BISD's new superintendent focuses on future, while Jefferson Cou - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

BISD's new superintendent focuses on future, while Jefferson County D.A. investigate's district's past

BEAUMONT - Beaumont Independent School District's new superintendent Vern Butler found out just how much the community has been waiting for change by the rousing welcome he received at Wednesday's Rotary Club of Beaumont luncheon.

He received a standing ovation, and he returned the favor by giving the crowd of nearly 200 a pep talk.

Butler knows the district is hurting financially and academically from what appears to be years of mismanagement.  That's why the state took over last month replacing the elected board of managers, and making Butler superintendent.

But Butler told the Rotary Club that he's not dwelling on the past.

He said, "Let's look forward, we have so many positive things that occur in our schools and we just have to focus on what's good in our school."

While Butler is ready to move forward, Jefferson County district attorney Cory Crenshaw is still looking back at possible past wrongdoing at BISD.

He said, "From financial fraud to standardized cheating to attendance fraud."

Crenshaw believes Butler is definitely the man to turn things around.

He said, "I have great confidence that's he's going to be able to achieve the transparency and the accountability that he's talking about, that this district so desperately has needed."

Both Crenshaw and Butler said an audit of how BISD's bond money was spent will be conducted.

Crenshaw says it will go as far back as 2007, when the almost $389 million bond package was passed by voters.

Butler says another top concern is making sure there are enough teachers when school starts, that's something he's currently looking at, because many teachers chose to retire and resign this past school year.

Butler also reviewing the cost-efficiency of the BISD police force.

He said, "Of what it costs currently to operate our own police department as opposed to possibly going outside, or making some consolidation perhaps, even making the department a little smaller.

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