Nine investigators with the Texas Education Agency have arrived in Beaumont and are looking into a variety of issues including another allegation of cheating, although the TEA is not naming the school.
The on-site visit is part of an investigation into the BISD that started six weeks ago.
This afternoon TEA's director of Communications, Gene Acuna, held a news conference previewing what investigators would be doing this week. he told reporters this is the only time the TEA would address the media during the trip which is scheduled to wrap up Friday.
BISD board president Gwen Ambres says the district welcomes the investigation. She said, "We are transparent and we don't have issues with people coming down and looking at our district, in fact we welcome their feedback and their recommendations."
Acuna said representatives are visiting BISD this week as part of investigations being conducted into various areas of potential concern. Those areas include student attendance; test security; district contracts; the district's special education program; and overall district governance.
Acuna said the TEA's inquiry into each of these areas comes as the result of either a specific complaint submitted to the Agency or from information the district has supplied to the Agency that the TEA believes merits additional review and pointed out that in each of the areas, there have been no findings against the district by TEA. He said the agency is in its investigative phase.
Acuna said the TEA has had complete cooperation of the Beaumont Independent School District – including Superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois, members of the board of trustees, and BISD staff.
While in Beaumont, investigative teams will be visiting with individuals at the campus and district level, as well as reviewing district documentation relating to the investigative areas of interest.
The TEA investigative teams are operating independently as they look into specific areas. Any findings in each of these areas will be reported individually and not in one all-encompassing final report. Acuna said as a result, there will not be a specific timeline as to when findings will be issued.
Acuna offered the following summary of the TEA's investigation into the BISD
- ƒnreviewing data submitted to TEA,
- ƒnreviewing attendance documents maintained by the campuses,
- ƒnconfirming that state laws are being followed.
- ƒnreviewing the day-to-day operation of the district
- ƒnconfirming that state laws and local board policies are being followed.
- ƒnreviewing how the district identifies students in need of special education
- ƒnwhether the needs of those students are appropriately being met.
FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING: CONTRACTS & PURCHASING
- ƒnreviewing how the district follows its financial accounting practices
- ƒnhow it follows state and federal program requirements on contracts and
- ƒnwe are looking into a possible violation of security procedures for a specific assessment administered in the Beaumont ISD.