TEA Commissioner Michael Williams shows confidence in Board of Managers picks

"This district has not had an election in two and a half to three years, and so in many ways, voters have been disenfranchised by this very Board of Trustees who are now exiting," said Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams.

12News was granted an exclusive interview with Commissioner Williams Monday.

We asked Williams a few questions about how the reborn Beaumont Independent School District will look, and he responded with enormous pride in his seven Board of Managers picks, especially on the question of promoting racial reconciliation.

"They know how to do that. You're going to see seven folks who can work together. Seven folks who can work as a unit of three Anglos, three African Americans, and the first Hispanic to serve on the leadership position for Beaumont ISD.  That's not a Michael Williams question. That's a question for Beaumont. And Beaumonters are going to have to get together and say enough is enough. And I think they will get a leadership cue from the Board of Managers.   And on that, let me say I'm even disappointed to some extent that I don't have more women on the Board of Managers.  It just didn't happen this time," said Commissioner Williams.

Williams said the first order of business for the Board of Managers will be approving a budget, hiring a law firm, and getting a forensic audit.

We asked if alternative cuts could be made to save teacher jobs.

"Well, the Board of Trustees did not do this Board of Managers any favors. They left this district in a mess, so I think it would be unfair to suggest to people that there may not be some level of a reduction in force.  But let's allow the Board of Managers to figure out how deep and how wide that is, and who is on that list."

Williams says he has so much confidence in Interim Superintendent Vern Butler because of Butler's work at El Paso Independent School District.  Williams said Butler "...knows how we do things."


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