Texas School District Cancels Sports to Improve Academics and Stay Open

Courtney Williams's picture
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Across the nation, school districts continue to face tough decisions to close gaps in funding, with sports programs occasionally finding themselves in the crosshairs.

Most notably, the Duval County School District, an area which includes Jacksonville, planned to completely eliminate all sports funding before private donations made some Jacksonville school sports possible.

Now a small town in South Texas is cutting out all sports completely, but it has made that hard decision for another reason entirely: It needs all students to dramatically improve academically, or else it might close for good.

As first reported by the Associated Press, the Premont Independent School District unilaterally decided to cancel all interscholastic athletics for the remainder of the 2011-12 school year in a last ditch effort to save Premont schools, which have been on probation by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) since spring of 2011.

Finally, the TEA announced in the middle of the fall semester that the entire school district would be forced to close on July 1. That order has since been put on hold, but the school district must prove that it has made sufficient progress by the end of the school year, or else it will be annexed by an adjoining district which, in a particularly sparsely populated stretch of South Texas, is still some 35 miles away.

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