Not my words, but also not wrong words. This is an article about hiring design professionals—not about competitive bidding. In fact, as indicated by the title it is about some of the legal and practical reasons that Competitive Bidding for design professionals is almost universally shunned in the United States. Astronaut John Glenn once joked about how he felt before his 1962 trip aboard Friendship 7:

A family suing the Austin Independent School District claims their daughter was bullied in school and district officials did nothing to stop it.  “My fear is that I might not even see my daughter walk across the stage," said Pamela Parks, the mother of the 17-year-old student.  Parks and victim's father, Charles Sneed, spoke with the media on Wednesday regarding the pending lawsuit. They said their daughter experienced over three years of racist bullying at James Bowie High School. Their daughter will be entering her senior year at the school this fall.  "It was almost immediately," said Parks, "In 2016 when we arrived there. It was very different from any atmosphere we experienced in the past.” view article arw

Two years ago, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law a bill criminalizing cyberbullying, with an increased punishment if there’s proof a bully intended for a victim to harm or kill herself or himself. Widely supported by advocates, David’s Law came to Abbott’s desk after 16-year-old San Antonio high school student David Molak took his own life after being harassed online.  But it didn’t protect children who are indirectly bullied, such as when people post or send hostile messages about them to others. The Texas House and Senate passed a bill that would criminalize such indirect harassment, but Abbott vetoed the measure Saturday. view article arw

A former Coppell ISD middle school teacher accused of inappropriate behavior with a student has been indicted on three charges, according to the Dallas County district attorney's office. view article arw

County Court-At-Law Judge Brooke Hendricks-Green requested briefs from attorneys on both sides of a case involving former longtime Ector County ISD principal Linda Voss Tuesday. Hendricks-Green denied all but one issue in a motion to quash and asked attorneys in the case to provide briefs by 5 p.m. July 17. John Green represented Voss in court Tuesday and First Assistant County Attorney Greg Barber represented the state. view article arw

Parents of a Bowie High School student filed a lawsuit against Austin ISD after they claim their daughter has been a victim of bullying, harassment, discrimination and retaliation based on her race. The parents claim their daughter, who is African American, was called and referred to by racial slurs. In the lawsuit, they claim the language was permitted in the classrooms and school clubs in the presence of teachers. view article arw

A new state law instructs public school districts and charter networks to teach about tolerance, genocide and the Holocaust at every grade level starting this year, through participation in an annual “Holocaust Remembrance Week.” Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 1828 on Tuesday, mandating “that schools shall include age appropriate instruction determined by the districts” for grades K-12. view article arw

The Valley View Independent School District approved a $150,000 settlement with Hidalgo Mayor Sergio Coronado and his sister, school board Trustee Claudia Coronado, last month. Sergio Coronado and Claudia Coronado — who both worked for the school district — had accused Superintendent Rolando Ramirez and the school board of engaging in a conspiracy against them after the November 2016 election. The Coronados had supported Claudia’s husband, who ran against a candidate backed by a majority of the school board. view article arw

Threatened with a federal lawsuit alleging rampant copyright violations by Houston ISD educators, the school district’s leaders could have paid $250,000 in 2016 to avoid litigation with DynaStudy, a two-person educational materials supplier. Instead, HISD officials rejected the offer and did not counter, triggering a three-year legal battle that ended last month with a $9.2 million jury verdictagainst the district. view article arw

Gina Karam Millin on Thursday filed a petition through attorney Ronald Hole for an election contest, challenging Place 4 McAllen ISD trustee Tony Forina’s election victory on May 4. view article arw

Applying to college can make any high school senior feel like he or she is pleading a case before a judge and jury — but one former Washington, DC, prep school student is trying to get her college woes heard by the Supreme Court.  Dayo Adetu and her parents, Titilayo and Nike Adetu, say that the private Sidwell Friends School — the elite school attended by a who’s who of Beltway families, including presidential daughters Sasha and Malia Obamaand Chelsea Clinton as well as former Vice President Joe Biden’s granddaughter Maisy — breached a settlement with the family after it allegedly discriminated against Adetu, an African-American, in the grades she received while in high school and then in materials Sidwell submitted as she applied to colleges. view article arw

The staff, parents and supporters of the Ezzell school district left a Lavaca County District Court hearing Wednesday with no answer from a judge about whether a cell tower will continue construction next to their school. “We’re not trying to kill the tower – we just want it moved away from us,” Ezzell Superintendent Lisa Berckenhoff said during the hearing. view article arw

“A life that touches others goes on forever.” Barbara Watkins doesn’t know who said it first, but it’s a piece of wisdom she cherishes — it’s emblazoned on Samantha Watkins’ tombstone, and it was on the mother’s mind Tuesday as Gov. Greg Abbott put his signature to House Bill 684, Sam’s Law. view article arw

Sitting on an elementary school stage before dozens of educators, Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed into law a sweeping plan to overhaul how Texas funds public education, investing $11.5 billion to boost educator pay, expand access to full-day pre-K for students and slow the growth of crippling property tax bills for homeowners and businesses. While educators say they are pleased lawmakers prioritized education and worked to elevate the teaching profession, some are skeptical the changes will last. There is no money committed to pay for all those upgrades beyond 2021, when the state estimates that lawmakers will have to come up with more than $13 billion to keep them going. view article arw

Over the weekend, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 12, which increases state contributions to the Teacher Retirement System over the next five years. The goal is to pay off debt and make the pension fund financially healthy.  “We are making a promise to our current active teachers that their retirement security will be assured with dollars in the bank to pay for those costs long into the future,” Tim Lee, executive director of the Texas Retired Teachers Association, said. “That’s important to all Texans because the taxpayer wants to know that our teachers are going to be taken care of because by and large, our teachers do not have social security. This is their retirement security, so if we’re going to make a promise to our active teachers, we want to make sure we’re going to live up to that promise.”  view article arw

Indianapolis Public Schools paid almost $600,000 to settle three lawsuits in a case involving a former school counselor who was accused of having sex with students. The Indianapolis Star obtained the financial details of the settlements through public records requests. The school board approved them nearly two weeks ago without disclosing the amount. The lawsuits arose from allegations that former counselor Shana Taylor had sex with two teenage students while working for the district in 2015 and 2016. view article arw

Federal prosecutors plan to ask a judge Wednesday for more than a year in prison for a former Stanford sailing coach who admitted to accepting bribes in the college admissions cheating scheme. John Vandemoer will be the first person sentenced in the case that has ensnared athletic coaches at elite universities across the country as well as prominent parents, including business executives and Hollywood stars. Among those charged are actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin as well as Loughlin's fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli. Prosecutors are seeking 13 months behind bars, saying such a sentence is necessary to help restore confidence in a college admissions system that many believe is rigged in favor of the rich. view article arw

A federal judge has found that an Indiana school district violated a transgender student's civil rights by not allowing him to use male bathrooms at school. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation last year after the teenager was told to use the female bathroom or bathrooms in the nurse's office. view article arw

Kennedale TX school district won’t discipline a superintendent that a mom says racially targeted her son view article arw

A Ballinger Independent School District secretary was indicted on multiple charges accusing her of stealing district money and unlawfully using district credit/debit cards. view article arw

The Kennedale school board of trustees decided not to discipline the district’s superintendent at a Tuesday night meeting after a parent said the superintendent racially targeted her child at school in early May. The district board, family and NAACP officials met in closed session at a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The board returned with a decision at about 9 p.m. view article arw

Rick Sorrells is a disgraced former school administrator, an admitted criminal, a soon-to-be resident of the federal prison system and, despite all of that, he is eligible to receive his full state pension.  Sorrells, who admitted taking $3 million in bribes in a scandal that destroyed the agency he once led, is facing a maximum 10 years behind bars for wire fraud.  But his pension is protected by Texas laws that allow the benefits to stay in place even if serious financial crimes have been committed, NBC 5 Investigates has learned. view article arw

Esmeraldo Cepeda was fired from her position as the dean of instruction at the Santa Rosa Independent School earlier this month following a lawsuit filed against the school district for lack of transparency. "The board retreated in a closed session they did not discuss her termination in the open public and came back motioned it, seconded it and fired her without any discussions," said John Shergold, Cepeda's attorney. "Her lawsuit is filed because our state legislature or government code states that if you're going to propose the termination of the person against a government employee that that employee has the right to request the hearing to be held in the open public and so that's what she did." view article arw

An employee of Taylor ISD's Child Development Center has been charged and arrested after police said she pinned a child to the ground when he resisted taking a nap. A child care provider at the center reported the alleged incident on May 17, stating that co-worker Mikelean Griffith, 67, of Hutto pinned the two-year-old boy down earlier that day. Griffith allegedly held the child to a mat, placing her knee in the center of his back while both of her hands were on his shoulders near his neck. Reports state she then transferred her body weight onto his back. view article arw

Killeen Police report a retired kindergarten teacher from Peebles Elementary School allegedly engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student during the 2016-17 school year. Through the investigation, detectives with the Criminal Investigation Division's Special Victims Unit discovered a juvenile victim disclosed that Leonardo Casias had inappropriate physical contact with the student. view article arw

A now former employee of the Santa Rosa Independent School District is suing the district for their lack of transparency regarding her position with the district. In a lawsuit filed last Friday, Esmeralda Cepeda, who was the Dean of Instruction, is alleging that the school district violated the Texas Open Meetings Act, because her request to be heard regarding her position wasn’t held publicly as was requested. view article arw

In the winter of 2013, when the principal of Houston ISD’s Westside High School suggested making copies of colorful study guides recently purchased from a small Austin-area company, an English teacher responded that there was a “glaring disclaimer about copyright” at the bottom of the documents.  The teacher suggested the guides, which cost nearly $2,000 total, should be handed out during class and picked up before the final bell. But when the school’s principal brushed aside the copyright concerns, the teacher fell in line.  “I’m ok with violating it though…lol,” the teacher wrote in an email, according to a lawsuit. view article arw

Maybe you don’t know exactly what the Supreme Court’s historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling is, but you’ve heard about it often enough to know that you should. Watch the video below. It will take only six minutes. view article arw

Pearland ISD has announced changes to its dress code amid criticism of the district's confrontation of minority students over their hair style and headwear. The dress code announced Thursday for the 2019-20 school year removes restrictions on "hair styles and carvings," but says distracting colors remain prohibited. The policy says head coverings such as hats, caps, bandanas and hair rollers remain banned, but that "exceptions will be made for religious headwear." view article arw

Pearland Independent School District has come under fire from parents after multiple confrontations with its minority students deemed as culturally insensitive and discriminatory. Families of Pearland ISD are now requesting a committee, of which half should be students, be formed to represent diverse perspectives of the district, according to a news release. They're also requesting cultural sensitivity training, as well as data on the demographics of student punishment and student enrollment in various academic programs. view article arw

With the recent allegations involving former employees at Santa Rosa Independent School District, many parents are questioning the transparency of the school district. "This is a time of healing, this is a time for insight," Nick Maddox, Legal Counsel for Santa Rosa I.S.D., said. view article arw

As he awaits his sentencing, just the mention of Robert Leonard, a central player in a scandal that rocked Dallas City Hall and killed a once-reputable school agency, continues to stir the anger from the people hurt by corruption.  "He raped it," said one former employee of Dallas County Schools.  Others who lost their jobs with the demise of DCS had these choice words for Leonard: "He destroyed it"…"He took it down" …"He was the poison." view article arw

More arrests are possible in a Santa Rosa sexual assault investigation. Two former district employees are behind bars; both are accused of having improper relationships with students. The employees accused in this case are Josue Cepeda and Isaac Flores. view article arw

Frisco ISD’s board of trustees elections proceeded as scheduled May 4 despite a lawsuit claiming the district’s at-large voting system prevents minority candidates from getting elected to the board. The suit, filed April 16, claims the FISD board does not reflect the district’s current demographics. Since the 2016-17 school year, less than 50% of the student population has been white, and the largest minority group is Asian, according to Texas Education Agency data. The six board members who served prior to the May 4 election and were named on the lawsuit are all white. The suit alleges that seven candidates—five Asian and two Hispanic candidates—have unsuccessfully run for a seat on the board in the past four years. view article arw

Frisco ISD and its board of trustees have denied a federal lawsuit’s claims that the district’s at-large voting system prevents minority candidates from getting elected to the board, according to court documents. The district filed its first response to the lawsuit May 8, days after the regular election in which a minority candidate was elected to the board. Gopal Ponangi won the Place 1 seat and will be sworn into office on June 10. view article arw