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The Socorro School District reveals the results of their internal audit
By: Bill Melugin
EL PASO, Texas--The Soccorro School District revealed the results of its internal audit today, months after the school board ordered the district to investigate possible wrongdoing.
The district released a report detailing some issues the auditor found in previous years. Some irregularities were discovered, but it was not as severe as the cheating that took place in other local school districts.
Auditor Pam Padilla, former Superintendent of Canutillo ISD, went through the high school transcripts of more than 13,000 SISD graduates between the years of 2009-2012, and found that 9 percent of students had some type of irregularity in their transcripts, and that they did affect federal accountability measures.
Padilla reported that some students, some of which were special education or English Language Learners, were not placed in the correct grade levels, and did not participate in state or federal accountability measures, meaning the accountability ratings during this period may have been inaccurate or misleading.
The audit also found that a district policy discouraged transfer students from Mexico from enrolling in the district schools. However, the audit did not find any evidence that the district refused to enroll a student.
There was no evidence of any grade or document falsification, and no evidence of credit granted without merit.
Socorro ISD board president Dr. Jose Espinoza spoke with KFOX14 about how he has placed four district employees on leave because of the result of the audit.
"Well it's very disheartening," Espinoza said. "I'm not one that's going to judge, at this point. That's why they've been placed on administrative leave, but once this second review takes place, and the facts prove individuals could've stopped it, and the evidence shows that termination is needed, I have no problem making that recommendation."
The Socorro ISD school board plans to self-report the findings of the audit to the Texas Education Agency, the United States Department of Education and the FBI.
They plan to hire an attorney to find out who was responsible for the irregularities, and will implement a corrective action plan.