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Education Commissioner, others react to Record Review decision in BISD case

Updated: Monday, June 16 2014, 04:47 PM CDT
Statement from Education Commissioner Michael Williams in response to Deputy TEA Commissioner upholding decision to elevate monitor to conservator and lower BISD's accreditation to Accredited-Probation.

"Following a fair and impartial review of the facts, I am pleased that my decision to lower the accreditation status of the Beaumont Independent School District and to appoint a conservator in the district has been upheld.  Unfortunately, my decision to appoint a board of managers and an interim superintendent continues to be delayed in court proceedings brought forth by the current board at the expense of Beaumont taxpayers.  However, I remain confident that when the district's legal maneuvers have all been exhausted, a board of managers will be put in place to begin the overdue job of restoring community faith and confidence in the Beaumont Independent School District."

We reached out to all of the trustees and heard back from the following:

Zenobia Bush: "I'm not surprised by any of that. To me it's a ridiculous appeal process, because you're not going to rule against your boss, unless I don't understand something. It seems to me that if the Commissioner of Education is over the person making the ruling, why would the ruling go contrary to what the ruling is?"

Mike Neil: "I think it's the step that needed to be taken. It's a big step, especially with the hearing tomorrow. I think it's a very timely decision to come today and I'm excited about it."

Tom Neild: "I'm glad there finally was a ruling on that. To hear that she is basically ruling in favor of the Commissioner is not a surprise to me. I do, after listening to the hearing, feel that she made the right decision in ruling the way she did."

Woodrow Reece: "I have no problem with a conservator. I asked the commissioner myself if he would appoint someone for at least six months." (Reece said he made that request when Commissioner Michael Williams came to Beaumont.)

Statement from the Beaumont ATPE: The following is a brief statement from the Beaumont president of the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) regarding today’s ruling by the Texas Education Agency. In addition to upholding the commissioner’s decision to lower the district’s accreditation, the hearing officer also supported the decision to elevate the current TEA-appointed monitor to conservator.

“I applaud the decision by the TEA to elevate the current BISD monitor to conservator,” Beaumont ATPE President Suellen Ener said. “I am hopeful that the district court in Austin will allow the commissioner to appoint a Board of Managers. If this board and this administration truly cared about the district they would stop their costly appeals so we can start the process of restoring our district and regaining the community's trust.” Education Commissioner, others react to Record Review decision in BISD case

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