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Education

'We Are Disgusted': DeSoto ISD Parents React To TEA Audit Showing Mismanagement

Photo of screen with DeSoto ISD's virtual board meeting via Zoom call on it.
Bill Zeeble
/
KERA News
DeSoto's school board heard from irate citizens upset by a TEA report that alleged mismanaged funds and possible illegal actions by employees.

The Texas Education Agency is on the brink of installing a conservator to oversee the DeSoto school district. A TEA audit found financial mismanagement and possible illegalities that led to a multi-million-dollar deficit. 

Upset citizens weighed-in Thursday night during a virtual board meeting. More than a dozen speakers voiced their displeasure.

The seven DeSoto board members called Thursday’s meeting specifically to hear comments from the public on the TEA’s report. It alleges criminal mismanagement of taxpayer funds by employees, failure by the board to exercise its fiscal oversight, and failed accounting procedures that led to a $21.5 million shortfall.

DeSoto resident and parent Kimberly Mosley says that all adds up to a feeling of disgust.

“We understand that financial misconduct has occurred. And we are disgusted, I say speaking for myself and my husband — but I believe I can speak for my community as well," Mosley said. "We are disgusted by the mismanagement,” .

Emory Price, a long-time DeSoto resident, said the leadership needs to change.

“No longer will the community stand for these unprofessional board meetings where you speak and intimidate employees,” Price said. “Disrespectfully using bullying tactics . . . we will vote you out. We need professionals.”

The current superintendent has previously said many problems in the audit have been corrected. It's now up to the state’s education commissioner if he wants to appoint a conservator, which he could do at any time. 

Got a tip? Email Reporter Bill Zeeble at bzeeble@kera.org . You can follow him on Twitter @bzeeble.

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