After being at risk of closure for failing to meet academic standards for four consecutive years, Mendez Middle School will get a new shot at a turn around.
The Texas Education Agency has approved the Austin school district’s choice in a partner to help save the 700-student middle school in Southeast Austin, which could have faced state sanctions if it failed again this year.
Instead, the approved partnership with the Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Coalition (T-STEM) gives the school a two-year reprieve from state sanctions and more money per student.
The coalition will operate as an in-district charter over the campus and will act as a partner with the district, UT Austin’s UTeach Institute and Communities in Schools of Central Texas. T-STEM also will operate with a separate governing board to Mendez and has authority over staff, the school budget and curriculum.
Had the agency not approved the partnership, the state could have closed the campus or could have taken over the 81,650-student district.