Three candidates are vying for the Place 7 seat on the Keller ISD board of trustees. They are DaLana Barsanti, Dixie Davis and Heather Washington.

Candidates were asked to keep responses under 50 words, answer the questions provided and avoid attacking opponents. Answers may have been edited or cut to adhere to those guidelines, or for style and clarity.

Community Impact is only asking candidates in contested May 4 elections to answer questionnaires.

*Indicates incumbent

DaLana Barsanti

Experience: M.E.N.D. board of directors, PTA leadership, ppecial needs parent advocate

Occupation: Parent advocate

Contact Information: 817-993-9756

Why are you running for office?

As a parent and parent advocate, I bring a unique perspective of district challenges. Marginalized students are not seen, and their needs are overlooked. Our teachers as the face of the district are not being heard. With a $27 million deficit and low fund balance, we need revenue besides state allotment.

What are the biggest challenges facing the school district?

Two challenges: stagnant enrollment and funding. Cuts need to have little impact on the classroom but rather general administration. We face a communication and transparency crisis. We face a teacher crisis as knowledgeable, experienced teachers are leaving the district. We should rely on the creativity our teachers exhibit.

How do you plan to address these issues?

Build a better relationships with all KISD municipalities to maintain open communication. Access to a line item budget so taxpayers know where the money is going and allow the board to make informed decisions on expenditures. Bring more questions to board meetings so the public can be informed.

What would your top priorities be if you are elected?

My priority is to continue to be an advocate for teachers, students, families and stakeholders. I would like to address issues in our special education department at the district level. I want to work with the district to brainstorm ideas on how to increase revenue outside of the state allotment.

Dixie Davis

Experience: University of Texas graduate, Heritage HOA finance committee, public school advocate and volunteer

Occupation: Full-time parent with a background in digital communications

Candidate Website:

Why are you running for office?

My family moved here because of KISD’s great schools. But now that my daughter is about to start kindergarten, I’m worried for the future of KISD. We’re facing a historic budget crisis and teacher shortage. Meanwhile, our board has focused on divisive, culture-war politics at the expense of our kids.

What are the biggest challenges facing the school district?

KISD faces a $27 million budget deficit and our district savings account is dangerously low. Our state leaders spent last year holding much-needed school funding hostage to pass a voucher scheme that would only hurt us in the long run. Now our students and educators are paying the price.

How do you plan to address these issues?

KISD can better use our limited funds to retain our outstanding educators. We have some options, for example, as we pay off debts we may be able to shift millions of dollars toward hiring back teachers. We must also fight for more state funding for public education.

What would your top priorities be if you are elected?

The board’s lack of transparency and lengthy rollout of these recent budget cuts caused chaos in classrooms and rumors to spread as it became clear multiple educator positions would be cut at every campus. Parent, teacher and community input must always be considered when making major district decisions.

Heather Washington*

Experience: Longtime KISD volunteer and advocate, KISD parent, KISD substitute

Occupation: Retired from sales and account management

More Information: *incumbent

Why are you running for office?

Our students deserve top-notch education, and our community deserves a trustee who will listen and strive to work hard for their benefit.

What are the biggest challenges facing the school district?

Running on a deficit budget for nearly 10 years has significantly hindered our district, especially with the absence of a state funding increase.<br>

How do you plan to address these issues?

As a trustee, my commitment remains unwavering in urging the district to maintain a balanced budget and persistently advocating for state funding for our schools.

What would your top priorities be if you were elected?

Fiscal responsibility, prioritizing education, supporting our educators, empowering parents and keeping our kids safe