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Harlandale ISD under scrutiny as state education officials step in

The district has until July 9 to respond to the intervention.

SAN ANTONIO — The Texas Education Agency has notified Harlandale ISD that the district is facing serious sanctions, specifically saying they're looking to replace both the school board the the superintendent after their inability to mend long-running issues. 

The conflict has been going on for two years, starting with complaints about mismanagement, and the TEA said the issues have not been properly addressed. Now, time is up. 

The TEA said Harlandale has been rolling towards trouble since 2017, alleging problems that include Open Meetings Act violations, nepotism, and contract procurement and management.

At Gillette Elementary, for example, a repair job ballooned from costing $185,000 dollars to $4.4 million dollars.

TEA said proper bidding and oversight procedures were not followed.

They also allege the board has been wrongfully meddling in day-to-day operations of the district, with some board members accused of threatening employees who wouldn't do their bidding.

The superintendent was not available to talk about the issues Wednesday, but the district did issue a written response:

“Yesterday evening, the District received correspondence from the TEA Commissioner. In his correspondence, the Commissioner announced sanctions to be imposed against the District as a result of the Final Report issued by TEA’s Special Investigations Unit. Obviously, the District is disappointed by the Commissioner’s conclusions. The District’s Board of Trustees will meet in the near future to discuss the Commissioner’s letter and weigh the District’s options.”

When this conflict began, the district responded with a 56-page document, denying all allegations. Now, the TEA says Harlandale has until July 9 to respond.

District officials said they intend to. 

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