Big-time turnover on tap for Amarillo school board

Let’s see how this works out, but it looks to my eye as though the Amarillo Independent School District board is set for a potentially major shakeup.

The personnel lineup on the board is going to change this week.

Scott Flow didn’t seek re-election. Jim Austin and John Betancourt did seek new terms, but they lost in the election early this month. That means three incumbents on the seven-member board aren’t taking the oath for their new terms.

Then there’s this: There could be an AISD resignation coming up, which means four incumbents are out of the picture.

Why is this a big deal? Well, the board has been under the gun lately. Board members have been excoriated over the way they handled the resignation of a popular Amarillo High girls volleyball coach, who resigned after a single season at the helm of one of Texas’s top athletic programs.

It looks to me as though the school system is suffering from a possible leadership controversy. I won’t call it a crisis just yet, but it’s looking dicey at AISD.

The former coach quit while citing pressure from a parent who hassled over playing time decisions. The board didn’t back the coach. Neither did the administration. The board has kept its collective mouth shut, citing “personnel matter” as its reason. Meanwhile, the chatter is growing around the district.

The school system’s governing entity has not helped itself, or the system it governs.

An AISD constituent has filed a complaint with the Texas Education Agency — naming the offending parent as a member of the AISD board! Ohh, not good . . . you know? The whispering and tittering continues. Still, nothing from the board.

A “coalition” of parents who are demanding AISD transparency is now getting into the picture.

At minimum starting this week, the AISD board will have a significant minority of new faces and possibly clearer voices.

Or . . . there might be a new majority in the making.

I’m looking forward to seeing how all this plays out.

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