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TEs ‘Texas Education Agency PO te CE Rees Michael Williams Commissioner February 25, 2015 Mr. Mike Miles Superintendent Dailas independent Schoo! District 3700 Ross Avenue FINAL REPORT Dallas, Texas 75204 miesim@dalasid ora Dear Mr. Miles: The enclosed final report presents the findings, with district responses to those findings, resulting from the Special Accreditation Investigation (SAI) conducted by the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) Special Investigations Unit (SIU). The investigation related to allegations that the Dallas independent School District (DISD) was not in compliance with the National Criminal History Record Information Review and fingerprinting requirements of Chapter 22, Subchapter C, of the Texas Education Code. This final report covers only those allegations described in this final report and investigated by the SIU to date, These findings do not address all ofthe allegations raised before, during, or after our investigation. Additional investigative work may be conducted in the future to address additional allegations. Furthermore, other TEA divisions may be in the process of investigating Dallas independent School District (DISD) or issuing other reports regarding the DISD. ‘The schoo! district or any person identified in this report was afforded the opportunity to request an informal review of the preliminary report, sent to the district on December 19, 2044, in accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC) §39.058; 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §157.1123. The deadline for requesting an informal review was January 9, 2015, The TEA received the district's response on January 9, 2016. ‘As a result, the preliminary report and district responses in the attached documents will be issued as the final report if you have any questions, please contact me at (512)936-3356, or the lead investigator on the investigation, Patrick Turck, at (512)936-2579. Sincerely, Roto SL Ralph Disher Director Special Investigations Unit Daas independent Schoo Disc (CON: 057-995) ‘Tea SAIMINV-2015.09-010 Page 2 of 8 TEA Special Accreditation Investigation Final Report Dallas Independent School District Introduction ‘The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) received a complaint from a former Dallas independent School District (DISD) employee on September 8, 2014. The complainant listed ‘several allegations, which included administrative and personnel issues. The complainant was advised that those specific allegations were more appropriately handied through other entities. The complaint aiso alleged that as many as 800 current DISD employees had not been properly screened in accordance with the national criminal history record review requirements of Chapter 22, Subchapter C, of the ‘Texas Education Code (TEC). This allegation was reviewed by the TEA and a notice of a Special Accreditation investigation (SAl) was issued to DISD on September 24, 2014 Failure by any schoo! district to comply with the aforementioned section of the TEC places students and staff in an environment that poses a substantial risk to their safely. During the course of the SIU investigation, the following violations were identified, either as a direct result of the initial complaint oF due to subsequent investigation 1, 60 current employees had not been fingerprinted, including 30 school district police officers. 2. 120 current employees were printed using a procedure that does not comply with the Chapter 22 requirements because it does not allow for criminal history records to be reviewed by TEA staff. 3. Superintendent of schools submitted two “Statement of Compliance with Chapter 22, Fingerprinting and Criminal Background Check Requirement” certifications in 2013 which stated that the district was in compliance with Chapter 22, Subchapter C, despite an internal DISD audit that indicated the district was not in compliance. Each of these findings is fully described below, with supporting evidence. These findings are the result of extensive analysis of documents submitted by DISD, interviews, review of TEA documents, and application of state law. This report is an accurate representation of the activity described, Daas independent schol Disc (CN: 057-995) TEA Sat Miwv-2035-09-020 Page 3 of 8 Findings Finding #1: 60 current employees had not been fingerprinted, including 33 school district police/security personnel (30 of whom were DISD police officers). District Response to Finding #1: ‘The district responded that, “All 60 employees identified have been correctly fingerprinted and cleared.” TEA Reply to District Response to Finding #1: ‘The fingerprinting of the employees described in Finding #1 took place between September 12, 2014, when the district was notified of the desk review that was initiated by TEA, and November 21, 2014, when the Cerificate of Compliance was submitted. Although the district came into compliance during the pendency of the investigation, the fining refiects the status prior to the TEA’s complaint review, and the finding stands, Finding #2: 120 current employees were printed using a procedure that does not comply with the Chapter 22 requirements because it does nat allow for criminel history records to be reviewed by TEA staff. ‘As a result of the intial compiaint, the TEA conducted a Fingerprint Compliance Review (FCR). This is a ‘comprehensive analysis of the fingerprint status of every employee working for the DISD. The analysis, evaluates the method of fingerprinting, if done, to ensure compliance with state law, as well as the status of any employees not shown as having been fingerprinted. The fingerprint status of DISD was evaluated as of September 30, 2014 ‘Senate Bill 9 created requirements for examining the criminal history of any employee working for a schoo! district or charter school in the State of Texas. The purpose of Senate Bill 9 was to create schoo! environments that are free of individuals who possess a criminal history that pose a potential risk to the safety of students and staff. Senate Bill 9 went into effect on January 1, 2008. The details of the criminal history requirements of Senate Bill 9 are laid out in Chapter 22, Subchapter C, of the Texas Education Code {TEC}, The FCR reviewed 20,394 empioyees of the DISD. Of that total, the FCR determined that 960 individuals had not been properly fingerprinted, The reasons identified for these employees not being properly fingerprinted are detailed beiow: ‘© No record of upload - 21 ‘© Uploaded but not fingerprinted (or reprinted) - 78 + Fingerprints were completed after the review process began - 35 + Fingerprinted using the Local Education Entity (LEE) Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) Pass (a noncompliant process) - 223, + Fingerprinted using the Child Care Licensing (CCL) FAST Pass (a noncompliant process) - 6 ‘+ Fingerprinted using the Fingerprint-based Applicant Clearinghouse of Texas (FACT) FAST Pass (Contractor) (a noncompliant process) - 405 ‘+ Fingerprints were submitted with incorrect or missing data ~ 192 alas independent Schoo Distt {CON: 057-905) TEASADv-2015-08.010 Page 40f8 ‘Members of the Fingerprinting Unit of the TEA conducted a more detailed analysis of the 960 employees and determined that 650 of them had variety of errors that could be easily addressed, including missing data in their uploads to TEA or being fingerprinted after the review period began. A final list of 340 employees requiring review by the schoo! district and action was submitted to DISD. After reviewing the list and taking action, DISD responded that some of the employees no longer worked for the district. Upon review of the 340 employees’ statuses, it was determined that 60 current employees had only been uploaded into the TEA Educator Onfine System (ECOS). This system automatically checks the status of the individual to determine if fingerprints have been previously submitted. if not, the system generates a TEA FAST Pass. This FAST Pass is sent to the employee, who must set an appointment and be fingerprinted before beginning work. Concerning schoo! district personnel, all teachers and classroom aides (regardiess of date of hire), along with any employee hired after January 1, 2008, are required to be fingerprinted. Once fingerprints are completed, TEA reviews the person's criminal history to determine their suitability for ‘employment with a school district, Inthe case of the 60 employees described above, TEA FAST Passes were generated but the employees were never fingerprinted. Consequently, TEA was never afforded the opportunity to review the criminal history of these 60 individuals, as required by Sections 22.0831 and 22.0833 of the TEC, because the information was never relayed to TEA. Itis the responsibilty of the schoo! district to ensure that employees complete the fingerprinting process so that the criminal backgrounds can be reviewed, The 60 employees included two teachers, eight substitute teachers, one teacher's aide, police and security personnel, assistants, and specialists, There were 33 police and security personnel included among the 60 employees who were not fingerprinted. Thirty of the 33 were DISD police officers. Ail DISD police and security personnel are considered to be non- Certified employees of the DISD, as they do not hold a teaching certification issued by TEA. There are no exceptions to the fingerprinting requirements under the TEC for police and security personnel, Although they Undergo extensive background investigations, and police personnel are required to be fingerprinted by their regulating agency, the Texas Commission On Law Enforcement (TCOLE) stil requires these personnel to submit to the mandates of Chapter 22 of the TEC as it relates to non-certified employees. In order for TEA to review the criminal history of prospective school district employees, school districts must upload the prospective employee's name into ECOS so that a TEA FAST Pass can be generated, If the individual is not fingerprinted using a TEA FAST Pass, that individual's criminal history is never made available for review to TEA, There are a variety of FAST Passes avaliable and being utilized by some schoo! districts, including DISD, but which do not meet the requirements of state law. The FACT FAST Pass is often utlized for contractors. The LEE FAST Pass is available for school districts to use for non-certfied personnel hired prior to January 7, 2008 ifthe district wishes to have them fingerprinted. However, the LEE Fast Pass is not adequate, for the purposes of compliance with state law, fo review the criminal history of prospective school district employees, ‘The only FAST Pass which meets the requirements of state law is the TEA FAST Pass. DISD had 120 individuals who were fingerprinted using the FACT or LEE FAST Passes. Again, this prevented TEA from reviewing the criminal histories of those individuals because the information on their criminal histories was never sent to TEA, District Response to Finding #2: ‘The district responded that, “All 120 employees identified have been correctly fingerprinted and cleared so as to comply with Chapter 22 requirements.” TEA Reply to District Response to Finding #2: ‘The fingerprinting of the employees described in Finding #2 took place between September 12, 2014, when the district was notified of the desk review that was initiated by TEA, and November 21, 2014, when the ‘alas Independent Schoo istrit (CON: 057-905) TEASAI4WV.2015-09-010 Page 5 of 8 Certificate of Compliance was submitted. Although the district came into compliance during the pendency of the investigation, the finding reflects the status prior to the TEA’s complaint review, and the finding stands. Finding #3: Superintendent of schools submitted two "Statement of Compliance with Chapter 22, Fingerprinting and Criminai Background Check Requirement” certifications in 2013 which stated that the district was in compliance with Chapter 22, Subchapter C, despite an internal DISD audit indicating that the district was nat in compliance. Section 22.085() of the TEC requires the superintendent of a school district to certify to TEA that the school district has compiied with Chapter 22, Subchapter C. The certification is done by submitting the “Statement of Compliance" referenced above. The date for submission is determined by the commissioner but itis required to be submitted to the TEA each school year. ‘The DISD Superintendent submitted a Statement of Compliance to TEA for the 2012-2013 school year on April 18, 2013, On June 18, 2013, an internal audit was conducted by DISD Internal Audit Services. This internal audit identified a number of issues concerning the conduct of criminal history background checks within DISD. One of the findings on page 4 read: “District does not have centralized consistent criminal history background check process.” The content of the comprehensive audit showed that DISD was not in compliance with state law. However, ‘on November 5, 2013, the Superintendent submitted another Statement of Compliance, this time certifying that the district was in compliance for the 2013-2014 school year despite the fact that a follow-up audit had not been conducted to verify that the recommendations from the June 2013 audit had been implemented, In fact, the follow-up audit, called @ Report of Inspection, was not completed until October 14, 2014 and indicated that the district was stil out of compliance, The follow up audit noted: “The current year Report of inspection found the practice of not promptly recording the background checks had continued and materially increased by almost three-fold during the subsequent 2013-2014 school year.” ‘The intent of the Statement of Compliance is to certiy that the district has complied with the requirements of Chapter 22, Subchapter C, of the TEC. District Response to Finding #3 ‘The district responded that, “A Statement of Compliance for the 2012-2013 school year was signed by the Superintendent of Schools on April 18, 2013. In June 2013, internal audit provided a report that indicated the district was out of compliance. Executive Leadership responded to the findings and took corrective action. The Superintendent of Schools submitted the 2013-2014 Statement of Compliance on November 5, 2013. Executive Leadership did not receive the follow up report to the June 2013 investigation from internal audit and was not aware of any corrective action that needed to be taken until October 2014. Once Executive Leadership was made aware, corrective action was taken.” TEA Reply to District Response to Finding #3: ‘The response from the district states that corrective action was taken after the June 2013 audit. However, in the explanation for the submission of the Statement of Compliance on November 5, 2013, the district states, “Executive Leadership did not receive the follow up report to the June 2013 investigation from internal audit and was not aware of any corrective action that needed to be taken until October 2014.” There is a confict in Daas independent Sehoct Distrct (CDN: 057-905) ‘TEASAIMINV:2015-09-030 Page 6 of 8 the responses as to the level of corrective action taken after the first audit. There is no indication that any corrections were made after the June 2013 audit, as evidenced by the results of the October 2014 audit. The finding is supported by the docuientation provided by DISD to TEA and the finding stands, District Response to Overall Findings: + TEA Finding: No record of upload ~ 21 ‘The district responded that, “Of the 21 candidates identified, 19 were no longer employees with the district and the remaining two were identified as interns, uploaded and cleared.” ‘+ TEA Finding: Uploaded but not fingerprinted (or reprinted) ~ 78 ‘The district responded that, “Of the 78 candidates identified, 12 were no longer employees with the district, one was TEA existing certificates waived, 61 were reprinted and cleared, and four were pre-2008 requiring no action.” + TEA Finding: Fingerprints completed after the review process began ~ 35 ‘The district responded that, “Fingerprints were complete for the 35 candidates identified, and per TEA there was no additional action to be taken.’ + TEA Finding: Fingerprinted using the Local Education Entity (LEE) Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) Pass ( 2 noncompliant process) — 223 The district responded that, “Of the 223 candidates identified, five were separated from the district, 94 were reprinted and cleared, 126 were pre-2008 (no action required), four had a TEA existing certificate not waived.’ + TEA Finding: Fingerprinted using the Child Care Licensing (CCL Fast Pass (a noncompliant process) -6 ‘The district responded that, “The report the district received from TEA did not note those ingerprinted using the CCL FAST Pass, but rather were listed under the LEE FAST Pass and are included in the totals above ‘+ TEA Finding: Fingerprinted using the Fingerprint-based Applicant Clearinghouse of Texas (FACT) FAST Pass (Contractor) (a noncompliant process) ~ 405 ‘The district responded that, “Of the 405 candidates identified, 393 were reconciled by TEA, four were no longer employees of the district, and eight were reprinted and cleared.” ‘+ TEA Finding: Fingerprints submitted with incorrect or missing data ~ 192 ‘The district responded that, “No action was required of the district for these employees; they were reconciled by TEA.” “The majority of the employees represented in the group identified above had fingerprints completed with access for staff to subscribe to them using the rap-back feature which would alert the district to any new criminal record findings. The district acknowledges it was an administrative oversight with the wrong FAST Pass being used for a group of employees. The district has corrected the above and implemented appropriate procedures moving forward.” TEA Reply to District Response to Overall Findings: ‘The numbars referenced above consist of the employees initially identified by TEA as not being properly fingerprinted. A number of these deficiencies were reconciled by TEA. The numbers also represent a Significant amount of dialogue between TEA and DISD in an effort to properly identify the actual number of Dla independent Sehoo Distt (CON: 057-905) TEA SAIMNV-2015-09-010 Page 7 of 8 ‘employees who were deficient. TEA dedicated a substantial amount of time to assist with this process and to determine the final numiber identified in Finding #2. The actual number of current employees who were not properly screened when this investigation began on September 12, 2014 was higher than the number cited in Finding #2. Recommendations for Corrective Action 1. Dallas independent Schoo! District should update and/or implement policies that delegate specific duties related to the fingerprinting and criminal background check process to Dallas {SD employees who are involved in the hiring process of all Dallas (SD employees, certified and non-certified. These policies should address every aspect of the hiring process to ensure that the requirements of Chapter 22, Subchapter C of the Texas Education Code are being met. Dallas ISD should provide copies of these updated policies and procedures to TEA, no later than January 19, 2014. District Response to Recommendation #1: ‘The district responded that, “Due to Dallas ISD Board of Trustee regulations, no policy amendments are possible by the TEA provided deadline. In lieu of policy amendments, we have updated administrative guidelines for criminal record check personnel. Please find updated administrative guidelines attached: Criminal Record Check Handbook.” TEA Reply to District Response to Recommendation ‘The policy updates and implementation of those policy changes, as described in Recommendation #1, should be fully completed, and the district should ensure full compliance with applicable laws and Policies, by the start of the 2015-2016 school year. DISD should discontinue use of the Local Education Entity (LEE) FAST pass in place of the TEA issued FAST pass for fingerprinting new employees, unless the LEE FAST pass has been previously approved for use by TEA Fingerprinting Unit staff for an acceptable purpose. In the case of new DISD employees previously printed using the FACT FAST Pass for school contractors, DISD must upload these new emplayees, and notify the TEA Fingerprinting Unit of the presence of the previous school contractor record to ensure that TEA review of the criminal histories of those individuals takes place. {tis known that Dallas ISD has a mobile fingerprinting unit onsite. During this analysis, TEA found ‘mutipie instances when it appeared that SSN information was incorrectly entered at the time fingerprints were taken. Therefore, itis recommended that Dallas ISD obtain the proper training to operate the mobile fingerprinting unit. Additionally, its ecommended that Dallas ISD work with MorphoTrust and DPS to implement software changes to the unit so that fingerprinting submissions will not ini identifying information has been entered. 2. All Dallas ISD employees involved in the hiring process should be instructed to attend the fingerprint training class provided by TEA. TEA will coordinate training classes in the Dallas area to accommodate all identified personnel. Dallas ISD should provide a ist to TEA of al individuals involved in the hiring process. The personnel on this list will then be required to attend training. All training should be ‘conducted no later than the end of the 2014-2015 school year. District Response to Recommendation #2: ‘The district responded that, “All Dallas {SD hiring staff have been instructed to attend the tra class provided by TEA and are awaiting additional logistics information from TEA.” ‘alas Independent Schoo District (CON: 057-305) TeASAIM-2015-09.010 Page 8 of 8 TEA Reply to District Response to Recommendation #2: Dallas ISD has worked with TEA since the issuance of the Preliminary Report and training was conducted by TEA staff at Dallas ISD on February 17, 2015, The training was attended by approximately 50 Dallas ISD personnel and covered all aspects of the requirements of Chapter 22, Subchapter C of the Texas Education Code. Recommendation for Sanction 1._ Itis recommended that the Commissioner appoint a monitor to the schoo! district to ensure that all procedures established under the newly implemented policies are being followed properiy, and all required training has been compieted. The monitor should report quarterly to the Commissioner on the corrective actions, District Response to the Recommendation for Sanction: The district responded that, “On behalf of the Dallas ISD, Carmen Darville, Chief of Human Capital Management, will act as the primary point of contact to monitor the issues identified by the Commissioner.” TEA Reply to District Response to Recommendation for Sanction: {Fthe commissioner appoints 2 monitor, it will be a non-district person selected by the Commissioner, pursuant io Texas Education Code (TEC) §39.087(e). Dallas independ Scho! District (CDN: 057-995) ‘TEASAIHINV-2015-09-010