Dependable, Experienced, Hard-Working Tobi Jackson is the Clear Choice for District 2 School Board Trustee
Written by Eastern Hills High School Alums: Mike Stewart, Danny and Michelle Salazar, Joni Arnett George (29-year veteran educator in Fort Worth ISD), and Bobby Jones
We typically stay away from discussing politics and religion, but in this case, we have to make an exception. As involved EHHS alums, we are offering our shared opinion on the current race to elect the District 2 school board trustee out of care and concern for doing what’s right – and best – for the students.
It’s clear that the two oldest high schools on the east side – Eastern Hills and Polytechnic – and the schools that feed into them are at a critical crossroads with a lot at stake. These high schools are on the brink of receiving almost $100 million dollars in bond money over the next four years out of the $750 million the voters of Fort Worth approved as part of the 2017 Bond Election.
Folks, that’s a game changer that’s been a long time coming. The monies will be used to upgrade the schools into 21st century learning environments that will benefit ALL students and become beacons of pride on the east side for generations to come.
We’ve quietly waited our turn for far too long, and we can’t afford on-the-job training for a new school board trustee when we only have one shot at getting things right for our much-deserving east side schools. That’s why current District 2 School Board Trustee and School Board President Tobi Jackson is the one and ONLY logical choice when you vote on Saturday, May 4.
To us the main question boils down to this: financial oversight experience. Would you rather have a school board trustee serving schools who has extensive and successful experience managing and overseeing large, complex budgets with quality outcomes, or would you just settle for someone who is a “nice man” by most accounts, but who publicly admits he has zero such experience?
Think about it this way: would you entrust all your money with a financial advisor with no previous experience or with one who has a proven track record of success in getting the most out of each budget dollar?
That’s what we thought.
It’s troublesome for those of us who have been involved in helping out at our east side schools that Tobi even has a challenger in this election.
We don’t always agree on what Tobi says or does 100-percent of the time, but then again, name an elected official you always agree with? Bottom line is that she at least listens and welcomes input. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Not only does Tobi have three decades of community involvement, she has received a whole slew of awards for her service on the FWISD Board. Don’t just take it from us. She has more than a dozen endorsements, ranging from Fort Worth Teachers – UEA, to Mayor Betsy Price, the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors, and many current and former elected officials such as Congresswoman Kay Granger. She even has the endorsement of former TCU, NFL and Hall of Fame football player LaDainian Tomlinson. Her opponent, who was a teammate of LaDainian, has just one.
For the last eight years ‘Action Jackson’ has gone above and beyond to serve students, parents and staffs of the 15 schools in District 2. She is highly visible in neighborhood associations, civic and service groups, out-of-school-time activities and much more through her role as an unpaid school board trustee and job with SPARC. Her goal is simple: sustainable, outcomes-driven efforts on behalf of Fort Worth youth.
By contrast, her challenger is known as the invisible man. He may live here, but he never shows up at meetings, events or community activities. Heck, he never even bothers to show up for his own neighborhood association meetings.
Actions speak louder than words in our book, and for someone who wants to represent a District, the challenger’s lack of engagement or interest in the community speaks volumes.
There’s also a question about leadership. Tobi is a proven leader in education and in the private and public sector. That lady never flinches from a challenge.
On the other hand, her challenger publicly admitted at a recent candidate forum he resigned his FWISD principal’s position in 2017 months before his contract was over, and that placed him on what is called the District’s do-not-rehire list.
By doing so he put in jeopardy teacher raises by not conducting their annual reviews as required by his position as principal. He also admits to cashing out his teacher retirement fund to open a technical car mechanic school with two other individuals who resigned from the District.
To us, those are examples of his lack of financial management and judgement. Do you want someone that impulsive to manage such a huge taxpayer-funded enterprise? Not us.
The challenger answers almost every question in each forum by saying, “When I was the high school principal…” Based on our own personal observations, we would complete that sentence by saying:
“When you were the principal for four years the high school was placed on the State’s list of improvement required schools twice;
you approved a $1 million expansion of a locker and shower room without consulting with what the coaches actually needed;
you authorized the permanent blockage of an east-west street on campus that resulted in misdirected 911 ER responses that jeopardized students’ well-being;
you directed staff to ignore student dress code requirements so you wouldn’t have to explain your inability to comply with District policy to your bosses;
you allowed one of your assistant principals who is a friend and current business partner to install and operate his own food vending machine outside the school cafeteria in what would appear to be a violation of District policy;
you failed to follow through with the collection of free-and-reduced lunch forms from families each year resulting in a loss of almost $300,000 in state funding;
and you chose to alienate alums like us who were and are dedicated to helping feed students after school and provide for un-funded school needs for academics, the arts and athletics.”
We could go on, but you get the picture.
As if all this isn’t enough to convince you, here’s the kicker. It’s common knowledge on the streets that Tobi’s challenger is just one of several east siders who were approached and convinced to run against Tobi by a group of progressive-minded individuals who live primarily on the south side. They are alleged to have offered him free political advice and even some financial backing if he would run, and he agreed.
As we understand it, their main goal in recruiting candidates is to help flip two of the four contested school board seats (including the one held by Tobi) to people who are lock-step with a divisive agenda that doesn’t support students’ needs.
In other words, for a non-partisan, non-paid elected position, these south side operatives certainly seem to be trying to politicize the process and influence how us east siders vote. If you don’t believe us, just check out the challenger’s list of donors at fwisd.org and you’ll see a lot of south side addresses. This even includes the extraordinary efforts by one sitting school board trustee in that area who has been active on social media against Tobi and in support of the challenger.
Let that sink in for a minute. A sitting school board trustee is actively campaigning against another sitting school board trustee. It doesn’t get any more unseemly than that.
In closing, we urge you to vote for the school board candidate who has the history and experience of protecting investments in our schools, who will be engaged with all constituents regardless of political affiliation, and who is only in it to support the kids.
Please get out a vote Tobi Jackson for School Board District 2.
Election day is Saturday, May 4.