February 20, 2019 Media Update

DeSoto ISD:

Many in our school community have seen the teasers for the CBS 11 story that will air tonight at 10 pm on CBS 11. While much of the information featured is factual and may be shocking, we, as a district are aware of these findings, we have implemented a number of changes regarding these concerns and we are working to continue to establish controls to better oversee and manage our resources.

In an effort to be accountable, communicative and transparent, the district is sharing the following information related to a CBS 11 investigative story regarding the district that is scheduled to air tomorrow night at 10 pm. The story reviews past use of district credit cards and travel.

DeSoto Independent School District has been made aware of concerns related to the past behaviors related to district credit card and travel resources. While current district administration cannot provide insight regarding the intent behind these behaviors and practices, we can clarify that we have increased internal controls for purchases and travel.

Last fall, shortly following Dr. Weaver's arrival, the district implemented the following:

  • The district communicated clear and stringent expectations and guidelines regarding the use, access and approval of district resources and travel.
  • The district recalled all employee-issued credit cards.
  • The district implemented a more rigorous process for purchasing and travel approvals including the implementation of a district-wide purchase order process which requires documentation regarding the educational justification and approval of any intended purchases.

In addition, DeSoto ISD now:

  • Actively monitors purchasing and accounting procedures and revisions where necessary to align with TEA compliance expectations and regulations.
  • Trains and educates staff to improve budget management and purchasing processes. Under new leadership, the district is committed to sound fiscal management of every asset and resource entrusted to us.  

The investigative piece also makes mention of the district’s financial position. While this news is shocking, I want the community to know that we are working diligently to address the district’s financial concerns and we have a plan in place to address our deficit and rebuild the fund balance. More information will follow related to our strategic financial plan. We will continue to provide updates where necessary to proactively restore public trust in DeSoto ISD.

We will continue to be as accountable, communicative and transparent as possible regarding how we share information with our community and hope to continue to be proactive in restoring public trust with our address of these matters.  

-Dr. Weaver