Texas Education Agency spokeswoman DeEtta Culbertson said investigators from the state office will be in Beaumont “sometime in October” to continue a Special Accreditation Investigation into the Beaumont Independent School District.
“We should know something sometime here in the near future,” Culbertson said as to the imminent arrival of TEA investigators.
“Normally what happens is, we go down, conduct our investigation, come back and review information, call back to the district, write a preliminary report, and send it to the district for comment,” Culbertson explained, noting that Special Accreditation Investigations are very time consuming and laborious. “Depending on what happens, (BISD) can either not respond and the report stands as final, or they can offer additional information or just disagree. That, of course, could take a while.
“It’s not a quick process. I’ve never known a (Special Accreditation Investigation) to go really quick. We want to be thorough.”
While Culbertson said she could not divulge too much information about a pending investigation, she did say investigators from at least four areas of expertise will be putting BISD under a microscope.
“I do know it’ll be people from the areas mentioned in the letter each having someone there,” she said. The four areas cited in the investigation notice sent to BISD on June 14 are Financial Accounting Contracts and Purchasing, Student Attendance Accounting, Administration of Statewide Assessment, and the Special Education Program.
According to information from the TEA, the agency has reported BISD to the Texas Comptroller, the State Auditor’s Office, and the Legislative Budget Board for review already – but other agencies may be asked to investigate BISD before the TEA finalizes its review of the local school district.
“During the course of this investigation, TEA may discover matters that may warrant immediate attention or identify concerns that are not within its jurisdiction and authority to address,” TEA special investigator Emi Johnson warned BISD. “TEA will make referrals to the proper agency, as deemed necessary.”
TEA’s Culbertson said nothing is final as of yet in regards to what will be the outcome of this already lengthy investigation.
“There’s nothing decided on the investigation,” she said. “There’s still a lot of things that need to take place.”