A veteran incumbent is returning to the Dallas school board following Saturday’s election – and two new members will join him. But there will be a runoff for one of the others seats on the Dallas school board.
After Dallas school trustee Mike Morath became the state’s education commissioner, four candidates ran to replace him. No one got more than 50 percent of the vote to win outright.
Dustin Marshall, in the trucking business, earned 43 percent, so he’ll be in the June 18 runoff.
“I’ve got 15 years’ experience working in public education, including Boston, Chicago and in Dallas,” Marshall says. “In the last five years, I’ve been deeply involved at a district level working with a variety of different nonprofits all in the education space.”
Marshall backs recent Dallas school reforms like efforts to increase early childhood education, and he wants to see them continue.
Mita Havlick, who got 28 percent of the vote, commends Marshall’s volunteer efforts, and says she’s also been a long-time school volunteer. But she adds there’s a difference. Her children go to Dallas schools. His don’t.
“I’m a firm believer that anybody should send their children to any school they feel is appropriate for their child,” Havlick says. “It’s a personal choice. However, to truly advocate for our public school system, you have to have skin in the game. And I have that.”
Marshall attended the private Greenhill School as a child, says he benefitted greatly, and he’s now able to do the same for his kids, so he is. He adds he’s got skin in the game as a taxpayer and volunteer in the schools.
In District 4, Nancy Bingham decided not to run after a dozen years on the board. That district will see Jaimie Resendez, a Latino, take the seat. He likes the school choice options Dallas recently created -- they offer unique career and academic options. His daughter will attend the new Solar Preparatory School for girls, with a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math.
“I think that’s a way to make people more engaged with the district,” he says. “Make the district more interesting and make parents and students want to come to our schools.”
In District 7, newcomer Audrey Pinkerton beat Isaac Faz by nearly 20 percentage points, even though he outspent her.
And in District 5, longtime incumbent Lew Blackburn will return to the board after defeating his closest opponent by 13 points.
Other school election results
In school bond elections, McKinney voters approved a $220 million package that will include a new stadium. Grapevine-Colleyville okayed a $249 million package and Richardson voters said yes to $437 million in school bonds. Coppell school district voters passed a $249 million package, but it was a close election – the package passed with about 51 percent of the vote.
In the Carrollton Farmers Branch school district, Guillermo Ramos will continue serving on the school board. He had sued the district over the way it elects trustees – the district settled last year and Ramos became the district’s first Latino trustee. Under the settlement, the district moved from an at-large system to what’s known as a cumulative voting procedure. The top three vote-getters in Saturdays’ election won seats on the school board, and Ramos was one of the top three.
Municipal election results
Fort Worth voters on Saturday approved to expand the City Council, but it was a squeaker. Just over 50 percent of the voters said yes to growing the council from its current eight members to 10, plus the mayor. It will be several years before the council gets bigger. The new districts won’t be drawn until after the 2020 census. But Fort Worth voters rejected pay hikes for the mayor and for city council members.
In Keller, an attempt to recall mayor Mark Mathews failed.