The El Paso Times is investigating the El Paso Independent School District’s hiring policies, and here’s what they’ve come up with so far.
Deficiencies in the El Paso Independent School District’s hiring process are the result of a lack of formalized procedures and inconsistent policies and practices, according to an internal EPISD audit.
They can be fixed with additional staff training, as well as updating and formalizing hiring procedures, according to the audit report, released earlier this spring.
The audit identified instances in which administrators didn’t comply with job posting requirements and federal, state and local obligations to hang on to records, according to the report. It also found instances of missing documentation from interview committees, a lack of paperwork determining how applicants were selected and documentation that was out of order with the hiring process.
“Missing documentation … creates the risk the District may be unable to prove or disprove complaints, and/or charges of unfair or preferential hiring practices,” the audit report states.
But that doesn’t really address subsequent failings alleged in this report from ElPasoSpeak.com.
In the last five weeks, multiple positions have been filled without advertisement nor interview as required by the Texas Education Code and EPISD Board Policy DC (Legal). Those positions include, but are not limited to: Chief School Officer, Chief of Innovation (Academics Division), Chief of Staff, Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations and Deputy Superintendent of Administration. Human Resources targeted by audit for not advertising and interviewing. Positions are not ‘retitled.’ They are new positions with new responsibilities considered promotions.New Deputy Superintendent of Administration WAS Associate Super for Human Resources and is department is currently on Corrective Action Plan for inappropriate activities at HR.
So how does the district explain its lack of compliance with state law and district policy?
The chief of innovation position is interim, and the permanent opening will eventually be publicly posted, Martinez said. As for the chief of staff position, EPISD policy and the superintendent’s contract say such personnel hires are at the discretion of Superintendent Juan Cabrera, [EPISD spokeswoman Melissa] Martinez said.
See, they’re in his contract. Who cares if it’s illegal according to state law?
And some of this brouhaha is just a simple misunderstanding, or a clerical error.
EPISD officials are also working to create a digital archive of job positions, since records of some online postings have been lost in the digital age, Martinez said.
Lost in the digital age? My dog ate my homework.