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Residents Fighting DISD Over Eminent Domain


DALLAS (CBS 11 / TXA 21) The Dallas Independent School District maintains that applying eminent domain to acquire land for a new school campus will improve education while residents believe it will tear apart an East Dallas community. Residents say DISD isn't playing fair in their reconstruction plans for O.M. Roberts Elementary School, saying there is no need to tear down their homes. The school sits in a century old East Dallas location, and for close to a half century, Shawn Busari's family home has sat one block away. "If you've ever heard of anything called a home, that's what this is," she said. Busari and others have dotted yards with signs and posters.  Other homeowners are getting signatures on petitions.  All the efforts are to fight the Dallas School District's plan to forcibly buy up these homes, to make way for a new O.M. Roberts campus. "It's as if they came to dinner and said, by the way, we're going to give you $50,000, pack up and get out right now," Busari said. The school district has the power of eminent domain, the ability to acquire these private homes for the benefit of expanding public education. That was the plan before Tuesday night's town hall meeting.  But the fighting homeowners say there is nothing fair about DISD's so-called fair market offers for the properties. Money is an issue, but not the only issue, says resident Claudia Lozano. "We want to save the neighborhood," she said. "Right now it's not about the money." School district administrators have said they are providing fair market offers, but resident Sergio Garcia says that's not enough. "We don't want to go and by a house that's more expensive than this house," Garcia said. It was standing room only at the meeting, as new DISD board member Bernadette Nutall hoped to clear up residents' concerns and hear their frustrations. Read the rest of the story here…

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