Texas Lawmaker Wants Tougher Penalties In Wake Of Test Score Fraud Scandal

EL PASO (November 13, 2012)—State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, has filed a bill that could mean prison time for manipulating and falsely reporting education data to state officials.

Rodriguez filed the bill Monday in Austin in the aftermath of the El Paso Independent School District testing scandal.

The district’s former superintendent Lorenzo Garcia was sentenced last month to more than three years in prison for fraud.

Prosecutors said Garcia participated in a conspiracy to improve test scores by removing low-performing students from classrooms.

Manipulation of data provided to the Texas Education Agency could lead to a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

The El Paso Times reported that another bill would give the TEA expanded powers to subpoena records and testimony from witnesses.

The Legislature convenes on Jan. 8

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