3 education bills making way to governor's desk

EL PASO, Texas - Three bills created in response to the El Paso Independent School District cheating scandal are making their way to the governor's desk.

The bills have already been approved by the state Legislature.

One of the bills, a dropout recovery bill, would create a student recovery program. Senate Bill 119 focuses on helping students who were affected by former Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia's attempts to manipulate standardized test scores, according to a press release by Sen. Jose Rodriguez. The bill would require the EPISD to offer remedial classes or alternative graduation options for the students affected.

Another bill, Senate Bill 122, relates to the removal of school board members. It would allow a district judge to investigate claims of incompetence or misconduct. If enough evidence is found, a full trial would be held.

The last bill would require El Paso County school trustees to file personal financial statements. House Bill 343 is designed to prevent school trustees from having a conflict of interest when voting on contracts.

Garcia steered a $450,000 contract to a mistress while he was superintendent. The bill would make an action like that a class B misdemeanor if a statement isn't filed.

"I am proud of the work that Sen. Rodriguez and I have done to help address these unfortunate incidents in an effort to prevent this from happening again, " said State Rep. Marisa Marquez, who worked with Rodriguez to move the bills through the state Legislature.

The final fate of the bills is now in the hands of Gov. Rick Perry. He has 20 days to decide to sign the bills into law. 

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