The Texas Commissioner of Education is urging Beaumont voters to participate in the upcoming school board elections even though it is unclear when the elected board will be sworn in.
A press release from the TEA on Wednesday announced that the current board of managers has agreed to stay on for an extended period.
In the release Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath noted that winners in the May 2017 school board elections will not be sworn into office as long as the current TEA installed board of managers is in place.
Morath went on to say that those elected may eventually be called to serve once the transition back to an elected board is started.
The commissioner, by state law, is the one responsible for initiating the two-year transition back to an elected school board according to the release.
The current board of managers will stay in place to "ensure a smooth and effective transition for the community," Wednesday's release said.
In mid-2016 the board of managers announced that they planned to stay in place no longer than May 2017 according to a 12News file story.
Morath recently visited the district where, according to the release he noted the progress achieved by the current board of managers.
“The district has certainly come a long way in a relatively short period of time thanks to the work of the board of managers and superintendent Dr. John Frossard,” Morath said according to the release.
"I want to make sure that progress continues for the people of Beaumont and all students in the district," he said.
The board of managers consists of A.B. Bernard, Lenny Caballero, Jack Carroll, Joe Domino, Vernice Monroe, Robert Turner and Dr. Jimmy Simmons.
In the past few months Morath, TEA staff and the current board of managers have held ongoing discussions on how to achieve an effective transition to new board leadership for the district according to the release.
“After discussion with TEA staff, it was determined that installing a new board of managers could delay the move to an elected board,” current board of managers president, Dr. Simmons said according to the release.
Simmons went on to say that the board of managers had agreed, at the commissioner's request, to "stay on for an extended term" the release said.
The board of managers was installed in 2014 by then commissioner Michael Williams following TEA investigations into special education, finance and governance issues at the district according to the release.