October 2018 District Update

 Since my arrival in DeSoto ISD, I’ve been focused on understanding the landscape of the district, and have come to understand that there are a number of complex issues that require immediate attention.

In fact, we are facing large, multifaceted issues that fall under three categories: (1) there are those investigations which are now closed and have been reported to the appropriate external agencies, (2) those investigations that are in progress and (3) those issues that perhaps we have not yet discovered.

We believe that as we continue to review the district as a whole, more information will come to light during the course of this school year that could very well be shocking, and most certainly disappointing.

And while the issues that are before us are a result of decisions and actions of former employees, we have a responsibility to face what occurred and fix what happened so that we may move forward. We have self-reported findings of past unethical practices to the appropriate agencies and will continue to report any other information that we uncover. 

Click here for more information about an upcoming Finance Update.

Regarding perceptions about our ability to resolve payroll and questions about our financial standing, it is important to note that while we are recommending amendments to support the district’s budgetary needs, our teachers and staff are not and have never been in jeopardy of missing a paycheck at any time. We are implementing the above-outlined measures to better position ourselves to resolve our operating costs.

As we continue to work through these issues, we do not intend to sit on problems nor solutions, we plan to ACT. For us, that means being intentional about Accountability, Communication, and Transparency.

Click here to read more about the ACT initiative in DeSoto ISD.

-In addition, we will implement the following:

  • Active monitoring of purchasing and accounting procedures and revisions, where necessary, to align with TEA compliance expectations and regulations

  • Staff training to improve budget management and purchasing processes

  • Organizational restructuring and talent identification to support long-term staffing in finance and across the organization.

The issues we are in the process of working through and uncovering did not occur overnight and will take some time to resolve. However, we are committed to the work ahead of us and doing what’s right for students and families.

While we can’t speak to why certain decisions were made by the previous leadership, we are committed to ensuring better accountability, communication and transparency going forward, and I am more than confident that we will prevail and that past mistakes will not continue to define us.

I, as your new leader, intend to serve as a good and responsible steward of the resources entrusted to this district from our community and to restore your trust, pride, and excellence in our school system.