On Monday I brought listeners the news that the TEA had taken over scandal plagued Beaumont ISD. Jon Cassidy, writing at Watchdog.org, had a piece Tuesday that well documents just how bad the situation is and how even the Federal Department of Justice has played a role in blocking reforms at the district.
“The state takeover follows a 19-count federal indictment of two school officials on charges of embezzling more than $4 million,” Cassidy wrote.
“The person responsible for the embezzlement told the TEA that he was able to embezzle substantial funds over a significant period of time because no one was watching his activities,” according to the TEA’s report.
“Two weeks ago, the Texas Education Agency issued a damning report that found a near-complete lack of accounting controls at the district, not to mention school administrators who obstructed the investigation by disappearing for the entire time state investigators were in Beaumont,” Cassidy reported.
In the Beaumont case, as in the UT Regent case, you’ve a government body that has been blocking reform. The Department of Justice has not allowed voters to change the school board since 2011. Cassidy writes that “civil rights officials don’t want to see any black members of the board lose their seats.” Those members held a one-vote majority throughout this debacle.
It’s good and right to see TEA takeover Beaumont ISD but, over at the University of Texas System, who takes it over while even the Legislature works to destroy those uncovering problems? Even the chancellor has left, in-part it appears, because even he couldn’t get rid of an insubordinate UT-Austin President [1, 2].
There’s rot in both places, the Beaumont folk just don’t have a Speaker of the House and as many highly placed friends in Austin.