Dec. 13, 2007, 4:51AM
Program allows students to transfer from 831 deficient schools
© 2007 The Associated Press
AUSTIN — Students at 831 Texas public schools will be allowed to transfer to other campuses next school year because their schools were among the lowest rated in the state, the Texas Education Agency said.
Schools on the list had more than 50 percent of their students fail the TAKS in any two of the last three years or had an "academically unacceptable" rating in any one of the last three years.
Under the Public Education Grant program, schools that accept transfer students receive an extra 10 percent in funding per pupil.
Houston led all districts with 89 schools on the list, while Dallas came in second with 74. More than 10 percent of the state's schools made the list, but the total number decreased from 924 last year, according to the TEA.
Education officials said tougher performance standards implemented in recent years have caused problems for some schools. This is the third year in a row that least 10 percent of schools made the list of low performers.
"Math and science were the most common reasons for a school to be unacceptable," said Debbie Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the TEA.
Education officials estimated that as many as 500,000 students are enrolled at the 831 schools.
The number of students who take advantage of the transfer option is expected to be low, because the program doesn't provide funding for transportation to a new school. Fewer than 3,000 students have used the program to move to transfer since it was implemented in the late 1990s.
The Senate Education Committee has called on lawmakers to encourage participation in the transfer program by funding transportation.
Officials have said transportation is a major obstacle for students and parents who are considering transferring under the program.
On the Net: Texas Education Agency list of eligible schools, http://www.tea.state.tx.us/taa/perfreport121207a.pdf
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.comhttp://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/5374790.html