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Lawmakers need to target TEA for transparency, CISD Board says

Lawmakers need to target TEA for transparency, CISD Board says
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 7:42pm

If state legislators want more transparency and accountability in school districts, then they need to aim their changes at the Texas Education Agency, according to a news release from Canutillo Independent School District leaders.

The school board approved the drafting of letters pushing lawmakers to aim more changes at the Texas Education Agency rather than at the local school district boards.

In the 83rd legislative session, local lawmakers, including State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, helped pass laws that will heighten the criminal penalty for those who cheat as well as allow for the recall of school board members.

Canutillo's board self-reported findings of alleged cheating and released former Superintendent Damon Murphy in connection to those findings.

The board is drafting letters in hopes to push for legislation that will target changes at the state level, including making the Texas Education Agency's commissioner job an elected position and having the Texas Education Agency's internal auditors report to the State Board of Education rather than the TEA commissioner.

"We need to stop playing politics and start thinking about what is right for the children attending public schools in Texas, as well as the taxpayers that fund those schools," said CISD Board President Armando Rodriguez. "We hope these letters start a conversation that will lead to real, impactful change."

A TEA internal audit report showed a lack of zealousness in pursuing cheating claims at EPISD.

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