State education commissioner Michael Williams announced this afternoon that he is removing the entire El Paso ISD school board and replacing it temporarily with a five-member board of managers.
The school district has been embroiled in a testing scandal involving the former superintendent Lorzeno Garcia. Williams says the El Paso ISD school board did not do enough to investigate claims that Garcia was preventing low performing students from taking a standardized test.
“If you cheat, we’ll eventually find out. And if we find out, we’re going to take strong action as a consequence of it," Williams said during a press conference in El Paso. "In order to regain the full trust of this community, and in order for this community to be able to move forward, it is important for us to change the players in this particular game.”
Williams will appoint a five-member board of managers to oversee the district. Under the Voting Rights Act, Williams’ plan still needs to receive approval from the U.S. Department of Justice. That could take up to 90 days.
The El Paso Times has been covering this story closely and has a detailed timeline of the testing scandal.
This post has been updated with more details following Williams' announcement.