Beaumont Independent School District

In addition to raising test scores, balancing a budget, giving raises, buying new buses and building a fund balance of over $20 million, those managing the Beaumont Independent School District are also anticipating a tax break to community stakeholders, whose property tax payments are largely forwarded to BISD.

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Alisa Boutte

According to Jefferson County Assistant District Attorney Cory Kneeland, a March 15 indictment on one count of third-degree felony theft has been dropped against Beaumont Independent School District special education teacher Alisa Boutte. Kneeland said the prosecuting agency came into information that caused the District Attorney’s Office to drop all charges the week of March 27.

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Alisa Boutte

Wednesday, March 21, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office released the indictment handed up by a grand jury March 15 alleging Beaumont Independent School District special education teacher Alisa Boutte committed third-degree felony theft by taking money from the parents of students at Central High School while acting in an official capacity.

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At least two pieces of the BISD forensic audit were left out of the initial document release, and with some digging, The Examiner has those additional reports.

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In the Education Law Center’s researcher-generated “Is School Funding Fair? America’s Most Fiscally Disadvantaged School Districts” second edition report released this month, authors Bruce Baker, Theresa Luhm, Monete Johnson and David G. Sciarra compiled a list of the nation’s most fiscally disadvantaged schools.

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Although the forensic auditing team of Weaver Tidwell LLP spent one year and a million bucks to painstakingly detail expenditures of the Beaumont Independent School District’s $388 million bond initiative over the course of 2,700 pages, investigators in Southeast Texas have yet to find one indictable offense in the year-old document.

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The week ends with no new contenders posted on Thursday or Friday for the Beaumont Independent School District Board of Trustees election. However, The Examiner had learned that local philanthropist and businesswoman Mandie Peel is considering a bid for the At-Large post on the BISD dais.

Peel, along with husband Dr. Garrett Peel, is a parent to five – with students in public, private and home schools.

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The Beaumont Independent School District engaged the firm of Weaver and Tidwell to conduct a forensic audit regarding the 2007 bond issue to find repairs of existing infrastructure and to construct new buildings, including a multipurpose sports venue, Assistant District Attorney Tommy Turner said in a press release Feb. 2.

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After multiple financial audits that analysts had to qualify with exceptions, the Beaumont Independent School District is being presented the first “unqualified audit” of its finances since Texas Education Agency Commissioner Michael Williams ousted the elected Board of Trustees amid allegations of gross mismanagement and installed a Board of Managers to oversee BISD’s affairs in July 2014.

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More than two years after commissioning a nearly $1 million forensic audit of the Beaumont Independent School District, BISD announced it has received a final work product and will release the analysis in its entirety for public consumption as soon as the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office completes its investigation. 

According to Assistant District Attorney Tommy Turner, the office expects to finish its analysis by the end of January.

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