Election Day is May 6 and the Fort Worth Report is committed to keeping you informed through our Election Central.
To help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box, we asked every candidate to respond to a candidate questionnaire intended to touch on the most pressing issues candidates may face while serving in elected office.
Districts 2, 3, 5 and 6 in Fort Worth ISD are all on the ballot. District 6, where incumbent Anne Darr is running unopposed, covers parts of the Texas Christian University area and extends south past Sycamore School Road. You can view district maps here.
Elections are coming up. Here are some key dates:
April 24: Early voting begins
May 2: Early voting ends
May 6: Election Day
Name: Anne Darr
Occupation: Educational Specialist, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services
What are your top three priorities for the school board if you are elected?
- Ensuring student, staff and campus safety
- Improving student outcomes, including outcomes for students with special needs, by recruiting and retaining certified, highly-qualified teachers, administrators and staff
- Spending responsibly, including right-sizing administration based on student enrollment and student needs.
Gov. Greg Abbott has voiced support for an education savings account program that would allow parents to use taxpayer dollars to pay for private school tuition and other education-related expenses. What are your thoughts on the possible impact on public schools?
The facts speak for themselves. Public schools welcome EVERY child, create communities, provide educational programming and related services for students with disabilities, are held accountable, and are required to comply with state and federal laws.
Private/parochial schools pick and choose their students, are ill-equipped to serve students with diverse learning needs and disabilities, are not governed by representatives elected by the public, and are not held accountable for student academic outcomes or responsible spending. Therefore, diverting funding from public schools and giving that money to private/parochial schools is a reckless, irresponsible, inequitable way to spend the taxpayers’ money as well as an invitation for corruption, misuse and fraud.
What do you think the Legislature should do for public education?
Legislators should recognize that public schools are the foundation of a healthy democracy; believe in students, teachers, parents, administrators and communities; show up to support the schools (not just because it’s a political opportunity to be seen); and change their negative, destructive rhetoric by focusing on helpful, constructive solutions.
Public schools are not perfect. They are far from it, but when one looks for the negative in anything — one’s school, church, spouse, children, job, government — one will ALWAYS find it. Unfortunately, the negative will be found at the expense of the positive, and in the case of our schools, at the expense of children and youth.
Trustees make decisions on the vendors a school district uses. If elected, how would you ensure you remain free of any conflict of interest while you serve?
The procurement department and the Superintendent use the RFP (Request for Proposals) process to determine the vendors the District uses. I will always make decisions based on the best interests of students, parents and taxpayers including decisions about purchasing goods and services.
Over the past four years, I have demonstrated that I read the Board Books prior to every Board meeting, I am familiar with the consent and action items being voted on, and I will abstain from a vote if there is a conflict of interest.
How do you think your district can improve its conflict of interest and ethics policies?
The district currently follows state laws related to conflicts of interest, but the district’s ethics policy can be strengthened by limiting the amount a candidate can self-fund a campaign. For example, a candidate would not be allowed to contribute more than $20,000 to his/her own campaign. Without this limit, the wealthy have a significant advantage during a campaign, and the School Board should be representative of the people, not the uber wealthy.
More people are attending school board meetings to voice their opinions. How would you manage giving people a chance to speak their concerns but still keep meetings civil?
Paying attention to the comments, questions and concerns of constituents is an important aspect of public service, and ALL stakeholders (Fort Worth ISD students, teachers, parents, staff, taxpayers, community leaders, etc.) should feel welcome when speaking to the board. To maintain civility during meetings, I would implement a no clapping, heckling or cheering policy during public comment so that everyone has the opportunity to be heard without feeling intimidated.
How would you handle voters disagreeing with a policy you approve?
No decision will be met with 100% approval by constituents. I’ve been reminded of this repeatedly over the past four years of public service. Whether we agree or disagree, I will continue to listen, learn and respond to written communication.
You can find other candidates’ responses by reading our voter guide here. The candidate’s responses may be edited for grammar.