LA MARQUE — The La Marque school district superintendent said she has asked the state’s education agency for at least three to five years to turn the district around.
La Marque Superintendent Terri Watkins said the district has formally appealed the state’s decision to place it on accreditation probation status, and she traveled to Austin last week to make the district’s case.
Last month, the Texas Education Agency assigned a conservator to overlook the La Marque school district’s operations following a state-issued probation because the district failed to meet academic or financial standards for three consecutive years.
State officials said Wednesday that Carlos Price, a former La Marque assistant superintendent, had not yet been given his instructions and was reviewing the district’s record before he would start his job as a conservator.
“The district does want what (the education agency) wants,” Watkins said. “We don’t want to close schools; we want to improve schools.”
Watkins said when she met with a room full of agency personnel, she talked about the district’s improving financial situation and plans in place to improve its academic standing, among other topics. Her hope is that the education agency will place the district on a warned status, she said.
The board meeting was lightly attended but the residents who did attend spoke up after Watkins comments and were passionate in their support of the district.
“What is it that we can do as a community?” asked Jeanette Slaughter, who said she had a child that attended the district.
She and others asked what they could do and gave suggestions, such as making a list of teacher’s needs and placing it on the district website and at the schools so people wanting to help can see what is needed.
Watkins said there is a committee being formed to help organize volunteers. On a daily basis she gets asked what people in the community can do to help, she said.
One of those things is to make sure students stay on track and stay focused, she said.
“The children have a role in it,” Watkins said. “We are on probation, and we need them to do the right thing.”
Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or firstname.lastname@example.org.