Errors trigger problems with state's list of school district compliance

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Dec. 23, 2012 at 6:23 a.m.

Clerical errors and uncompleted applications caused confusion at three Crossroads area school districts.

State Attorney General Greg Abbott released last week a list of districts that were non-compliant with the Texas School Safety Standards, including Shiner, Westhoff and Wharton.

"I'm not sure why," said Westhoff superintendent David Kennedy. "I just got a letter a few days ago saying we were in compliance."

Wharton superintendent Kay Shoppa said she spent the better part of the week trying to sort out the matter.

On the district's website, Shoppa posted a letter to parents saying it is in fact in compliance with the state's security needs.

"It was an error because we filled out part of the application wrong," Shoppa said. "There were about three different questions on the survey that were similar to each other but slightly different."

Shoppa said she learned last week that the mistake had been corrected and the district was no longer on the list of non-compliant schools.

"We regret that this one number was wrong," Shoppa said. "School safety is at the top of our priorities."

Wharton school district has one school resource officer who serves all four campuses in the district.

Shiner schools superintendent Trey Lawrence also said the matter had been cleared with the state.

Shiner was left off the list because Lawrence was not aware of the survey required for the safety audit's submission.

The district's audit was carried out by the Texas Association of School Boards, Lawrence said.

Three days after the preliminary report was released, Abbott's office sent out an updated list of districts that are in compliance, which put the three area districts back at ease.

The list of 78 school districts not in compliance with school safety standards decreased to 20.



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