LA MARQUE — The state on Friday put the La Marque Independent School District’s accreditation on probationary status.
The state’s education commissioner could decide within a week whether a monitor or conservator should be appointed to oversee the district.
The district has a year to improve its academic and financial situation or it could have its accreditation revoked, according to the Texas Education Agency.
La Marque Superintendent Terri Watkins did not respond to a phone call seeking comment.
La Marque was one of three school districts to be placed on accredited probation status. The other two were the Brookesmith school district in Central Texas and the Trinity school district in East Texas.
In Galveston County, the Hitchcock school district was given an accredited warned status, while all other districts were given an accredited status, the highest status achievable.
Hitchcock school district Superintendent Barbara Derrick did not respond to request for comment.
According to the Texas Education Agency, accreditation statuses are based on state academic accountability ratings, the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas, data reporting, special program effectiveness and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements.
The La Marque school district’s probationary status is because of the district’s poor 2011 and 2013 testing accountability ratings and 2012 financial integrity rating, said DeEtta Culbertson, an education agency spokeswoman.
La Marque received an academically unacceptable accountability rating in 2011. There were no ratings given during for 2012 as the new STAAR test was phased in. In 2013, the school district receive an improvement required rating.
While no statuses were given for school districts in 2012, the La Marque school district was told it would have been given a warned status and would need to improve, Culbertson said.
Hitchcock school district’s warned status was because of 2011 and 2013 testing accountability ratings, Culbertson said. The district received an academically unacceptable accountability rating in 2011 and an improvement required rating in 2013.
Receiving an accredited probation status is a “very serious next step” for the La Marque school district, Culbertson said.
The La Marque school district has a year to improve or it could have its accreditation revoked, Culbertson said.
“The commissioner could consider appointing a conservator or a monitor to get the district back on track,” she said.
The district must continue with its improvement plans and must notify parents and residents in the district of the accreditation status by March 30, Culbertson said.
Just this week, the district sent the state the third draft of its financial solvency plan and is waiting on its approval.
The La Marque district can also request a review of its status and present its case to the state but would need to do so by March 17, Culbertson said.
At a Glance
To see more information from the Texas Education Agency accreditation statuses go to the TEA website .
Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.