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Snyder ISD facing state takeover due to failing performances

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal logo Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 11/8/2019 By Matt Dotray, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas

The Snyder Independent School District is being required by the state's Texas Education Agency to make significant changes after repeated failing grades.

Snyder Junior High received its fifth consecutive unacceptable rating this year, and the campus is now required to develop and submit a Turnaround Implementation Plan. Under state law, a school failing five consecutive years is grounds for either closing the school or having the Texas Education Agency install a board of managers that would essentially take control over the local elected school board.

On Wednesday, the Texas Education Agency sent a letter to Snyder ISD's superintendent and board president saying the agency is ordering the appointment of a board of managers.

Houston Shepherd ISD is facing similar action. Lubbock's Dunbar Prep Academy also had a failing grade for the fifth consecutive year, but because the district had just recently implemented a strict turnaround plan, state lawmakers passed a bill allowing TEA to exempt Dunbar.

The letter sent to the school district says if the superintendent turns in a valid petition, signed by a majority of the parents with children enrolled in the school, to close the campus or install a board of managers, it will honor the request.

Snyder ISD had a meeting with Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Thursday, and the school district has been posting updates on social media.

According to Snyder ISD, Superintendent Eddie Bland was given a petition with 313 signatures (a majority of parents) late last month requesting the campus closure. In addition, there's a petition going around Snyder with 486 parent and community petitions supporting the reopening of Snyder Junior High with a grade realignment, according to the district.

Bland and members of the board will supposedly turn in the petitions this month.

"These next steps will require planning and partnership," Bland wrote in a statement. "We look forward to collaborating with parents, teachers, district leadership, community members, and the TEA to do what is best for our students."

The district also published this statement: "On behalf of Snyder ISD, we want to thank you for your concern, time, and input in recent weeks. While our district is facing significant changes in the upcoming school year, we believe in Snyder ISD, and we are confident that by working together, we can embrace this opportunity to transform our district to best meet the needs of all of our students."

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©2019 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)

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