Texas: DISD Spanish Speaking Policy Being Revisited

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Thu Oct 5 10:31:43 UTC 2006

Oct 3, 2006 9:29 pm US/Central

DISD Spanish Speaking Policy Being Revisited

Sarah Dodd

(CBS 11 News) DALLAS A controversial DISD policy is making its way back to
trustees. The decision to require certain principals to speak Spanish as a
condition of employment sparked a heated battle last summer. A DISD
meeting last August was so contentious it drew the national spotlight.
Board trustees debated the merits of a policy that would make it a
condition of employment, for many elementary school principals, to speak
Spanish. The issue brought vocal supporters and critics, but passed. Now,
CBS 11 News has learned the policy will be revisited next week.

I believe our parents have to feel welcome, that's why we passed the
policy, said Dr. Edwin Flores, DISD trustee. DISD trustee Dr. Lew
Blackburn says, This is not about students, this is about hiring more
Hispanic principals. The policy was adopted last year in a narrow 5-4
vote. Trustee Carla Ranger is pushing revisiting the issue. The language
she has requested is as follows It shall be the policy of the Dallas
Independent School District that no principal shall be required to speak
or write any language other than Standard English as a condition of
employment, promotion or retention."

Ranger would not return calls from CBS 11 News for comment, but Dr. Flores
confirms that she requested the item to be on next weeks agenda. I
certainly don't think this existing policy has had a chance to show if
it's working and making a difference, Flores said. The issue will go back
before trustees next week, and it could be voted on again on October 26th.



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