PEARSALL, Texas – The Pearsall Independent School District is in danger of being shut down by the Texas Education Agency after failing to meet state academic standards for the past four years.
Hundreds of parents packed into the cafeteria at Pearsall High School Wednesday night to learn what is being done to turn the district around.
Superintendent Dr. Norbert Rodriguez laid out how they got into this situation.
He pointed to a problem with high turnover rates in administrative and teaching positions in recent years that have helped lead to students not meeting state academic standards the past four years.
After missing the standards three times, the district was placed on probation by the TEA. When they failed to meet the standards a fourth time, the district's accreditation was revoked this summer. That means Pearsall would no longer be recognized by the TEA as a Texas public school district.
The district is appealing that revocation and asking for another chance to meet the standards.
If they don't meet the standards, the TEA could shut down the Pearsall district by July 1, 2016.
The schools would remain open but they would be absorbed by a nearby district chosen by the TEA.
Rodriguez told the parents steps taken by the district over the past two years have led to improvements including higher retention rates for teachers and administrators, higher graduation rates and improved test scores.
The district just missed meeting the standards last year and Rodriguez and the school administrators believe they can meet them this year with the help and support of parents.
The commissioner of the TEA is expected to make a decision on the district's appeal before the end of the year.