Over the weekend, Linda LaBeau filed to run for the district 5 school board seat that Judy Needham has held since 1996. LaBeau, who works as a facilitator for parents with children with learning disabilities and mediator for parents and school districts for due process hearings for children with disabilities, has been one of the board’s most outspoken critics. She said she was asked by teachers and parents to run against Needham, who LaBeau called “a career politician.”

“She finances candidates such as Moss and Jackson, thus creating the impression of conflict of interest,” she said. “As Needham votes, so votes her cronies… she abhors transparency and generally bullies other board members.”

LaBeau, who ran against Needham and lost in 2010, said that, if elected, she plans to address the low morale and constant fear of retaliation that district employees feel on a daily basis, short cycle assessment testing, the poor management of district funds, the mishandling of the Joe Palazzolo case, and the mishandling of the search for a superintendent, among other issues.

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The students, she said, will be her top priority.

“My desire to serve on the board is to ensure all students receive a quality education, are treated fairly and equally regardless of race, and to encourage parents to become more involved in their children’s education,” said LaBeau, whose three children attended Fort Worth public schools. “I believe all of us can remember a teacher who encouraged and supported us if we were struggling with a particular subject or learning in general. Those teachers made us want to become lifelong learners and told us we could be anything we wanted to be if we applied ourselves.

“In today’s environment, teachers are discouraged from advocating for their students,” she said. “This is simply wrong and demoralizes teachers and students.”

Attorney Michael Johnson is also running for the seat.



  1. No one person is more responsible for the continuing decline of FWISD than is Judy Needham. With the backing of the likes of Ray Dickerson and Bill Koehler, and aided by unethical and mindless followers like Tobi Jackson (whose own children DO NOT attend schools in the district she represents), Needham singlehandedly directed the cover-up of the AHHS scandal, the special needs students deficating in a potty chair in their classroom, the hiring and placement of a friend as in uncertified coach (who spends most of his day doing nothing) while having transferred his successful predecessor to another team. She continues to manipulate and dictate the business of this district to include who runs for the School Board; how they vote; what information they receive; what gratuities they receive; hiring; promotions; discipline; organization; salaries and of late, the incredibly ignorant move of the STEM and Visual and Performing Arts from the Farrington Property (as represented to voters in the Bond) to the Terrell site. After that move (championed by Jackson who stated two hour bus rides were a time to “study” and an “opportunity to practice time management”) was made public, almost immediately FWISD purchased two lots from the City which were of little or no value to anyone else. The fate of Farrington is yet to be seen but rumors have been flying that it is in the sights of a Needham-backed developer. Then there is her manipulation of contracts to Linebarger and her buddy Barbara Williams; and her continuing destruction of teacher and employee morale. She is the driving force in the continuing 5 year witch-hunt against Palazzolo (which at this point has cost taxpayers $2 million in legal fees alone) and the persecution of her only critic on the Board, Ann Sutherland who also happens to be the only educator. Sutherland’s new found “opponent” Cecelia Speer, is known to all employees for her unethical actions and complete lack of experience in education. When Speer filed for the election, we learned that her campaign manager had already been registered as Needham’s. Linda would bring a much needed breath of fresh air, integrity and transparency to the Board and give hope to the future of children in this District.

    • Thank you for the kind comments. I sincerely hope I can demonstrate to the voters — parents, children and teachers — I can bring about a cultural change much needed to the board and administration. But since you mentioned the Linebarger issue, I encourage you to go to the finance reports for Needham, Jackson, and Moss in 2013. You will see Linebarger contributed $1000 each to Needham and Jackson and $500 to Moss. I believe publlc integrity behooves candidates to either make public these contributions and/or recues yourself from voting on contracts from major contributors to your campaign. I may be shooting myself in the foot by bringing this to the public’s attention but insuring the financial condition improves for FWISD is part of my platform. The primary duty of every board member is fiduciary duty to the public it serves.

  2. When will the wealthy and influential people of Fort Worth listen to the Teachers, Parents and Employees of FWISD when we tell you that you will NEVER attract the best and brightest for Super as long as you insist on keeping Judy Needham, Tobi Jackson, Norm Robbins, T.A. Sims and Christene Moss on this School Board. They are destroying what is left of this district. Destroying the futures of CHILDREN! Stop listening to Bill Koehler, Ray Dickerson and God forbid, Melody Johnson. Vote for CHANGE! Vote Aguilar, LaBeau and Sutherland. EAST SIDE: Find a write-in candidate! Ann Sutherland for Board President!

  3. The FW Weekly has been remiss in dropping coverage of FWISD Board activities and as a result—–concerned citizens have migrated to CIAFWISD blog. Either dedicate resources to cover the upcoming elections and issues or declare yourself a mere music/art web site.
    We need coverage and a voice—state your intentions.

  4. State your intentions, FW Weekly, to either cover this important FWISD election topic or relegate to CIAFWISD blog site which has taken over in your deplorable absence.
    Music and arts seem to be your only topic.

  5. Can the weekly please look into Aguilar. Apparently proof is out there that he doesn’t live in FWISD and has been commiting tax fraud. Very troubling.