El Paso's schools cheating probe gets mixed signals

Monday, December 9, 2013

Federal education agency officials say they won’t pursue potential civil rights violations from a cheating scheme at El Paso public schools, though the school district may not be totally in the clear.

Another department official said it has discretion to extend that 180-day window, the El Paso Times reported Saturday.

U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso received word this week from the U.S. Department of Education that agency rules bar investigations of allegations that are more than 180 days old.

O’Rourke, a Democrat, has been pushing the Department of Education for an update since an audit last summer revealed a cheating scheme focusing on Mexican immigrant students and standardized testing used for federal accountability. He sent another letter to the department late Friday seeking clarification.

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