While a parent-led transparency movement in public schools continues growing statewide, an education conference last month in Dallas shared tools school districts can use. Providing records more quickly wasn’t discussed, but North Texas citizens told us how important transparency is in school districts.
The Texas Public Information Act (PIA) recognizes a citizen’s right to “inspect or copy” state and local government records. Since last year, an increasing number of Texans have been using the PIA to expose what is happening in their local school districts.
In North Texas, for example, open records requests (ORRs) from citizens revealed communications that led to the indictment of two Carroll Independent School District board trustees for violating state law. ORRs also exposed that the district applied for state taxpayer funds meant for abuse victims to help fund a leftist Cultural Competence Action Plan.
These and other actions led to the following question being asked of school board members and administrators at a Texas education panel last month entitled “Uncivil Discourse: Managing Disruptive Comments and Complaints in a Time of Unrest.”