Data entry error causes local schools to fail safety audit compliance

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FANNIN COUNTY, TX - Leonard ISD submitted their inspection audit to the state in June 2011.

But Superintendent Larry LaFavers received shocking news yesterday - that his district was not in compliance with the attorney general's office.

"It was a complete surprise. We did everything as we were suppose to," he said. "We thought we had submitted it. We understood everything was correct, we had confirmation back that they received it. And we thought that we were in compliance."

The Texas Attorney General's office requires all school districts to keep a safety audit and safety plans on file with the state. On Monday, the office released a list of 78 schools "not in full compliance."

The mistake comes from a data entry error with one of the questions, LaFavers said.

"It asks how many campuses and instructional facilities have been audited," he said. "And for some reason it showed up as a zero, when it should have been four."

Dodd City, Tioga and Melissa were also on the list. But all four schools used the same auditing company. And all four schools had the same data entry problem.

In fact, all seven school districts that used Region 10 Education Service Center appear on the list.

Other local school districts on the list said they all had the same data entry error.

Melissa ISD Superintendent Jason Smith released a statement.

"In compliance with Texas Education Code, Melissa ISD contracts with the Region 10 Education Service Center to frequently conduct required facility audits of Melissa ISD schools and partners with local, state and national law enforcement agencies to ensure that Melissa ISD crisis plans are up to date and ready for implementation if needed," Smith said in the release

LaFavers said he's proud of his district's safety audits.

"We feel very confident that we are a safe school and provide a safe environment for our students."

The Attorney General's office said the schools can resubmit the audit reports.

They'll issue an updated compliance list in the next few days.

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