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TEA Board of Managers react to EPISD reinstatements

TEA Board of Managers react to EPISD reinstatements
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POSTED: Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 10:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 9:55am

Parents, students, and members of the community burst into applause after EPISD Trustees reinstated 3 high school principals and 4 assistant principals at a board meeting last night -- it's a decision Trustees say was not made lightly.

But just months ago, one state agency decided the EPISD Board of Trustees shouldn't have this kind of power to make such important decisions. In December, the Texas Education Agency announced their intent to strip Trustees of their power and install their own board of managers.

So why isn't this new board making the tough calls instead? According to a TEA spokesperson, the Department of Justice has not yet approved the move, and the Agency is waiting for clearance.

"The board of managers that we hope to put in place out there are receiving training this so that if and when we get the pre-clearance from the department of justice they will be able to step in and take over from the elected state, I mean elected school board. But that's what we're working on," said Debbie Ratcliffe, spokesperson for TEA. 

Despite the possibility that they may soon replace EPISD Trustees, appointees for the new board of managers say Trustees were right on target with their decisions last night.

"I was pleased to see that the Board of Trustees listened to the community that came out and allowed them to speak even though it took so much time. I think it was fair. I think they weighed the report, they weighed input from the community, and I think that they reached a fair and reasonable outcome," said Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria.

"I'm a believer in due process. If there are, let's just say, clarifications or accusations made, then the other party ought to be able to respond," said former State Rep. Dee Margo.

The Department of Justice still has about a month left to approve whether or not the board of managers will take over the EPISD school board. According to the TEA, the Department can take even longer to make that decision.

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