Texas Education Agency revokes La Marque ISD's accreditation

By John Brannen - Web Editor, Amanda Gamez - News Executive Producer, Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

LA MARQUE, Texas - The La Marque Independent School District had its accreditation revoked by the Texas Education Agency this week.

The district can appeal the decision, but if it's upheld the entire district will be forced to close by July.

The agency says the decision was based on the district's unacceptable academic ratings, as well as it's poor financial situation.

The school district has seven schools that include the Early Childhood Learning Center, Simms Elementary School,  Westlawn Elementary School, La Marque Middle School, the Renaissance Academy, La Marque High School and the Collegiate High School of the Mainland.

If the district closes, students will be placed in neighboring school districts.

"I'm concerned I won't be able to attend and come here next year and see all of my family and friends here next year," student Cobion McCoy said.

Word of the district losing its accreditation spread quickly among students Friday. Now their uncertain future has many of them concerned and upset.

"Well, I heard if our grades weren't good enough, the whole district would get shut down," student Eugene Foster said.

The Texas Education Agency told the district in a letter that La Marque has had substandard academic and financial performances for the past several years.

In 2011, the district was labeled academically unacceptable. In the years that followed, administrators were told they needed to improve.

The Texas Education Agency released a statement from superintendent Terri Watkins that read in part:

"The Texas Education Agency has determined that the La Marque ISD has earned a rating of Academically Unacceptable (AU) for 2011, and a rating of Improvement  Required (IR) in the state's accountability rating system for 2013 and 2014. In addition, the La Marque ISD was assigned a financial accountability rating of Substandard Achievement for 2011-2012. These ratings require me to assign the La Marque ISD a 2014-2015 accreditation status of Not Accredited-Revoked and to close the district effective July 1, 2015."

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