State board of education member believes TEA takeover of BISD is imminent

On Friday, the Beaumont Independent School District became the only school district in Texas not to receive accreditation from the Texas Education Agency this year.

Accreditation shows if a district has its act together financially, legally and academically.

The TEA withheld BISD's accreditation because of pending investigations.

Since last year, the TEA has been looking into four issues at BISD: student attendance, exam security, district contracts and the special education program.

The investigation into special education is complete, and the TEA has placed a monitor over the program.

State board of education member David Bradley says he believes the state withholding accreditation is a sign that a state takeover of the district is imminent.

He said, "I think that's the only solution, the agency formed a special division this year, strictly to handle BISD, the director of that department is a former federal prosecutor."

Bradley also had a message to BISD taxpayers, he said, "Help is on the way, it's slow in coming, but certainly on the horizon."

Another sign that a state takeover of BISD is likely is a recent meeting held by State Representative Joe Deshotel.

Sources in Austin have told us that both Deshotel and State Representative Allan Ritter have been asked to each nominate three people from the community, for a total of six, representing the racial makeup of the district.

They will serve as a citizen's advisory board if TEA takes over BISD.

We're told that's why Deshotel recently met with African-American community leaders at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Beaumont.

Despite our sources, two of whom were in the meeting, Deshotel contacted us Saturday and told us that neither he nor Ritter had been asked to nominate anyone, but he says if they were ever asked it would be more like 20 people for the Texas Education Commissioner to choose from.

Deshotel also told us that it would be him and not Ritter who would make the selections.

He said, "The fact that I had a meeting was not an indication that anything is imminent, no more than praying you go to Heaven means you are about to die.  Just want to be prepared if necessary."


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