No one I know has ever accused Tom Leppert of lacking confidence, so maybe it’s no surprise he’s throwing his hat into a ring that doesn’t even exist by exploring taking over DISD.
State Sen. Royce West told the DMN he spoke with Leppert "no more than two months ago about helpin with legislation that would allow the Dallas mayor to oversee DISD." West told the News he couldn’t/wouldn’t introduce that kind of bill by himself and advised Leppert to talk wth the entire Dallas legislative delegation; that must not have happened, or someone else would have blabbed before now.
Leppert’s chief of staff Chris Heinbaugh declined to comment on the whole idea when contacted by the News, offering instead a self-serving platitude about the importance of taking care of Dallas children. DISD Supt. Michael Hinojosa seemed surprised by the discussion, and board trustee Leigh Ann Ellis and board chairman Jack Lowe hadn’t heard about and didn’t like the idea. And no one on the city council ‘fessed up to knowing anything about Leppert’s big idea, either. Wouldn’t you think that Leppert would have at least run the idea by a couple of his council cronies, if for no other reason than to promote cooperative leadership?
This seems to be odd (one could even say "gutless") timing for Leppert to be considering such a move, given that anti-DISD-mania has died down considerably and given that the time for a move like this was at the height of the DISD crisis, not now after the district has hired an expert to run its finance department and Hinojosa seems to have regained his footing and control of DISD.
Naturally, there will be those cheering Leppert on, because there are a lot of people in Dallas who will never like DISD no matter what happens there. But Leppert’s stealth power grab seems more self-serving than geared to help DISD, given his lack of education administration experience and his virtual invisibility last fall, when DISD really needed public relations help and Hinojosa needed a few big-name political buddies to have his back.
Where was the guy often called our "education mayor" then?