A former Floyd County Schools official, records show, has entered into an agreed order with the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board setting forth that she will not apply for any public school position in Kentucky through 2022, as well as other sanctions, while she maintains her innocence.
The agreed order stems from Tonya Horne-Williams’ alleged involvement in a testing scandal which was revealed in an audit by the Kentucky Department of Education in 2018. The auditors found numerous violations of state regulations concerning special needs education between 2014 and 2016, and uncovered “inappropriate state assessment practices” and other concerns that impacted students of all abilities throughout the district.
Williams was the district’s chief academic officer during the testing violations and retired prior to the release of the audit.
According to the order, in 2019, KDE referred Horne-Williams to the EPSB for alleged testing and regulatory violations after concluding an investigation of Betsy Layne Elementary School and the Floyd County Schools Central Office.
Williams, the order states, was not interviewed during the KDE investigation.
The order also notes that Horne-Williams continues to maintain she is innocent.
“Although Horne-Williams adamantly maintains her innocence, she acknowledges that some of the evidence regarding the reported charges is such that, if presented at a hearing of this matter, a hearing officer might find the evidence credible enough to conclude that she is in violation of KRS 161.120 (h), neglect of duty,” the order said.
According to the order, “due to the financial expense a hearing in this matter would cost both parties and the physical and emotional toll on Horne-Williams and her family, Horne-Williams agrees not to apply for nor accept any P-12 public school position in Kentucky for a period of three school years, beginning Sept. 1, 2019, until July 1, 2022.”
In addition, she is required to provide written proof that she has completed a total of 12 hours of training/professional development on the topics of school law and educator ethics, at her own expense, before Sept. 1.
A final provision of the order is that Horne-Williams voluntarily agrees to subject her teaching certificate to several probationary conditions for three years, including:
• That she not receive any disciplinary action for a violation of special education law, regulations or policies.
• That she not violate the Administrative Code for Kentucky’s Educational Assessment Program.