Leading Off (3/4/14)

DISD Teachers Union Issues Insane Statement About Home-Rule Effort. The home-rule deal is just gaining steam. At the polls today, voters will be asked to sign a petition to put the measure on the November ballot. There are lots of questions still unanswered. But one thing is certain: the largest Dallas teachers’ union is a little nuts. Rena Honea is the president of Alliance-AFT. She says: “The home-rule charter is part of a plan to underfund our schools, declare them a failure, and contract out to private operators the control of our neighborhood schools, disenfranchising parents and community stakeholders and de-professionalizing teaching. This initiative ultimately is for profit, not for kids.” But know this: Louisa Meyer is part of the effort behind the home-rule deal. If you know the name “Louisa Meyer,” then you just had a laugh about that whole “disenfranchising parents and making profit” statement. It’s like Steve Blow coming out in favor of highways. You say, “Thanks, man. You just helped my side more than any argument I ever could have made.”

WFAA Is as Insane as Dallas Teachers Union. The above story is hugely important. As voters head to the polls today, they need to know what’s happening, so that when a person with a petition approaches them, they have a clue. Last night, Channel 8 gave the home-rule story 20 seconds. Literally. Gloria Campos is retiring at some point soon. Not sure when. But last night the station did a four-minute story on her early years coming up in Harlingen. Priorities. Say it with a Spanish accent.

Morning News Overlooks a Dallas Billionaire. Forbes has released its list of the world’s billionaires. The paper takes at look at the locals, with Alan Peppard suggesting that Andy Beal might be the wealthiest guy in town. Nowhere, though, does the paper mention Georg Schaeffler, whom I profiled in 2007. Bloomberg recently put him at $7.8 billion, a wild guess given that his company is privately held. Anyway. Schaeffler. He knows it’s all ball bearings these days. If you’re doing a fantasy billionaire league, he deserves consideration.

Southwest Airlines To Fly to Mexico. Crap. When Southwest announced international flights, I thought Canada would be the destination. It’s Mexico.