotion of the teachers and their principal. Their efforts are truly inspiring. They give their best and go the extra mile every day for these kids.
We have good teachers in DISD. We need to support them. I believe that working together we can replicate that kind of success across DISD.
The election is scheduled for May 12th. The first day of early voting starts on April 30th!
I would very much value your support and your vote. Find out more about helping my campaign on my website - http://danfordisd.com/ I look forward to talking with you more. Thank you for your support.
Be the change you want to see in our public schools!