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School district looks to make changes after audit revealed possible cheating
By: Genevieve Curtis
SOCORRO, Texas -- Socorro Independent School District evaluated changes at its first special meeting since release of audit.
SISD held a special meeting to address some of the concerns raised in the audit that came out last week, and the meeting remains in executive session.
Some of the changes board members made came as a direct result from the release of the district's audit last week and some of the changes they said were already in the works.
The board approved creating an additional internal auditor position to compliment the department.
Board members said the new auditor will focus on curriculum instruction.
The board created new job descriptions for eight educational instructional specialists.
A spokesperson for the district said this is related to the audit but is something they had in the works for months prior to the audit's release.
The spokesperson added these are not new positions but rather reorganization with an emphasis on having senior leadership at campuses and having direct involvement with the schools.
The auditor did find that the current superintendent and school board are on the right track.
The school board is still considering hiring the Houston-based law firm Thompson and Horton to conduct an investigation on internal review. This comes as a direct result from the audit of the district. The district plans to interview the firm at their next meeting. Board President Cynthia Najera said that they didn't know what the contract amount would be but that the board was hoping to keep it around the $60,000 mark or lower.
Additionally, the board approved extending the contract for the superintendent Dr. Jose Espinoza. The extension will be for two more years with an option to extend for a third year if Espinoza receives satisfactory marks on his reviews.
The extension comes with a two percent pay increase which is standard for SISD employees. He will also receive an additional stipend of more than $7,000 and will receive an additional $100 per month for vehicle expenses and $100 per month for his expense account. The board members felt the increase would help offer a salary that was competitive with what other districts of the same size, offer. One board member voted against the increases.