Harlandale ISD: Replacing School Board Would Be 'Grossly Excessive' | Texas Public Radio

Harlandale ISD: Replacing School Board Would Be 'Grossly Excessive'

Dec 21, 2018

The Harlandale Independent School District is strongly disputing the preliminary results of a state investigation, which recommends replacing the district’s elected board with a state-appointed board.

The district requested a review of the findings Thursday in a 65-page document submitted to the Texas Education Agency.

TEA began investigating Harlandale in August 2017 after receiving complaints of nepotism and inappropriate business arrangements.

According to the preliminary TEA report published on the district’s website, the agency was unable to determine whether or not the hiring of members of the superintendent’s family broke the law. However, it determined that the district broke the law in six other instances by making an illegal purchase and contract arrangements and violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.

In a statement, Superintendent Rey Madrigal said those findings are incorrect and “based upon misapplied legal requirements.”

He said the recommendation to replace the elected board is “grossly excessive and violates basic democratic rights.”

TEA spokeswoman Lauren Callahan said the review requested by Harlandale has not yet been scheduled, and the agency won’t decide whether to take over the board until it has taken place.

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