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Questionnaire: Diane Dye, incumbent for EPISD Board of Trustees

Diane Dye.
Diane Dye.

-What relevant experience qualifies you to serve as a school board trustee?
30 Years of Teaching and Substitute Teaching, 6 years as a member of EPISD Board of Trustees,
6 years of TASB Board Member Training
-What is the top issue that's driving you to run for this position?
Quality education and opportunities for all EPISD Students
-On the search for the new superintendent: what are the top 3 qualifications you seek in a
candidate?
All decisions are made based on student success; Transparency with the EPISD Budget; Creativity
-What's the biggest challenge the district faces when it comes to educating the students and what
will you do to address it?
Funding for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. Governor Abbott promises a Hold Harmless
2021-2022 school year, but the TEA calculation for Hold Harmless is not a completely true Hold
Harmless Funding.
-Another challenge the district is facing is that enrollment continues to decline. What should the
district do to better address this?
The Board of Trustees must create Priority Goal to Increase Enrollment by a specific percent. Then,
Administration must put together a plan to make Increased Enrollment in EPISD a Reality. The
EPISD strategic plan needs to include every employee that comes into contact with students.
-Do you see the value in the hybrid learning model in a post-pandemic classroom? What do you
think is needed to improve upon what exists?
Education as we knew it before The Pandemic is changed forever. I do see the value in the Hybrid
Learning Model for both students and parents. Teachers who must do In Classroom Teaching and
Virtual Teaching at the same time are incredibly over worked. Teachers should either do In Classroom
Teaching or Virtual teaching, not both. There should be a team of one classroom teacher and one
virtual teacher.
-Knowing that kids won't be vaccinated for many more months if not another year, should the
district dedicate money to improve air flow and social distancing in facilities or should those
funds be used elsewhere?
The EPISD has already improved air flow and social distancing in all facilities. Alan Wiernicki is in
charge of Operations and can explain all of the upgrades that EPISD has made. The EPISD has
already spent $23 million on PPE and sanitization equipment. The State of Texas promised the
Districts that they will be reimbursed. To date, Governor Abbott does not want to relinquish those
monies.
-Last summer, the board was set to consider another $242 million bond to pay for security
upgrades, conversion to refrigerated air conditioner and LED lighting, and improving athletic
facilities. The district is still working on completing the projects from the $669 million bond
approved in 2016. Would you support another bond issuance in 2021 or 2022? Please answer Yes,
No and Why.
No. This year, 2021, voters are seeing their property taxes increase like never before. Until the El Paso
Economy bounces back from all the job loss and business loss from the 2020 Pandemic, I feel I cannot
support a Bond Election.
-You represent voters in your district. Do you commit to communicating directly with your
constituents and answering questions when asked about your opinion on a given issue? Some
trustees punt to the board president even though they are not being asked to speak on behalf of
the board, but to only share their opinion as an elected official for their specific district.
For 6 years, I have talked directly with and answered any questions any constituent might ask. Many
times I may speak with them for hours. I am an elected official and am representing constituents for
District 4. By default, I am representing my constituents opinions and, therefore, not my own opinion on
any issue.
There is a Manual of Board Operating Procedures that specifically states:
“Communicating with the Media

  1. Board Members are elected representatives of the public and have every right to
    express their individual views to the community or the media. If speaking to a media
    representative, Board members should clarify at the beginning of the interview that they
    are speaking as individuals or individual Board Members rather than as authorized
    representatives of the Board of Trustees.
  2. The Board President or designee will serve as the Board spokesperson to the media on
    issues regarding Board actions.
  3. The Superintendent or, in his or her absence, a specified designee shall be the official
    District spokesperson to the media on District issues.
  4. Any Board member receiving a call from the media requesting information, comments, or
    an interview, that does not expressly involve their respective district, will direct the media
    representative to the Superintendent for District business and to the Board President for
    Board-specific issues.
  5. In the interests of promoting consensus building through collegial discussion in light of all
    relevant facts, input and viewpoints, it is considered best practice for a Board Member to
    avoid stating an opinion on an upcoming issue that is scheduled for discussion at a
    Board meeting.
    Related Policies: BBF (Local), BJA (Local), and GBBA (Local)
    Revised April 21, 2015 10
    Communicating with the Community
    Board members are encouraged to participate in community activities as liaisons between the
    public and the School District. When doing so, Board members are expected to:
    a. Relay information about District goals.
    b. Clarify a Board Member’s limitations, obligations, and responsibilities as a member of
    the Board.
    c. Support Board decisions.
    d. Interact in a positive manner.
    e. Listen politely and respectfully to comments.
    f. Make no commitment on behalf of the Board or District.
    g. Not criticize District personnel.
    h. Refer questions about specific District activities to the Superintendent’s Office.
    Related Policies: BBF (Local), BJA (Local), and GBBA (Local)
    Communicating with Vendors
    An individual Board member who is contacted by persons regarding their commercial business
    matters with the District shall refer those persons to the Superintendent’s Office for
    administrative response through the review/appeal process outlined in GF (Local). Board
    Members should not discuss District business with vendors as they cannot make individual
    buying decisions.
    Related Policies: BBFA (Legal, Local, and Exhibit) GF (Legal and Local)
    Responding to Community or Employee Complaints
  6. Listen briefly and respectfully. Remind the complainant of the Board’s responsibility to
    remain impartial and noncommittal because complaints may ultimately be brought to the
    Board on appeal.
  7. In the event a Board Member is involved in a complaint prior to a Board appeal, the
    Board Member should recuse him/herself from the Board panel hearing the issue.
  8. Board Members are encouraged to ask the individual to visit with their principal and/or
    follow the steps outlined in District policy (the most commonly used complaint policies
    are listed below):
    DGBA (Legal and Local) pertains to employees
    FNG (Legal and Local) pertains to parents and students
    GF (Local) is for public complaints.
  9. Board members will inform the Superintendent of complaints which might eventually
    reach his/her office from staff and community but will not direct the Superintendent to
    take specific actions.
  10. E-mails, letters, or complaints regarding Districtwide issues sent to Board members shall
    be responded to by the Board President and/or Superintendent in consultation with the
    District’s attorney, as needed.
    Related Policies: DGBA (Legal and Local), FNG (Legal and Local), and GF (Legal and Local)
    -Last year, the board approved a 5 percent increase to the tax rate, raising taxes by $75 dollars on
    the average home (worth $150 million). The pandemic has brought deep financial challenges for
    most families and now the Central Appraisal District has raised valuations, too. Would you
    support a tax rate increase, tax rate decrease or leaving it flat?
    I would not support a tax rate increase. My opinion is that the Central Appraisal District has behaved
    very irresponsibly to have raised housing valuations at this time during a Pandemic.
    -What makes you the best candidate for the job?
    My passion for every student in EPISD schools to succeed. My voting decisions are made based on
    educational research, best practices, and what is best for every child.
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