Progreso ISD board’s fate concealed; only 1 trustee shows up to meeting to learn TEA ruling

Progreso ISD board's fate concealed; only 1 trustee shows up to meeting to learn TEA ruling

The Monitor

PROGRESO — The school board here was supposed to learn its fate Monday night amid the fallout of a federal corruption probe targeting a family of power brokers in the district’s administration.

But only one trustee — the board vice president — showed up to the Progreso school board’s monthly meeting, meaning the body did not have enough members present to convene.

Kevin O’Hanlon, the attorney who represents the district, said he was ready Monday to deliver the Texas Education Agency’s decision regarding disciplinary action against the board, but he could not to do so without a convened session of the board.

“I don’t think they’re dodging the press,” O’Hanlon said. “I don’t know if they’re playing quorum games, however.” A board must have a quorum to convene.

In cases like this, upon learning the TEA’s ruling, a school board typically would have 30 days to respond, O’Hanlon said. And once the board receives word, the details of the ruling become public information.

521eba8e5d6cb.preview-300

Nathan Lambrecht

Omar Vela talks on the phone after being re-elected as mayor on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2004 in Progreso. Vela, his father Jose Vela, and brother Michael Vela were arrested or corruption charges involving construction projects in Progreso Wednesday. photo by Nathan Lambrecht/nlambrecht@themonitor.com

O’Hanlon said some of the potential actions the TEA could take include:

>> reassigning the board, usually with a mix of government leaders, local citizens and local educators;

>> putting the board into conservatorship, giving the conservator veto power over board action;

>> and putting the board under monitorship, under which the monitor would report to the TEA on board activity.

In cases where corruption or felony charges are alleged, typically a board will be either entirely replaced or placed under conservatorship, O’Hanlon said.

Monday was not the first time the board hasn’t made quorum.

Superintendent Fernando Castillo — who was among 30 people who waited…Continued here: http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_ecbab3f8-3abe-11e3-aea3-0019bb30f31a.html

CBP agents seize more than $4.2M in narcotics Previous post CBP agents seize more than $4.2M in narcotics Police chief: Edcouch alderman tried to block own arrest with restraining order Next post Police chief: Edcouch alderman tried to block own arrest with restraining order