Beaumont parents struggle to deal with district's 'black eye'

If the Texas Education Agency decides to lower the accreditation of the Beaumont Independent School District, students applying to public universities in Texas could miss out on the Top 10% Rule. 

The rule states that if a student is in the top 10% of their high school graduating class, he or she is eligible for automatic admission to any public university in Texas. According to Texas A&M University Admissions Director Scott McDonald, only accredited high schools can take advantage of the law.

BISD parent Paul Traylor said he isn't exactly pleased to hear about the chance of losing the accreditation, but something had to be done about the district's troubles.

"I think losing the accreditation is definitely going to hurt our city," Traylor said, "but it will help out our students in the future because then they can achieve what they need to."

The final call will be up to Texas Education Commissioner, Michael Williams.

Admissions Director at Lamar University, Maggie Cano, said for LU, a student's high school has nothing to do with their acceptance.

"As long as the students are meeting those clear admission standards, which is graduate from high school and complete standardized testing, they meet the requirements," Cano said. "They can come to Lamar it's not an issue for us at all."

Traylor said he thinks a possible district takeover would affect businesses and families looking to move here.

"The first thing they look at is what type of school district you have," he said. "Beaumont has great teachers, they have great schools... we've just had ineffective administration and I think that will be a big hurdle for people to cross."

Regardless of BISD's future, Cano said the most important thing for students is to remain focused on their futures.

"For now tell your student to work hard and that would be regardless of what the status is of their school," she said. "If they haven't done standardized testing, SAT, ACT they need to look at those regardless of what their school status is."

The top ten percent rule was started about 17 years ago, to take the place of affirmative action in Texas. The rule only applies to admission and does not provide the means to pay for tuition.

It also does not guarantee acceptance to a desired school or major within a university.


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