Teachers claim BISD laid them off to cover up theft - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Teachers claim BISD laid them off to cover up theft

Beaumont Independent School District Beaumont Independent School District
BEAUMONT - Johnnie Arline and two other teachers, who did not want to be identified, told 12News they believe their jobs were sabotaged by the Beaumont Independent School District.

They are three of about 37 teachers for the adult education program who received certified letters telling them the program was being eliminated after this school year.

In the letter, BISD's executive director of human resources Sybil Comeaux wrote, "It is with regret we are informing you that the Beaumont Independent School District will not receive the annual grant to continue the Adult Education Program beyond the 2013-2014 school year.  Because your employment is contingent on the continuation of the Adult Education Program, the district will not reemploy you for the 2014-2015 school year."

Arline and the other two teachers who spoke to 12News claim BISD intentionally failed to apply for the annual grant in a timely manner.

Arline said, "It's a cover up and a conspiracy and it all started with the layoff of my wife."

Arline said his wife Perline was laid off on the first day of school in 2012.  BISD had told her there was no money left in the grant fund to pay her salary.

The Arlines have documentation from the Texas Education Agency showing otherwise.  They showed us a response from the TEA to their open records request.  It shows the year Perline was let go, the grant had not been reduced and additional funds had actually been awarded.

The Arlines believe the district destroyed the adult education program to prevent anyone from finding out what was happening to the grant money.

Perline Arline has filed several grievances against the district to get her job back, but has been unsuccessful.  She said at one of her grievance hearings, an administrator said, "You can maneuver a grant, however way you want."

We reached out to BISD for this report, but we have not heard back.

The adult education classes are offered outside of Beaumont as well, in several Southeast Texas counties.

Classes offered include English as a second language courses, GED preparation, as well as vocational instruction.
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