AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that members of the current board of managers in the Beaumont Independent School District (BISD) have agreed to stay in position for an extended period of time to ensure a smooth and effective transition for the community.
The announcement comes following a visit to the district where Commissioner Morath saw firsthand some of the progress achieved through the leadership of the current board of managers – A.B. Bernard, Lenny Caballero, Jack Carroll, Joe Domino, Vernice Monroe, Robert Turner and Dr. Jimmy Simmons.
“The district has certainly come a long way in a relatively short period of time thanks to the work of the board of managers and superintendent Dr. John Frossard,” said Commissioner Morath. “I want to make sure that progress continues for the people of Beaumont and all students in the district. It’s great to see that Dr. Simmons and the current board of managers share that goal and are willing to help bring it to fruition.”
Over the past several months, Commissioner Morath, BISD Board of Managers, and Texas Education Agency staff have had ongoing discussions regarding the current transition with the goal of ensuring an effective changeover to new board leadership.
“After discussion with TEA staff, it was determined that installing a new board of managers could delay the move to an elected board,” said Dr. Simmons, Beaumont ISD Board of Managers President. “In addition, it would put enormous pressure on all concerned to transition multiple boards. Upon the commissioner’s request that the current board remain, we have agreed to stay on for an extended term.”
The board members’ agreement to continue parallels elections now taking place for positions on the Beaumont ISD board of trustees. The BISD election is set for May 6. Those elected in the May election will not be sworn into office as long as an appointed board of managers remains in place. The appointed board of managers will continue to operate in place of the elected board of trustees and be responsible for overseeing the management of the school district.
Commissioner Morath still encouraged the Beaumont community to participate in the board of trustee elections, noting that those elected may eventually be called upon to serve the district once the transition back to an elected board is initiated. By state law, the Commissioner is responsible for initiating the district transition back to an elected board. Once initiated, the transition takes two years.
In 2014, Commissioner of Education Michael Williams named and installed a board of managers in the district. The Commissioner’s decision to appoint a board followed TEA investigations into various BISD special education, finance and governance issues.