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Valley Charter School System on Probation

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Posted: Oct 15, 2012 9:12 PM

Updated: Oct 15, 2012 10:24 PM

MISSION - IRRA Charter Schools remain on probation with the Texas Education Agency, the schools superintendent said in a letter to parents.

The schools current status with TEA means they have not addressed major financial and education concerns. The school recently changed its name to Ignite.

The letter was not the first of its kind sent to parents. TEA first put the charter system on probation in 2009. That's when the state started investigating the schools.

The investigations concluded that the schools changed attendance records and got funding based on bad information.

TEA ordered IRRA to repay nearly $900,000. The schools fired the superintendent and brought in new leadership to fix the problems.

A CHANNEL 5 NEWS investigation revealed the problems were not fixed.

A former teacher and student told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the schools kept marking students present even when they didn't show up for class.

"Accredited probation is the next to worst level you can get on an accreditation status. After that, if you can't improve we have the authority to revoke the accreditation and at that point you'll cease to be a Texas public school," said Deetta Culbertson, with TEA.

TEA officials said they hope the schools new administration can address the problems to avoid losing funding.

The schools new superintendent said he's hoping TEA official will visit them to see what they are doing to solve the problems.

"We invited TEA to come down here and address these issues as soon as possible," IRRA Superintendent Fernando Gomez said.

Topics: irra, ignite, charter, school, tea, investigation

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