Dallas ISD Chairman of the Board on track for re-election, Richardson ISD’s $ 750 million bond appears to be gaining voter approval
The Dallas ISD School Board will likely remain unchanged for the 2021-2022 school year.
Dallas School Board President Justin Henry got a three-to-one advantage over challenger Ulana Sigler in the early vote, holding a 1,500-vote lead to appear on track for an easy victory in her district run 9.
Henry was the only disputed trustee among three DISD races. Two trustees – Edwin Flores from District 1 and Dan Micciche from District 3 – ran unopposed and will serve for three more years.
Three of the nine district administrator seats are elected each year. And the 2021 election cycle is only the second time in the past decade that fewer than two races have been contested; in 2018, Henry forced then-titular Bernadette Nutall to compete in the runoff, while Flores and Micciche were unopposed.
Such a lack of rotation on the map is a rarity for DISD, but the stability comes at a convenient time.
The council, which will choose its officers at the next Dallas school board meeting, faces a major struggle over the coming year as the district seeks solutions to address the academic gaps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participation in the Henry / Sigler race was low, with only 2,496 votes cast in the early voting.
This is paltry compared to the historic turnout in the last DISD election in November 2020, where 86,000 voters took part in two administrator races that shared the same ballot as the U.S. presidential race.
School elections have traditionally remained on municipal ballots in May, anxious to turn races into partisan contests. Nonetheless, partisan politics has crept into several North Texas school board races, with candidates arguing over hot topics such as mask warrants and Black Lives Matter.
Meanwhile, in Highland Park, candidate Doug Woodward held a lead of nearly 1,500 votes in the early vote over Kelli Macatee. Woodward had been the target of mailings circulated by a PAC linked to hotel mogul Monty Bennett – a major campaign donor to former US President Donald Trump – who called Woodward a “New Jersey Liberal” and criticized him for exposing Black Lives Matter sign.
Macatee said she was not involved in the flyer in any way. Over $ 100,000 was raised between Woodward and Macatee in the race.
In Richardson, voters appeared to overwhelmingly support two proposals totaling $ 750 million, the largest debt issue in the district’s history.
About $ 694 million of those funds would be spent to renovate aging campuses, expand JJ Pearce High School and two nearby elementary schools, and help move sixth grade from elementary campuses to middle schools.
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