Irving Superintendent at Odds with Board Member

Growing tension between Irving ISD's Superintendent and a school board member

By Christine Lee
|  Monday, Jan 30, 2012  |  Updated 5:50 PM CDT
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There's growing tension in the Irving Independent School District two months after school board members asked for a review of superintendent Dana Bedden.

Christine Lee, Irving Reporter

There's growing tension in the Irving Independent School District two months after school board members asked for a review of superintendent Dana Bedden.

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Tension between Irving ISD's Superintendent and their school board is growing.

The problem stems from a performance review request of Dr. Dana Bedden by board member Dr. Steven Jones.

"I had a concern and brought it before the board, and it was just a concern," said Jones.

Bedden said that concern grew from an informal discussion into a hearing-like setting during an executive session last November, forcing him to hire his own attorney.

"I just like to be treated like an employee and have access to the same rights that are governed by our policy, and also like a citizen," said Bedden.

Bedden said he wants reimbursement of more than $4000 he paid for legal fees.

"What I ask for is not even the full amount," he said.

Jones said a simple request snowballed into a much larger grievance process due to bad advice from the board's attorney. Jones says because there never was a legal proceeding, reimbursement should be out of the question.

"The superintendent is perfectly within his rights to hire an attorney. But he's going to pay for it out of his own pocket. The taxpayers of Irving are not going to pay for his private attorney," Jones said.

The Board of Trustees' Executive Committee will meet to further discuss this issue. Meanwhile both sides agree,  their focus needs to be back on their students.

The Superintendent's evaluation is coming up in the next couple of the months. The Executive Committee hopes to resolve the reimbursement issue before that time.

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