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KFDM learns TEA hasn't yet scheduled on-site visit to BISD as part of investigation
BEAUMONT - KFDM News has learned the Texas Education Agency isn't yet ready to schedule an on-site visit to the Beaumont Independent School District as part of a state investigation.
TEA spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson told KFDM News on Wednesday the agency is in the process of gathering information. Once it's done, the agency will schedule a visit.
"We've not scheduled anything yet," Culbertson said. "We're in the process of gathering information. Once we complete that work we still have an on-site visit planned but we've not scheduled it yet."
The Texas Education Agency sent a letter to BISD in June confirming the investigation. It says claims of cheating on tests are one part of the probe. The TEA is also looking at the Special Education program, as well as how student attendance is calculated and financial accounting.
Culbertson wouldn't talk specifically about the BISD investigation. She told us, in general, they put together a team with experience in each area of an investigation. The team conducts interviews, looks at records and gathers data.
It won't happen quickly. Culbertson says it sometimes requires additional followup. Investigators might come back to the site for a return visit. A school district under investigation gets a chance to respond. The agency gives districts at least ten days to respond and as many as 30 days or longer. She told us the agency will grant extensions, depending on the report.
Once the entire process is completed, the final report can sometimes be issued in about three months. However, she says some may take a year or more to finish.
The penalties issued by the TEA can include ordering a district to create a plan to correct the problems, assigning a monitor or monitors, or assigning a conservator who can act on behalf of the state and override the board and superindendent.
The ultimate punishment involves the Commissioner of Education hiring a superintendent, setting aside a locally elected school board and appointing a board of managers in its place.