Hutto ISD has signed onto a lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency regarding accountability ratings, joining many school districts across the state.

What happened

HISD's board of trustees, absent Board President Billie Logiudice, voted unanimously to join the lawsuit Sept. 20, calling on the TEA to rectify what they and representatives of other Texas school districts have called an unfair change to how accountability ratings are calculated. It is one of several area districts to do so.

What they're saying

Several trustees called the change to accountability ratings that will be applied to data for the the 2022-23 school year retroactively unfair, with Trustee James Matlock calling it a "moving of goalposts."

"Commissioner [Mike] Morath is on record stating that there will be multiple campuses or districts statewide that have done better in their [State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness] score, but they have the chance of a decrease in score," Matlock said.

How we got here

The TEA began a refresh of its methodology for calculating these ratings in late 2021, sharing new benchmarks students must reach for schools to receive a certain grade. One of these adjustments raised the cutoff point for a district to receive an A rating based on the college, career and military readiness of students from 60% to 88%, a 28 percentage point increase.

District officials across the state have raised concerns about the impact of the changes to accountability ratings, as they are a metric used by school boards to address educational priorities year to year. It is also a performance measure used to gauge the quality of schools by their communities and prospective families.