Friday, August 5, 2016

Dawson Springs Schools under investigation

The director of investigations divisions of the state Office of Education Accountability confirmed last Friday that the “OEA currently has an open case in the Dawson Springs Independent School District,” according to an emailed letter from Karen Timmel.

In response to an Open Records request from this newspaper, she wrote that a final report will be released when the investigation is complete. 

The OEA was created in 1990 under the Kentucky Education Reform Act, Timmel said in a phone conversation Friday. It is part of the Legislative Research Commission. 

“One duty is to investigate possible violations of school law,” she said. 

The OEA accepts written complaints and reviews the information. If there’s sufficient information for a case, an investigator is assigned. The investigator goes to the school district and gathers documents and conducts interviews, Timmel said. 

“They came in and spoke with some of our folks,” said Superintendent Lenny Whalen. “... I’m pretty confident there’s going to be nothing of substance, but I don’t know until I see what their report bears out.”

The gathered information is compared to state statutes.   The OEA can resolve the issues or forward to the Kentucky Board of Education if needed. 

“If anything is broken, we will fix it,” Whalen said. “That’s just the way we operate.”

By Melissa Larimore
The Dawson Springs Progress

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