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TEA Officials Recommend Replacing Harlandale’s Elected School Board

Harlandale ISD Superintendent Rey Madrigal at a superintendents meeting Feb. 13, 2018.
File Photo | Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio
Harlandale ISD Superintendent Rey Madrigal at a superintendents meeting Feb. 13, 2018.

Officials with the Texas Education Agency recommended that Harlandale’s elected school board be replaced with an appointed board of managers in a final report sent to the district on Friday.Education Commissioner Mike Morath will make a final decision based on that recommendation at a later date.

The report is based on a two-year investigation into Harlandale for allegations of nepotism and inappropriate business arrangements.

The school district appealed a preliminary report on the investigation in December.

Read the final report

In addition to replacing the board of trustees, the report recommends that Morath lower Harlandale’s accreditation and install a TEA conservator “due to the HSD Board of Trustees and the current Superintendent’s inability to appropriately govern and oversee the fiscal management of the District without taking actions outside the scope of their authority.”

Agency officials are also recommending that an independent auditor conduct a forensic audit of Harlandale’s contracts at the district’s expense.

Agency officials were unable to find sufficient evidence to confirm the allegations of nepotism.

TEA will likely direct Harlandale to hold a public hearing on the results of the investigation and expectations for improvement.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@tpr.org or on Twitter @cmpcamille