According to the Texas Education Agency, nearly 40 Bexar County schools have a 50 percent or lower success rate on STAAR and TAKS tests.
Schools with low scores are put on the TEA’s Public Education Grant (PEG) list, and students who attend those schools are eligible to request a transfer to a higher performing school within or outside their home district.
In the San Antonio Independent School District, 20 schools are on the PEG list, but district officials said parents are not rushing to make a transfer request.
“Historically, there have not been many transfers. Historically, there have not been many requests for transfers," said SAISD Spokesperson Leslie Price.
Last year, nearly 1,300 students in Texas transferred schools, but only of those students was in Bexar County.
“Some of these schools can be on the (PEG) list, but meet all the requirements. It lasts for a three-year period, so I think what you have is parents looking at that, looking at how well their student is doing, looking at the programs their school offers,” said Price.
North Side Independent School District Spokesman Pascual Gonzalez said transportation issues may also keep requests at a minimum since a child is unable to be bussed to a school outside of their home district.
“It’s also an issue of community cohesiveness,” Gonzalez said. “(Parents) want their child in the same neighborhood with the neighbors and friends that they’re used to. We truly believe that every school child needs a high quality education. Most of the time that’s going to come in a neighborhood school.”
Despite a state law requiring schools to notify parents that they’ve been placed on the PEG list, parents at Davis Middle School said another reason transfer requests are low may be a lack of information.
“I did not know I had that option until now,” said Mike Ashworth.
“I would consider maybe now moving them to a different school,” Delia Martinez said. “I’ve never been notified. I was never aware of it."
The target school district decides whether to reject or accept a transfer request from a student outside the district, and officials at several local districts said that decision is usually based on the amount of space available at the school.
“In North Side’s case, we rarely will take a student from outside of our own district because we're dealing with overcrowding issues of our own,” Gonzalez said.
The deadline to request a interdistrict or intradistrict transfer is Feb. 1.