Senator Jose Rodriguez is not satisfied with how EPISD has started the clean-up process of the cheating scandal mess. He had harsh words for the EPISD Board of Trustees, urging them to step down from their seats so that the community's faith in the district can be restored.
At a meeting with the press this afternoon, Senator Rodriguez urged Trustees to punish the co-conspirators that participated in Lorenzo Garcia's plot, stating that he is sure that Trustees know exactly who they are but are failing to properly discipline them. The Senator also expressed his disapproval of the Trustees granting a contract to Weaver accounting firm for the forensic audit at last night's meeting.
EPISD Board President, Isela Castañon-Williams, released a statement following Senator Rodriguez's press conference today.
"I understand the concerns shared by Senator Rodriguez and many others in the community, and I respect his decision to convey those concerns directly to the TEA Commissioner. I recognize the public is very upset with many decisions, both that have and haven't been made, but our District is in a very difficult and delicate situation. Our failure to meet TEA's mandates could result in more serious sanctions that could put our District in an even worse position to recover from this tragedy. As I have said throughout this process, we have made difficult decisions to move our District forward, and Tuesday's actions were an example of the difficult, and often unpopular, decisions that will be necessary to restore accountability and rebuild the public's trust. The selected outside auditor has extensive forensic auditing and federal law enforcement experience and I hope once this audit is complete, the public will understand this was a necessary step to hold those involved accountable and help prevent this tragedy from occurring again."
Senator Rodriguez also begged officials to make greater efforts to find more of the students who were pushed out of classrooms in the cheating scandal, and help them finish their high school education.
Senator Rodriguez could not attend last night's EPISD meeting. He ended his speech today, however, on a positive note by recognizing the achievements of one El Paso school. Douglas Elementary that was recently presented with a National Blue Ribbon Award.