98% of schools in Texas listed as accredited

Status reports released by Texas Education Agency

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group

AUSTIN - Ninety-eight percent of the school districts and charter school districts in the state of Texas have been designated as accredited for the 2016-17 school year, the Texas Education Agency announced Friday.

For a district to earn the accredited status, it had to meet specific financial and academic standards, according to a news release from the agency.

“Accreditation statuses are based on state academic accountability ratings, the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (known commonly as School FIRST), data reporting, special program effectiveness, and compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements,” the release said.

Texas has 1,199 school districts. Of those, 1,180 were named accredited.

The commissioner of education assigns a status to each district every year, under the Texas Education Code. Schools can be recognized as accredited, accredited-warned, accredited-probation, not accredited-revoked, or pending.

Nine districts were accredited-warned, seven received a status of accredited-probation, two were labeled not accredited-revoked and one was pending, education officials said.

The accredited-warned status means the district or charter shows deficiencies in academic or financial performance. If these issues aren’t addressed, that could lead to a probation period, or a revocation of the accreditation. Of the nine districts with this status, seven were school districts and two were charter schools.

To be on the accredited-probation level, the district or charter must have shown deficiencies in academic or financial performance over a three-year period -- or in both categories for a two-year window. These short-comings have to be fixed in order for the district or charter to hold onto its status as accredited. This year, of the seven districts with this status, five were schools and two were charters.

A not accredited-revoked status means the Texas Education Agency doesn’t recognize the school or charter as a Texas public school, following multiple years of deficiencies. A district with this status can review the findings with the state agency -- or the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

The district that’s pending is due to unresolved litigation, officials said.

Learn more about accreditation statuses on the agency’s website.

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