TEA to replace Hearne ISD board members, superintendent after accreditation investigation

Posted at 3:55 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 18:12:37-04

The TEA said in a letter that they plan on replacing the Hearne ISD superintendent and all members on the board after an investigation lowered their accreditation status.

The letter said the commissioner of education, Mike Morath, will appoint a new superintendent and a new board of trustees in a future correspondence.

For the time being, Morath is escalating the role of the TEA monitor of the district, Patricia Hayes.

In February 2016, TEA opened a special accreditation investigation into Hearne ISD in response to several complaints they had received.

On March 20, the Special Investigations Unit issued a final report which documented the following findings, according to the letter:

  • The board of trustees and the superintendent are failing to work together to provide educational leadership for the district
  • Members of the board of trustees are acting in their individual capacities on behalf of the board
  • The district did not comply with state law and TEA rules by failing to collect criminal history information to facilitate the State Board of Education’s national criminal history review for 10 non-certified employees
  • The district lacks internal control in the business office

Those findings are compelling Morath to lower the district's 2015-2016 accreditation status to accredited warned - due to the fact that the district exhibits serious or persistent deficiencies that may lead to the probation or revocation of the districts accreditation.

Morath is appointing a board of managers to the district to exercise the powers and duties of the district's board of trustees. 

"This intervention is further needed to prevent imminent and substantial harm to the welfare of the district's students or the public interest," Morath said.

A majority of the board of managers will consist of members of the Hearne ISD community who are committed to service on behalf of the students of the district and the community. 

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