Dallas Kids First’s endorsement process has been unique from the outset. Anyone who contributes more than $200 to the PAC is excluded from participating on the endorsement panels. According to Melissa Higginbotham, DKF director of operations, each contested board seat has a distinct panel made up, “ideally,” of residents who live in that board district and, at the very least, teachers, community members, school alumni and the like who may be impacted by trustee decisions.
If a candidate receives DKF’s endorsement, she also receives campaign funds and in-kind donations from the PAC. It has given $203,000 to DISD campaigns since 2012, and also launched a vote tracker in 2015, noting each trustee’s yay or nay on every agenda item and identifying what they believe to be key issues that affect students’ educational success.