BISD board renews Calvin Walker's contract; Patricia Lambert refuses comment

The Beaumont Independent School District board of trustees Tuesday held its first meeting since the Texas Education Agency announced it was investigating the district.

Superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois addressed the investigation at the start of the meeting saying, "No district has gone through as much scrutiny as BISD, and still maintained its focus on students."

The board then heard preliminary results from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness or STARR testing.  There were gains in science and social studies scores, but decreases in scores for high school math and English.

Final results are due August 8.

Chargois did boast about a 97 percent graduation rate this past school year among seniors.

The most controversial issue facing the board Tuesday evening was whether to renew Calvin Walker's contract as the electrical contractor for the district.

Walker pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of failing to report $1.6 million in income last year.  As a result he's barred from doing business with the state of Texas.

BISD attorney Melody Chappell told board members that should not hinder them from renewing Walker's contract since BISD is a political subsidy and not a state agency.

The board voted 4-to-3 to renew, with Janice Brassard, Mike Neil and Tom Neild voting against.

12News attempted to get a comment from Patricia Lambert, Lambert is the assistant superintendent of secondary schools.  She has been at the center of accusations of cheating taking place on standardized testing in the district, and she's also been accused of padding attendance records.

A former teacher and an assistant principal at Central have made the allegations against Lambert and say they took place while she was principal of Central. 

The TEA is looking into these allegations.  Lambert did not acknowledge 12News and walked away as we questioned her for her side of the story Tuesday night.

One citizen, David Pete, who spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting said it was unfair to just target Central High School, when he claimed there was cheating taking place on other campuses.

In other board business, board members voted to not give teachers a pay raise this upcoming school years because of budget issues, and they also voted to have staff members pay an additional $69 a month for health coverage.




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