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TEA to investigate district over parent complaints

Childress school board

By Jackie Zimmerman/The Red River Sun—

Complaints made by Childress residents Scott and Cassie Stark against the Childress school district will be investigated by the TEA, Superintendent Carl Taylor told the board during its September 14 board meeting.

Taylor said the board received a letter from TEA on May 14 notifying the district of the complaint issued against the district. Taylor said he enlisted the assistance of the school’s attorney and responded to the TEA.

Taylor said he recently texted with the TEA associate commissioner who said TEA is going to have an accreditation visit on the complaints within a few weeks.

“At some point TEA will investigate. It could be electronically or face-to-face,” Taylor said.

The complaint filed by the Stark family involves three main areas:

  • School Board governance
  • Discrimination / civil rights violations
  • Educator misconduct.

Taylor said he could not go into detail about the complaint.

Scott Stark is running for the Place 5 school board seat against incumbent Carol Freeman.

The district paid about $80,000 in legal fees through the end of its fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31.

In other board business,

Taylor told the board enrollment is down districtwide. There are 54 children in kindergarten, and last year there were 70 to 80 students in kindergarten.

“Roughly 25 students are being homeschooled,” Taylor said after the meeting. “They are not part of the district; not learning online. They are being homeschooled.”

The district receives money from the state based on its average daily attendance (ADA). This year, the state approved paying districts through the first two six-weeks grading periods based on last year’s ADA numbers. However, beginning with the third six weeks, the district’s state funding will be based on the number of students enrolled with the district, learning in class or online.

The state is allowing the district to continue the summer feeding program through Dec. 31 or until the state’s money runs out. The program enables the district to provide free meals to all children in the community, whether or not they are enrolled in the district.

“We implemented this immediately and will continue provide the program until one of those two things happens,” Taylor said.

The board approved the district’s asynchronous plan for teaching online. Taylor said it will be sent to TEA and it will either approve it or send it back to redo.”

“We had four sample plans to work from,” Taylor said. “Sarah did a ton of work on this. I think we have a good plan.”





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