Dripping Springs ISD joined other school districts across the state in a lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency.

The board of trustees voted unanimously to join the litigation during a meeting Sept. 26.

The gist

The lawsuit, Kingsville ISD, et. al., v. Morath, alleges the agency did not provide districts with explanations of the changed rules to the statewide rating system that evaluates the academic performance of schools. Due to this, districts officials have expressed concern that performance ratings for the 2022-23 school year would be lower because of the way they are calculated.

The TEA began making changes to the A-F accountability system in 2021, which included changes to how student growth is evaluated and focused on students who are at risk, as previously reported by Community Impact.

To account for the impact of the pandemic, the TEA adjusted the methodology in the ratings by using baselines of average student growth from the 2018-19 and 2021-22 school years. However, data from the 2022-23 school year deviated more “than expected,” so setting baselines incorporating data from 2021-22 may not actually show the impact of the pandemic, according to a news release from the TEA. This resulted in the announcement Sept. 12 of a delay to release the scores.

What’s next

The release of school accountability ratings was delayed from Sept. 28 to October amid the litigation, and a specific date for release has not been determined. With the delay, the agency will review student data and re-evaluate the methodology used in calculating these ratings, as previously reported by Community Impact.

In addition to the refreshed A-F ratings, the TEA will provide "what-if" scenarios based on previous year’s framework and data to help give school districts a year-over-year comparison.