News for Public Officials

Dallas School District Caught Providing Phony Credentials to Foreign Teachers

Nov 0 27-08

Worker's in Pennsylvania may be surprised with  multiple tax bills after a Texas school district fraudulently provided bogus Social Security numbers to foreign teachers. The district's dangerous practice may have exposed thousands of Texas children to unqualified teachers with criminal records.

For years the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) had been issuing fraudulent Social Security Numbers (SSN's) to expedite the payroll process for new bilingual teachers until the practice was stopped this past summer, according to reports from the Dallas Morning News. (Dallas Morning News, November 14, 2008) According to the district's internal investigation, "The inappropriate procedure of assigning false SSNs has been systemic." (New York Times, November 14, 2008) A spokesman for DISD said that while inappropriate, the school district had "good intentions" and the internal report noted that the program was "without consideration or thought of the impact of generating false data." (Id.)

Under the unofficial hiring program, the teachers, who are recruited through DISD's alternative certification program, were given the phony SSN's at their time of hire. The foreign educators, who were in the United States on visas, were then instructed to apply for their own SSN's, which would then replace the fraudulent numbers that had already been entered into the system.

In issuing the fraudulent SSN's, DISD officials ran fraudulent Instant Background Checks, submitted fraudulent numbers to the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration, and failed to submit accurate employment data to the Texas Attorney General's office. (Dallas Morning News, November 14, 2008)



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