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Brookesmith ISD Ordered to Close

Big Country
February 10, 2015

Brookesmith ISD has received a status of Not Accredited-Revoked from the Texas Education Agency, and the district has been ordered to close effective July 1, 2015.

Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams sent a letter to the school district on February 3, notifying BISD of its new status.  The accreditation, according to the letter, is due to a 2014 accountability rating of Improvement Required in combination with a financial accountability rating of Substandard Achievement for three consecutive school years (2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013).

According to the TEA, a school district is assigned the Not Accredited-Revoked status if it is assigned any combination of the following ratings for four consecutive school years:  a financial accountability rating of Substandard Achievement, or an academic accountability rating of Academically Unacceptable or Improvement Required.

Brookesmith ISD was last assigned an accreditation status of Accredited-Probation for 2013-2014, because of the substandard financial accountability rating it received for those three years. 

The letter states the district "originally requested a review related to its 2013-2014 accreditation status assignment, however, the request was canceelled by the district in correspondence to the agency dated April 1, 2014."  As part of that status, the district was assigned a conservator through August of 2014.   

"All rights to appeal the ratings identified above have been waived or exhausted, and these ratings are now final and not appealable," Williams' letter states.  It goes on to state that the order of closure may result in annexation of BISD.

Commissioner Williams is assigning a conservator, whose role will include the following:

  • Overseeing the financial management and governance of the district to ensure the ISD complies with state and federal law;
  • Attending board meetings, including executive session, and directing the board as necessary to address the findings in the Final Report; and
  • Overseeing all close-out activities of the ISD.

The district is responsible for paying the conservator's fee of $85 per hour plus travel expenses.

The TEA says Brookesmith ISD requested an informal review related to its revoked accreditation.  The commissioner's letter says of informal reviews, "In the interest of efficiency, TEA may conduct informal reviews in a single proceeding."  

BISD submitted its request for review Tuesday, which was the deadline to submit the request.  If, upon review, the commissioner does not change his decision regarding the accreditation status, BISD can file a petition for review with the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) for a hearing before a judge.