Dr. Brian Dixon and Wallace Bridges will continue their battle for the Fort Worth ISD District 4 school board seat as their race heads to a runoff election.
With the runoff putting the candidates toe to toe on June 18, it’s likely Bridges will continue to focus on allegations that Dixon does not live in the district.
Unofficial results posted early Sunday morning showed 1,477 people voted in the District 4 race with 47.46% for Dixon, 37.1% for Bridges and 15.44% for Trischelle Strong.
Bridges contends Dixon lives in Crowley ISD — where he co-owns a home, according to the Tarrant Appraisal District website — but Dixon filed to run with the address of 1109 E. Leuda St., which is in the district. He told the Report he lives at the address and has a lease with the owner.
But Dixon claims his homestead exemption on a property at 1104 E. Leuda St. When the Report visited both 1104 and 1109 E. Leuda St. homes, someone else lived there. Property owners cannot claim a homestead exemption on a home that is not their primary residence, Tarrant Appraisal District Executive Director Jeff Law confirmed April 21.
Law told the Report on May 5 the appraisal district is in the process of gathering information and asked Dixon to reapply for the homestead exemption at 1104 E. Leuda St. Law said the district would evaluate the exemption once it receives his response.
On the other side of town, District 1 elected Dr. Camille Rodriguez over police officer Aaron Garcia to fill the Northside seat on the school board after the resignation of Jacinto Ramos. Both candidates were Northside natives.
With 1,381 voters casting a ballot, Rodriguez received 55.68% of the votes.
Now, Rodriguez said the really hard work begins. This work includes hiring a new superintendent and getting Fort Worth ISD students on track to be successful. She also said she hopes to help with teacher morale — which could mean salary raises — and engage parents.
This will not be the first term on the board for Rodriguez. She served on the board from 2004 to 2008 representing District 1.
Rodriguez is entering the board with an important task this summer: selecting a new superintendent. Kent Scribner has resigned, and his last day will be August. The board has selected a national search firm to help with the search.
Additionally, the new trustees will be tasked with improving the student outcomes in the district. Before the pandemic, Fort Worth ISD schools have received low accountability ratings. Though ratings were paused during the pandemic, students are back to standardized testing this year, and the Texas Education Agency will give out scores this summer.
“All that work needs to start so we can start heading in the right direction for student achievement and positive student outcomes,” Rodriguez said.
Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.