Candidates running for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD school board want to maintain the district’s A rating, but they each have different ways to achieve that goal.
Six candidates are running to be trustees of the suburban district that includes portions of Fort Worth, Arlington and all of the cities of Hurst, Euless and Bedford. Places 6 and 7 are contested, while Place 1 is not.
In 2022, HEB ISD earned an A rating from the Texas Education Agency in the state’s school accountability rating system. Ratings are based on students’ performance on the state’s standardized test, career readiness and other factors.
Place 1 incumbent Julie Cole, a senior financial manager, is unopposed; she has been a trustee since 2013.
Election Day is May 6.
Incumbent Fred Campos faces a challenge from Linda Owens. They agree HEB ISD is doing well financially and academically.
Campos, who has been a trustee since 2015, credited the district’s success to how the board has handled the budget.
“(We) put the money where the teachers are, and that’s what keeps our district A rated,” he said. “We also tried to be as frugal as possible with spending,”
HEB ISD was able to build three elementary schools from the general fund without asking voters to approve a bond proposal, Campos said.
The district has avoided conflicts between school officials and residents over books and curriculum because of HEB ISD’s student diversity, Campos said.
HEB ISD has 22,814 students. More than six out of 10 students are people of color, according to Texas Education Agency data.
Owens has talked to parents concerned about the social studies curriculum, she said.
“I think most parents just want the truth taught about our country — the good, the bad, the ugly,” Owens said. “Anybody who teaches it, there’s going to be some bias, but most parents just want to make sure that the truth is being taught.”
Owens wants the district to have a section on the website for parents to look at what is being taught in the classroom, she said.
Besides that, the school board is doing an excellent job, she said.
The Place 6 seat is a three-person race among incumbent Andy Cargile, Dan Mendoza and Miste Anders-Clemons.
HEB ISD is doing well, but needs to do a better job of providing opportunities to underrepresented students, Anders-Clemons said.
She wants the district to use organizations, such as the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, to give students information on employment opportunities.
Anders-Clemons, who is Black, wants to bring more diversity to the school board, which has two trustees who are Latino and one trustee who is Black.
“It’s very important for students to be ready when they come out of high school,” Anders-Clemons said. “With a resume and knowing how to apply to jobs.”
Cargile has been on the school board since 2008. He is running to maintain the district’s A rating, according to his response to the League of Women Voters of Tarrant County.
Mendoza is running to ensure that every student can use every resource available, according to his responses to the League of Women Voters of Tarrant County.
Cargile and Mendoza declined to be interviewed by the Fort Worth Report.
Juan Salinas II is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter. 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. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.