Flour Bluff ISD Meets To Further District of Innovation Plan

Matt Briscoe 
Publisher/ Managing Editor 
The Southside Light News 
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Flour Bluff—A meeting took place Thursday evening at the Flour Bluff ISD Administration building that set the tone for what the future holds for students, parents, taxpayers and general stakeholders in the district. At the center of it is local control and giving more trust to the Board of Trustees when it comes down to the school district being allowed to exempt themselves from certain TEA governance. 

“This is about local control, the state affording the District local control,” said Flour Bluff ISD Superintendent Dr. David Freeman. 

Tonight’s meeting was the next step in what many consider to be a very controversial move by the district towards becoming independent of state level governance. 

“Everything from teacher certifications to service contracts not being put out for bid is essentially on the table,” education consultant Andrew Martinez said. “There are many good things with this program. However, the extreme possibility of misuse by the Board of Trustees is very real and must be monitored.” 

But Dr. Freeman addressed those concerns in his opening statement before the group which consisted of mostly educators. 

“That’s not even on the radar,” Dr. Freeman said. “That’s not even an option.” 

So what is the reason behind the change? Dr. Freeman said it’s largely about the district’s Calendar. 

“This will allow us to afford our kids some three day weekends,” Dr. Freeman said. “Like if they wanted to show at the county show in January, they could do that.” 

Dr. Freeman did note that it is ultimately about teachers. 

Dr. Laurie Turner from nearby Gregory Portland ISD raised some concerns. Dr. Turner, who also sits on the state board for educator certification said that from her experience, she has seen an increase in problems stemming from classroom. 

“You might be great at your job and you might have 20 years of experience,” Dr. Turner said. “But how well do you portray that in the classroom?” 

Dr. Turner also said that as the parent of an incoming freshman and a 7th grader in the Flour Bluff District, she had concerns with teacher certification. Dr. Turner also said that she did not want teachers who did not know how to teach to translate those types of problems into the classroom. 

Also in attendance were 2 members of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, who represents 50,000 members statewide. The organization has questioned these so-called districts of innovation since the beginning, in part due to the fact that one of the most common exemptions sought after by school boards is the ability to switch to using non certified teachers and exempting them from benefits that are normally extended to teachers such as duty free lunches and classroom representation. 

The district did not set a committee to develop the district’s innovation plan on Thursday evening. However, that move is expected to begin in the very near future. 

For more information on a District of Innovation and what it could mean for Flour Bluff ISD you can visit Texas Association of School Board’s