Embattled New Super to Leave DeSoto - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Embattled New Super to Leave DeSoto



    Embattled New Super to Leave DeSoto

    The DeSoto Independent School District has decided cut ties with its new superintendent, who was caught in the fallout of Atlanta's test-cheating scandal.

    School trustees voted 3-2 to negotiate the terms of a voluntary exit agreement Superintendent Kathy Augustine. Two board members were absent from Monday's meeting.

    Augustine, a former deputy Atlanta school superintendent, is accused of giving "false information" to state officials during a massive investigation into allegations of widespread cheating within the Georgia district.

    The investigation named 178 educators, including principals and high-ranking school officials, as participants in the scandal. A report released last month by special investigators appointed by Georgia's governor said they confirmed cheating in 44 of 55 schools examined.

    Augustine has denied having knowledge of test cheating in Atlanta.

    The DeSoto school board had a discussion on Augustine's future on the agenda last month but adjourned without a decision.

    The district, which has about 9,000, hired Augustine in April for $188,000 per year. She was placed on paid leave last month while the school board re-examined her Atlanta tenure.

    Trustee Sandra Wheeler said the vote was about leadership, ethics and integrity.

    "At this time, I don't feel the leadership ability is there," she said.

    DeSoto ISD spokeswoman Beth Trimble said Augustine will remain on leave until terms of the settlement are reached by both parties.

    The board announced its decision after meeting in executive session for about 90 minutes.

    Trustee Aubrey Hooper said that while it was "problematic" that it would cost the district money to end the contract, "we have to make the decision that's in the best interest of our kids."

    Board president Warren Seay Jr. said that while it has been a "difficult time" for the district, the focus should now be on student success.

    "When the media's gone and all the distractions are gone, DeSoto will be successful," he said.