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Ex-Officials Indicted in Dropout-Data Case

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Two former Houston school administrators, indicted last month after a two-year probe, could face prison time on charges they altered student-dropout records.

Peggy Collins and Dolores Westmoreland, former employees of Key Middle School and Kashmere High, are accused of tampering with government records to cover up the true number of dropouts, according to the Harris County district attorney's office.

The indictments stem from an investigation that the 203,000-student Houston Independent School District released in 2010. As a result the Texas Education Agency temporarily suspended the district's accreditation.

Ms. Collins, a business manager, and Ms. Westmoreland, a dean of instruction, worked together at Key and then at Kashmere, in a high-poverty Houston neighborhood.

Ms. Collins' lawyer, state Rep. Harold Dutton, said he could only speak generally about the case.

"There was lots of pressure from HISD on these schools to do what they could to improve their dropout statistics," he said.

If convicted, each could face a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Vol. 31, Issue 23, Page 4

Published in Print: March 7, 2012, as Ex-Officials Indicted in Dropout-Data Case
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