APS investigation reaches Texas suburb - CBS46 News

APS investigation reaches Texas suburb

Posted: Updated:
Kathy Augustine, former Atlanta deputy superintendent of schools Kathy Augustine, former Atlanta deputy superintendent of schools

A former deputy superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools could lose her new job in a Dallas suburb on her first day on the job.

Kathy Augustine began her new job as superintendent of the DeSoto Independent School District Superintendent Monday.

But Monday night, the school board will meet to decide whether to release Augustine from her contract following a scathing report released by Georgia investigators that could lead to criminal charges against Augustine.

Augustine did not immediately return CBS Atlanta's phone call to her new office Monday seeking comment.

The report, made public last week, names Augustine as one of the school administrators suspected of knowingly giving investigators false information in their probe of massive test cheating.

DeSoto school board trustee Sandra Wheeler, who voted against hiring Augustine back in May, says the district has no business hiring anyone who is under suspicion.

"You can't even be a police officer, you can't be a firefighter, you can't even be teacher and go and get a job when you're under investigation," said Wheeler. "So tell me why our kids don't deserve the same thing?" 

Allegations of cheating surfaced in 2010 when suspicious erasures on standardized tests, at two-thirds of Atlanta's public elementary and middle schools, became public.

Augustine informed DeSoto Board Trustees of the ongoing investigation during her job interview, but Wheeler said the information released since then has her very concerned.

"The governor's report that actually points the finger at her and discusses what she did and didn't do – that's what's new," she said. "Before they were all merely accusations, they were speculations."

On July 6, through her attorneys, Dr. Augustine issued a statement that said, in part, "Nothing in my experience ever prepared me for the possibility that professional educators would ever act this way and cheat students. I assure you that I was neither involved in nor aware of that kind of behavior. I care too much about children and their education to falsify, misrepresent, omit or erroneously report information."

Augustine, who served as associate superintendent of instruction for the Atlanta Public Schools, was hired to head the DeSoto ISD for $188,000 a year.

Copyright 2011, WGCL. All rights reserved.

CBSDFW.com contributed to this report.