The only Friday night lights the students of one Texas school district will be seeing for the rest of the school year are that of the library or the study hall.
The Premont Independent School District has eliminated high school athletics in an effort to save their school from a state-mandated closure as a result of poor academic performance.
It’s the last hope the school district has, according to Fox News. And closure of the school could result in the downfall of the entire community since some parents are already planning on moving elsewhere to escape the uncertainty.
“The school shuts down in this town, the town dies,” said Frank Davila, a Jim Wells County constable who also works as the school security officer, told Fox News. “This is all we have.”
The town of 2,700 people were notified about a year ago that the school would like close by July 1. The one chance it has of staying open is if it can meet the state’s criteria. If it fails, they would be annexed into a school 35 miles away, and 90 people would be left unemployed.
As a result, the superintendent took drastic action, namely, canceling all sports programs to make extra time and money for tutoring and test preparation. Eliminated sports include basketball, baseball, track, tennis and football.
Academics aren’t the only things suffering in the district. Buildings need repair. Student enrollment has shrunk. And attendance is poor — it’s so poor, in fact, the superintendent and other administrators literally go door to door in search of truant kids.
A state commissioner said the school could be shut down at any time before July if it appears their progress isn’t sufficient.
Since 2007 the school has failed to adequately meet the annual requirements under the federal No Child Left Behind program.
Does it sound like eliminating sports programs will help save this school from closure?