Deshotel urges TEA to appoint board of managers at BISD

State Rep. Joe Deshotel

State Rep. Joe Deshotel said Wednesday morning, April 9, 2014, that he believes a Texas Education Agency takeover of Beaumont Independent School District may be the only way for the district to regain the trust of the community so it can continue its duty of educating children. In press release, Deshotel said he believes the community must move forward with the TEA staff's recommendation of a takeover in order to assure that no misdeeds or malfeasance at the administrative levels be allowed to negatively impact the district's accreditation.

During the last legislative session, Deshotel sat on the Public Education Committee and worked closely with TEA Commissioner Michael Williams on HB 5 to significantly reduce the burden of standardized tests in public schools and broaden the curriculum choices of high school students. Deshotel has also been in continued communication with the TEA commissioner regarding the developing situation at the Beaumont Independent School District, and clearly understands it is the Commissioner's final decision.

"Opinions on how to move forward may differ, and it was my own sincere wish that the district could have solved its internal problems and external image without action by the state, but everyone in the community knows something must change," Deshotel said in the release statement. "The controversy surrounding BISD has caused division in our community that threatens to harm our children’s educational opportunities as well as our long term economy.

"At this point it appears the only way for BISD to move beyond its current set of controversies is for the TEA to appoint a Board of Managers."

The statement from Deshotel continued:

"With the conclusion of the TEA report and the recent indictments of corruption, the business of administering the district has distracted from its mission of teaching our children. I trust that by following TEA staff recommendations the Commissioner can confidently continue the District’s accreditation.

"I have no doubt that the current board and Administration want to provide the best education for the children and best working environment for its employees. However, perception is reality and the prevailing perception is that there is nothing that this current board and administration can do to regain the trust and confidence of and/or unify this community.

"Any fair-minded person should know that with such an overhaul as replacing the entire Board of Trustees and Administration that some people, with only the best intentions for the district, will be inevitably negatively impacted. However, the most important fact right now is that without leadership that has a clear mandate from and support of the entire community, the students, who should be the focus of our district, will suffer."