The embattled Dallas Independent School District has come under fire for assigning fake social security numbers to newly hired foreign nationals for at least four years, The Dallas Morning News reports. Adding to the controversy is the fact that 26 of the numbers assigned were already in use by real people living in Pennsylvania.
An internal report issued by the district in September described the process of assigning fake numbers to speed up the hiring process, mostly of bilingual educators from Spanish-speaking countries. The fake numbers were replaced once employees got real Social Security cards.
“You can’t just arbitrarily issue Social Security numbers,” said DISD Human Resources Chief Kim Olson, who phased out the practice this summer when she learned about it. “Even if your intention is good, it’s not legal.”
The report also shows that the district continued the practice even after the Texas Education Agency, acting on an anonymous tip, told officials that the practice was illegal in 2004. Officials were unsure how long the district had been giving out fake numbers, and how many had been issued.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.