A North Texas school board member has filed a complaint against her district’s superintendent for withholding information she needs to effectively advocate for teachers and staff.
“I am concerned about the resistance that I am receiving when submitting information requests,” Frisco Independent School District Trustee Stephanie Elad said in a statement Wednesday explaining why she filed a complaint with the Texas Education Agency against Superintendent Mike Waldrip.
“I ran for office on a platform of transparency and accountability and am committed to ensuring that I fulfill my campaign promises to the community,” she said. “I feel that I owe it to you to be forthright about what I have been dealing with for several months now, in regards to this issue.”
Elad was elected in May, along with Trustee Marvin Lowe. The two conservatives were part of a pro-parent movement that rocked local education establishments across the state.
Teacher retention was one of Elad’s main issues during her campaign, and staff retention and engagement remain a top priority.
Elad said Wednesday she began requesting information about teacher resignations back in July.
“I was informed at that time that I was not entitled to that information, as it didn’t exist as a record, and that I needed to wait until October, when Human Resources would provide the board with their annual report,” she said. “I was asking for an aggregate report over a 12-month period of information that is provided each month.”
Elad said she persisted and was eventually provided with the report, but it did not include teachers’ reasons for leaving Frisco ISD—the key information she was seeking.
“I eventually received the complete report, but had to continue to follow up in order to receive it,” she said.
In addition to reviewing the resignation data, Elad advocated during her campaign for the district to engage a third-party vendor to conduct a confidential survey of teachers and report the results directly to the board.
“After reviewing the most recent resignations report for the district, it is clear that the retention issue is not just limited to teachers,” she said.
She and Lowe have requested a board vote on surveying all district employees. Two trustees’ requests are required to place an item on the board’s agenda for discussion and action.
“I will continue to advocate and fight, if necessary, to obtain the information, reports and documents that I’m entitled to, as a trustee,” Elad said Wednesday.
“It is my desire to have a collaborative working relationship with the Superintendent and for our board to work together cohesively,” she added. “I will keep my promise to you that I made during my campaign to be transparent, truthful, communicative, and to put the interest of our students first.”