Direct Action Texas (DAT) called out the Fort Worth ISD School Board for ditching their ethics policy just before voting on a $750 million bond package. We opined that certain Board Trustees made the decision because they may be unable to adhere to the new policy and cash in on the massive bond. So, they buried its repeal in a long, vaguely worded consent agenda.
Other Trustees were outraged when they discovered the subterfuge, feeling tricked into voting out the merely three-month-old policy. Even the liberal Fort Worth Star Telegram weighed in against the removal of the policy with a serious of articles including this scathing rebuke from the Editorial Board. As outlined in another FWST piece, the Board is still in turmoil over what “ethics” means in Fort Worth.
Ethics and transparency aren’t just an issue for the Fort Worth ISD Board. The trouble extends to district staff, struggling with even the most basic of open records requests. DAT filed a request with Fort Worth ISD for Campaign Finance Reports (CFRs) filed by Political Action Committees (PACs). Now, almost 3 months later, the PACs’ reports have still not been produced.
DAT has followed the rules. We sent our request in writing. We received confirmation. We waited the full 10 business days, as required by law. We took the only next step and sent a violation letter to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG). The OAG then sent Fort Worth ISD a demand letter telling them to produce the information. Yet still we wait. Why? What are they hiding? Is the Fort Worth ISD trying to hide information or are they simply inept?