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Garland Independent School District elections (2014)

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2014 Garland Independent School District Elections

General Election date:
May 10, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
Garland Independent School District
Dallas County, Texas ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Texas
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Two seats on the Garland Board of Trustees were up for general election on May 10, 2014. Incumbent Cindy Castañeda narrowly defeated challengers Connie Griffin Boone and Dwight Davis in the Place 4 race. Scott L. Luna won re-election to the Place 5 seat against Lawrence Billy Jones III.

About the district

See also: Garland Independent School District, Texas
Garland Independent School District is located in Dallas County, Texas
Garland Independent School District is located in Garland, a city located in Dallas County, Texas. According to the United States Census Bureau, Garland is home to 233,564 residents.[1] Garland Independent School District is the 13th-largest school district in Texas, serving 58,151 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[2]


Garland underperformed in comparison to the rest of Texas in terms of higher education achievement in 2010. The United States Census Bureau found that 21.6 percent of Garland residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.3 percent for Texas as a whole. The median household income in Garland was $53,060 compared to $51,563 for the state of Texas. The poverty rate in Garland was 14.7 percent compared to 17.4 percent for the entire state.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2010[1]
Race Garland (%) Texas (%)
White 57.5 70.4
Black or African American 14.5 11.8
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.8 0.7
Asian 9.4 3.8
Two or More Races 3.3 2.7
Hispanic or Latino 37.8 37.6

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[3]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 57.1 41.6
2008 57.1 41.8
2004 48.9 50.3
2000 44.8 52.5

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[4] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Method of board member selection

The Garland Board of Trustees consists of seven members elected to three-year terms. Each member is elected to a specific seat but represents the entire district. There was no primary election and a general election took place on May 10, 2014. Two seats will be on the ballot in May 2015 and three seats will be up for election in May 2016.[5]

Candidates for the Board of Trustees submitted paperwork with the school district secretary by February 28, 2014. Each candidate must be at least 18 years old, a registered voter and a resident of the district for at least six months. Members filed two campaign finance reports with the district clerk prior to the election unless they did not receive or spend $500 during the campaign.[6]




  • Cindy Castañeda Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, University of North Texas
    • Professor, Eastfield College
  • Dwight Davis Defeatedd
    • Graduate, Grace College
    • Senior program manager, Hewlett-Packard
  • Connie Griffin Boone Defeatedd
    • Graduate, Richland Community College and Texas A&M University
    • Principal, Mesquite Academy
    • Former board secretary, 1975-1996
  • Lawrence Billy Jones III Defeatedd
    • Student, University of North Texas
    • Board member, Garland Parks and Recreation Board
  • Scott L. Luna Green check mark transparent.png
    • Incumbent
    • Graduate, Texas A&M University and University of Tulsa
    • Managing partner, Luna & Luna, LLP

Election results

Garland Independent School District, Place 4 General Election, 3-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngCindy Castañeda Incumbent 39.4% 1,835
     Nonpartisan Connie Griffin Boone 38.9% 1,812
     Nonpartisan Dwight Davis 21.7% 1,010
Total Votes 4,657
Source: Dallas County Elections, "Unofficial Cumulative Results," May 10, 2014

Garland Independent School District, Place 5 General Election, 3-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngScott L. Luna Incumbent 64% 3,050
     Nonpartisan Lawrence Billy Jones III 36% 1,714
Total Votes 4,764
Source: Dallas County Elections, "Unofficial Cumulative Results," May 10, 2014


Lawrence Billy Jones III received the endorsement of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility prior to the election.[7]

Campaign finance

Candidates received a total of $27,266.57 and spent a total of $17,418.88 prior to the election, according to the district office.[8]

In the Place 4 race, candidates raised a total of $7,665.00 and spent a total of $5,452.60.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Cindy Castañeda $5,965.00 $1,706.00 $4,259.00
Dwight Davis $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
Connie Griffin Boone $1,700.00 $3,746.60 -$2,046.60

In the Place 5 race, candidates raised a total of $19,601.57 and spent a total of $11,966.28.

Candidate Contributions Expenditures Cash on hand
Lawrence Billy Jones III $4,650.50 $2,950.37 $1,700.13
Scott L. Luna $14,951.07 $9,015.91 $5,935.16

Past elections

What was at stake?

Issues in the district

Investigation of worker visa program

Administrators reported discrepancies in the district's worker visa program to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on February 12, 2014.[9] This program helps bilingual foreign teachers receive H1-B visas that last up to six years. The district employed 260 teachers who hold H1-B visas during the 2013-2014 school year. A small group of teachers faces deportation due to the expiration of their visas. Testimony during a February 25 board meeting revealed that participants felt that the district did not go far enough to help with green card applications.[10] Teachers also testified that they paid for program costs. Federal law requires employers to pay the application costs and fees associated with H1-B visas. The Department of Homeland Security is currently conducting a full investigation of the program.[11]

An internal investigation conducted by district attorney Harry Jones found that former human resources director Victor Leos and former assistant superintendent Gary Reeves mishandled worker visas for foreign teachers. Leos was found to have taken excessive fees from visa applicants. He also enriched relatives by recommending foreign teachers rent rooms from his step son and handle residency paperwork through his step daughter's law firm. Reeves is currently on administrative leave for ignoring early warning signs of Leos's behavior. The investigation found emails addressed to Reeves dating back to February 2013 that highlighted abuses by Leos.[12]

Candidate views on worker visa issue

Each candidate responded to the worker visa issue in pre-election interviews with the Rowlett Lakeshore Times:

Cindy Castañeda

The Garland ISD Board and Superintendent are working together to discuss, explore and attempt every legal option that is available to us to help the teachers that are affected. However, immigration law is complex and nothing is either certain or guaranteed to those who apply for permanent residency or citizenship. Having exhausted our legal options, we have conducted outreach to our elected officials at the state and national level to ask for their assistance and intervention on behalf of the teachers.


Rowlett Lakeshore Times, (2014) [14]

Dwight Davis

The district needs to support those teachers and help them any way that they can in accordance with the law.


Rowlett Lakeshore Times, (2014) [14]

Connie Griffin Boone

The teachers in GISD involved in the H-1B visas situation and in danger of being deported is really a sad situation. I believe we, as a district, need to do everything we can to help them. If we promised them from the beginning we would help them to obtain citizenship then that is what we need to do. We need to stand by them and give the support and guidance needed. They obviously have done a great job. Other faculty members that are fighting for them assure us that they are quality teachers, and have done a great job of teaching our students while being here.


Rowlett Lakeshore Times, (2014) [14]

Lawrence Billy Jones III

This is an issue legally that congress has to address. This board has no authority over this but we can request congressional assistance.


Rowlett Lakeshore Times, (2014) [15]

Scott L. Luna

I am not at liberty to discuss this issue since it is currently under investigation, but rest assured that I am doing everything I can possibly do personally to help these teachers.


Rowlett Lakeshore Times, (2014) [15]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Garland Independent School District election in 2014:[6]

Deadline Event
January 29, 2014 First day to file paperwork for ballot placement
February 28, 2014 Last day to file paperwork for ballot placement
March 5, 2014 Last day to withdraw from ballot
April 10, 2014 Due date for first campaign finance report
April 10, 2014 Last day for voter registration with county clerk
May 1, 2014 Last day to request mailed ballot from county clerk
May 2, 2014 Due date for second campaign finance report
May 10, 2014 Election day
May 21, 2014 Final day for canvassing of votes
July 15, 2014 Last campaign finance report for election

Additional elections on the ballot

The Board of Trustees election shared the ballot with the race for the District 5 seat on the Garland City Council.[16]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Garland + Independent + School + District"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 United States Census Bureau, "Garland, Texas," accessed February 27, 2014
  2. National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed May 2, 2014
  3. Dallas County Elections, "Historical Election Results," accessed February 27, 2014
  4. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  5. Garland Independent School District, "GISD Board of Trustees," accessed March 19, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 Texas Secretary of State, "May 10, 2014 Election Law Calendar," accessed March 18, 2014
  7. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, "Endorsements," accessed May 8, 2014
  8. Information submitted to Ballotpedia through e-mail from Debbie Goodson on April 25, 2014.
  9. North Dallas Gazette, "Garland ISD discloses self-reporting to Homeland Security regarding H-1B Visa info," February 13, 2014
  10. WFAA, "Garland ISD teachers say they face deportation," February 25, 2014
  11. Dallas Observer, "The Feds' Investigation Into Garland ISD's Visa Problems Could Cost the District Serious Cash," February 27, 2014
  12. WFAA, "Investigators detail corruption in Garland ISD foreign teacher program," April 8, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Rowlett Lakeshore Times, "Garland ISD Place 4 Board of Trustees candidates answer questions on the district," April 17, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 Rowlett Lakeshore Times, "Garland ISD Place 5 Board of Trustees candidates answer questions on the district," April 24, 2014
  16. City of Garland, "Elections," accessed March 19, 2014