Jonesboro: Order Keeps School District Open, For Now

By: Christina Truong Email
By: Christina Truong Email

JONESBORO (May 7, 2014) Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams has signed an agreed abatement order that will keep Jonesboro ISD open, for now.

The district, which is rated academically acceptable, received notice from the Texas Education Agency that it would be shut down on July 1 because of its substandard Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas or FIRST score.

The issue is the district’s debt liability.

When Jonesboro Superintendent Matt Dossey took over in the 2011-2012 school year, the district's debt liability was already greater than the assets it was operating on.

Since then enrollment has increased, moving the district out of the red.

"In 2010-2011, the year before I came, we had 127 students in K through 12," Dossey said."

“As of Tuesday, we have 173 students in K-12 and 25 more in pre-kindergarten,” he said.

The abatement order will only allow the district and its one school to stay open if the Jonesboro ISD has at least 10 percent of operating expenses in its balance by the end of the current fiscal year though.

Dossey says he doesn't think that it will be an issue as he believes the district will have 20 percent by the end of the fiscal year.

The district must also finish paying off its debt by the end of the 2015-2016 school year, which Dossey says won't be a problem, either.

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