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Supporters Say They've Collected Enough Signatures For Dallas Home-Rule School Petition

Bill Zeeble
Wilton Hollins and Louisa Meyer are board members of Support Our Public Schools. She says her group has 48,000 signatures and counting. If they're all verified, that's twice the number needed to move ahead with the next step in the process.

The effort to remake Dallas schools through the home-rule process has passed a crucial test. The group backing the change says it has 48,000 signatures, nearly twice as many needed to take the next step.

Those signatures must belong to registered Dallas voters in order to qualify.

Louisa Meyer, on the board of Support Our Public Schools, or SOPS, says the number of signatures is approximate and the count continues. She says the signatures could be turned in to the Dallas school board Thursday or Friday. SOPS paid people and also used volunteers to collect those signatures over the past two months.

If enough signatures are verified, a 15-member commission would have to be named to write a new school charter. That document would then have to be approved by the Texas education commissioner. To go before voters in November, it must be cleared for the ballot by mid-August.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.