DeSoto Mayor McCowan Statement On TEA Results

Headshot DeSoto Mayor McCowan

TEA Report Gives DeSoto ISD An F Accountability Rating For Finances

On August 14, TEA released their findings on DeSoto ISD regarding their handling of finances. DISD is facing a multi-million-dollar deficit ($21.6 million) resulting in an “F” substandard financial accountability rating.

According to the report, DISD employees approved 50 credit card transactions totaling $330,000 to three fictitious merchants created by district employees. The report states “Because criminal investigations may be occurring, or are otherwise imminent, the details of these matters are omitted from this report.”

TEA summary states: “The findings establish that there is need for TEA intervention to assist the District in deficient areas that have been an ongoing problem.” TEA says the findings warrant an intervention and recommends the appointment of a conservator.

Mayor McCowan Says DeSoto ISD Will Rise Up

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has completed its review of DeSoto ISD’s finances. It has been a long, thorough process, and the wait has been a difficult one for those of us who love DeSoto and are eager to move our schools forward.

To me, this review feels like a visit to the doctor’s office to receive some very critical test results. You want to hear the best but are prepared for the worst. In this case, the Doctor is the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and DeSoto needs to hear what the Doctor has to say and abide by it.

I have devoted more than forty years as a volunteer in numerous leadership roles in the field of education, including PTA President, DeSoto ISD School Board President and as a member of the committee that helped develop Leadership Texas Association of School Boards (Leadership TASB), graduating with the Charter Class as a Master School Board Trustee. Having the benefit of these and many other experiences, I deeply respect the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and all they do to ensure that our children receive a quality education. I also know how dependent everything in our world is on a good education. Without it, we can never achieve the full potential that God has given us.

TEA’s review was a necessary step to take before our schools can move ahead, and we are grateful for their hard work and valuable input. Even though DeSoto ISD is completely independent in operations and funding from the City of DeSoto, we also realize that our city’s future is very much dependent on the schools’ success. If the children who attend our schools don’t succeed, then who will lead our city and run our businesses in the future?

As a mother of two successful DeSoto High School graduates, I know one of the first things that young parents look for when they move is a city with a good school system. And buying a new home can be the biggest investment a family can make, so they want to have confidence in the city and the school system in which they invest. Likewise, businesses look at the quality of schools in the process of deciding where they will locate; thus the health of our schools is directly related to DeSoto’s business growth and job creation.

I urge all stakeholders to join the City of DeSoto in our commitment to do everything we can to work with our schools to provide the highest quality of education possible for all students and to not only meet but exceed expectations. The road back has not been an easy one, but I am confident that if we all work together and focus on academic excellence for our children, DeSoto ISD will RISE UP!