More 'coming to light' in DeSoto ISD finances investigation, superintendent says

DeSoto, TX - The new superintendent in DeSoto Independent School District, Dr. D’Andre Weaver, has only been on the job for one month. Yet he is already busy tackling some distractions and controversy the school district is forced to deal with.

"This is not my first rodeo with having to come into a place that needs a little tender loving care," Dr. Weaver said during his first on-camera interview since joining DeSoto ISD.

Weaver agreed to a one-on-one chat about DeSoto ISD’s ongoing probe into allegations of financial mismanagement. It’s part of an investigation the Board of Trustees launched into the books and actions from the previous superintendent’s administration. Board members were proactive in calling in an outside investigator and has been submitting its findings to the Attorney General’s office and the Texas Education Agency.

Weaver described the investigation as multifaceted.

“There are a number of things that are going on,” Weaver said. “There are a lot of things that have already happened that have come to conclusion, that are just kind of coming to light. There are things that we are finding out right now, that we have turned over to the entities for further investigation."

The new superintendent admits there are issues being uncovered daily, which his staff is tackling. He already brought in a new and experienced Interim Chief Financial Officer. It’s someone who Weaver described as knowing how to budget and get out of tough financial situations.

"We've never been in danger of paying our bills,” Weaver said. “We have money. It's just a cash-flow issue that we are working with the appropriate people to rectify."

Dr. Weaver also wants to set the record straight on recent reports about the November paychecks for teachers and staff being delayed.

“Our teachers are getting a paycheck,” he said. “They never had a question, never was a wonder if they’d get paid.”

The regular pay date for DeSoto ISD is the 26th of each month. The November check was typically issued early, as a courtesy, so staff had access to funds for Thanksgiving. This year, administrators announced the paychecks would be issued on Nov. 22, which is still a few days before the regular pay date.

The Superintendent said his team is focusing on following best practices, training staff, holding people accountable, communicating, and being transparent.

"We've been trying to do our absolute best to improve our current situation by just doing what's right,” Weaver said.

For now, one motto is keeping Dr. Weaver and his team motivated.

"It gets better,” Weaver said he reminds himself each day.

The superintendent said, right now, DeSoto ISD is trying to focus less on distractions and more on the success of the students.

Source: WFAA