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Nov 21 2018

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TCTA Urges School Board to Decline DOI Status: Educational Standards likely lowered through designation

By J. NOEL ESPINOZA
Special to the NEWS

Fearing a lower quality of education, teachers belonging to the Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA) advised the San Benito school board to reject what is known as District of Innovation (DOI) status.
TCTA raised its concerns during a regular board meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
Dohn S. Larson, director of legal services for TCTA, spoke briefly to the board during the public comment section of the meeting where he stated that the 550 TCTA membership wants the district to reject a resolution to pursue district of innovation status (DOI).
According to the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), the district of innovation concept was passed into law in 2015 when the 84th Texas Legislature created Texas Education Code chapter 12A, Districts of Innovation. The law allows traditional independent school districts to access most of the flexibilities available to Texas’ open enrollment charter schools.
Larson said the reason behind acquiring DOI is to save the district money at the risk of compromising quality education. Even though SBCISD hasn’t yet implemented such status, Larson said district officials act like that’s what they are planning to do.

“It appears that the district has already adopted its DOI plan,” Larson said. “A copy of the plan has circulated and outlines four exemptions.”
Some of the exemptions include adding the ratio to more than 22 students per teacher in grades K4, and hiring non-certified teachers, Larson said.
Before taking any decision, Larson said the district must hold a public hearing before considering taking the next step.
Pursuing District of Innovation Status will circumvent the process such as getting citizens input and public hearings before considering whether to move forward with the plan, Larson said.
Alberto Mosqueda, a teacher and TCTA member, hopes the district won’t pursuit DOI status.
“It will put uncertified teachers in the classroom, and it will increase the class sizes,” Mosqueda said. “We feel that (DOI) it won’t be the best for our students.”
Hector Madrigal, SBCISD assistant superintendent of academic services, said the district has not taken a decision to either reject or seek District of Innovation (DOI) status.
“The Board of Trustees has not made a final decision as we are still on step one of the process,” Madrigal said through an email sent to the News.
Madrigal didn’t want to make any observations whether the district will be lowering its standards if it pursues such DOI status.
“We are not a DOI,” Madrigal said. “Therefore, I have no comment.

 

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2018/11/21/tcta-urges-school-board-to-decline-doi-status-educational-standards-likely-lowered-through-designation/

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