LA MARQUE — The La Marque school district superintendent said she has asked the state’s education agency for at least three to five years to turn the district around. 

La Marque Superintendent Terri Watkins said the district has formally appealed the state’s decision to place it on accreditation probation status, and she traveled to Austin last week to make the district’s case. 

Last month, the Texas Education Agency assigned a conservator to overlook the La Marque school district’s operations following a state-issued probation because the district failed to meet academic or financial standards for three consecutive years.

State officials said Wednesday that Carlos Price, a former La Marque assistant superintendent, had not yet been given his instructions and was reviewing the district’s record before he would start his job as a conservator. 

“The district does want what (the education agency) wants,” Watkins said. “We don’t want to close schools; we want to improve schools.” 

Watkins said when she met with a room full of agency personnel, she talked about the district’s improving financial situation and plans in place to improve its academic standing, among other topics. Her hope is that the education agency will place the district on a warned status, she said. 

The board meeting was lightly attended but the residents who did attend spoke up after Watkins comments and were passionate in their support of the district. 

“What is it that we can do as a community?” asked Jeanette Slaughter, who said she had a child that attended the district. 

She and others asked what they could do and gave suggestions, such as making a list of teacher’s needs and placing it on the district website and at the schools so people wanting to help can see what is needed. 

Watkins said there is a committee being formed to help organize volunteers. On a daily basis she gets asked what people in the community can do to help, she said. 

One of those things is to make sure students stay on track and stay focused, she said. 

“The children have a role in it,” Watkins said. “We are on probation, and we need them to do the right thing.” 

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or


(25) comments

Robert Buckner

Pull the plug.


There was this owner who kept a parrot in a gadget shop to amuse the customers who came in to buy his goods. Well this one middle age couple came in one day to shop and the parrot became very agitated in his cage and started grumbling, PRANCING on his perch,.. and talking under his breath!
Well each time the browsing couple came near his cage, the parrot really huffed up, spreading his feathers in anger,...and making mocking noises!
Finally the husband had enough of it,..and he asked the parrot what was his problem!
The parrot told the husband,..."Mister...that is the ugliest *&% woman I have seen is my whole born put togethers!"
The husband,...really got mad, and told the parrot off! Just then the manager popped up and wanted to know the problem. The husband told the owner, that the parrot insulted his wife and it did not sit well with him. The owner stepped up and asked for forgiveness,...and he said,..."Mister I have warned that parrot about antagonizing my customers!" "Allow me a minute to straighten this thing out,...please?"
So he reached in the cage and grabbed the parrot by the neck,...with one hand and pulled his belt from around his waist with the other as he walked to the rear of the shop with the parrot in order to teach him a lesson. The couple could hear the parrot crying loudly in the back as the owner was kicking his butt,...obviously to their great satisfaction.
Afterwards, the owner marched the parrot back out on the display floor where the couple were and slam the parrot back in the cage and told him,..."Now leave my customers alone,...I ain't playing with you!!!!" The parrot was incensed and outraged!!! He was puffed up and hostile! He never stopped looking at the couple as they continued to browse and shop! His eyes followed them everywhere!!
Finally the husband said,..."I tell you what honey, lets get out of here before I have to kill that *&((^%% parrot! So as they began to exit out of the door,....the parrot could not resist taking his last chance to say something,...he was looking back and forth at the owner then to the couple,...but he could not resist. He bellowed out loudly "HEYYYYYY!"
The husband, who was equally as angry said,..........................
Husband: "WHAT?"
See,...that is what happening at LMISD! You know,... nothing is changing over there!!! Lolololololololol So............

Pull the plug,..and when you do it.......DO IT Q-U-I-C-K-L-Y!!

Why Ask


Walter Manuel

"Watkins said there is a committee being formed to help organize volunteers".

Is this the SAME committee that were heard about in January's board meeting too and here it is already April and nothings been done to Git R' Done????

There's nothing more pathetic than watching some grown folk standing in front of others begging for their job when it's our children's education that is suffering and at stake!

Three to five years will certainly buy Terri Watkins and others a better retirement plan from the Texas Retirement System, but along the way we take still another 3-5 years of educational opportunities away from our students who could be making academic strides somewhere else.

I'm sorry Mrs. Watkins, but ya'll aren't getting the support from us in the community to further pad your wallets when ya'll are STILL trying to complete something that you boasted about in January and it's now April!

Robert, your right!

TEA would do a huge injustice to our children's education and to their futures if they reverse their decision. Basically TEA would be feeding our students to all of these money hungry and self serving wolves! [angry]

Walter Manuel

That should have read, "Teacher's Retirement System"....

George Croix

Three to five more years.
If I were a 7th to 9th grader in LMISD who really wanted to learn in an atmosphere conducive to it right now, I'd be feeling a bit glum about the likely remainder of my public school experience...

Walter Manuel

ROFL Mr. JBG! Yep, our sentiments exactly!

TEA should have told Terri Watkins before she left the room that when LMISD's academics "Met Standards" this year, than there's her opportunity for yet another year to improve. The district already knows the current condition of our children's grades so far this year, so now it's time to prove that your DOING what it takes to save the district, otherwise it's just cheap talk! PERIOD!

When you have the SAME players on your losing team you will get the same LOSING results each and every time! Absolutely nothing has changed in the way of the school board or in administration, so obviously these people and the district haven't proven that their worth saving.

Good try, but NO cigar!

Mike Meador

LaMarque ISD is only open today because those living in their boundaries can't get out. Do those who own property really think somebody is going to buy you out? You are stuck! Nobody, but nobody is moving to La Marque to put their kids into the schools.

The new superintendent wants three to five years to bring the schools around. Where is she going to get more students to help bring the schools around? She isn't going to get a bond issue. She isn't going to get more state funds. She isn't going to get more school taxes.....she's taxes up already.

The superintendent should get her next year to get with TEA and decide where and how to process the remaining students to surrounding districts, and what to do with getting rid of the properties owned within the district.

Time has come for the Superintendent to make the right call and do the right thing for the students and parents by deciding nothing more can be done to save this district.

Gary Miller

What kind of parents send their children to LM ISD? Those who can't afford private school or moving.
After paying enough school taxes for private school or moving they are trapped in LM ISD.
School taxes is what forces their children to attend LM ISD.

Walter Manuel


Very well stated Cougargator and Gecroix! [thumbup]

PD Hyatt

Did anyone notice that the Sup. brought supporters with her, but did not allow anyone else to know what she was doing until she got back.... If everyone had known I do wonder if some on this board would have followed her up to Austin so that you could have spoke about their lack of wanting the publics input....

Gary Miller


Are you aware SCOTUS has approved selling, leasing or giving campusses and infrastructure built by taxpayers to any management approved by ( voters ) taxpayers.
The campusses and infrastructure LM ISD taxpayers paid for could with private or charter management be a better school system.

PD Hyatt

The only way that the students of LMISD have a future is if the TEA comes in and shuts LMISD down.... Then and only then will they have a chance of getting a good education that will help them down the road of life....

Gary Miller

paul-hyatt you offer one way.

The only way that the students of LMISD have a future is if the TEA comes in and shuts LMISD down.

There is another way.
Voters could vote for school choice. None of the LM ISD campusses would be chosen.
Charter and Private schools would educate all the children by employing as many or more teachers but perhaps not the same teachers.

SCOTUS has already approved voters making that choice. Rulling that all education funded by taxpayers is public education.

George Croix

Once again, I am led to wonder about what "the community" encompasses.
Is that 'the community', or is it 'the community'.
Same words, but depending on who's using them, the meaning is greatly different.
A cynic might argue that the dire straits into which LMISD has been navigated is based at least partially on a focus on 'the community' in it's smallest meaning over 'the community' of all.
Ever been to a kid's ballgame?
Ever notice that all the kids on the field of play just want to play a good, fair game of ball, and that the ones griping and fussing about the plays and who gets to make them are in the stands?
Same principal.

Chris Gimenez

I wonder if the Board would all resign in a show of their support for a real change of direction in order to save the district and for the benefit of the students. Probably not.

Gary Miller

Each of those 3 to 5 years represent another 210 students with a sub standard education. 3 to 5 graduating classes cheated because the LM BOT has no backbone.
They claim more students would improve the district. How could more students with a sub standard education improve anything?
Can 9 or 7 years of sub standard education be repaired in 3 to 5 years?
Or will another 3 to 5 years of failure be added to the first 9 or 7 years?

Gecroix and Cougar. Y'all do say it better with fewer words.

Gary Miller

LM ISD costs over $11,000 per student per year.
State Charter schools cost around $5,100 per student per year. Local private schools cost less than charter schools.
Can't any Y'all figure out school choice could solve LM ISD's troubles?
Better schools for less money could attract new residents.

SCOTUS has already ruled it's a voters choice.

Walter Manuel

Bvresident, the resignation of the entire school board and if some changes had been made in the administration building and in the schools, it would have served as proof that everyone DID their part in order to see LMISD succeed, however NONE of this has happened thus far and so NOTHING has changed!

We as a "community" need to bombard TEA with letters addressing how the decision to allow LMISD to remain open will further destroy the educational opportunities for not only our students today, but for years to come, as well as, addressing how the district has had a continuous declining effect on the economical development and a steady reduction in the property value within our community.

It's time TEA hears from a lot more people in the community rather than from just their crony supporters who favor protecting their friends self serving agendas. Remember, numbers are what gets peoples attention the most, not more lies coming from those sitting by their sides in the peanut gallery.

Grades and finances.....That's the ONLY thing that matters right now. When accreditation statuses are released by TEA on August 8, 2014, only then will we see just how much of an ACTUAL plan was REALLY put into place? The rest is simply wasted energy and empty words with no meaning.

Desperate people do desperate things, but to further jeopardize any child's education and their future in order to simply save someone's job certainly rates at the top the list!

Send in those letters to TEA demanding that LMISD begin preparation for transferring our students to other districts when they once again don't meet academic standards this year. Our children deserve the SAME educational opportunities as the next child in surrounding school districts and throughout the state of Texas!

The time for TEA and US is to act is NOW before we too fail our own children....[sad]

Why Ask


The whole LMISD needs to be re-structured.
While my children were there no one gave a care of education, they mostly cared for the football or sports. They offered tutoring that never transpired to assist with our childs' education. They offered so many meetings and resolutions but nothing ever transpired.

All we get is false hope and no resolutions. As far as having a charter school or private school is no dice. They are not even performing as well either if you check them out. Search it yourselves. I don't have an answer but I know this district needs better priorities.

Too much to discuss.

Gary Miller

Are you saying promisses didn't educate your child? Public schools are great at making promisses without any being kept.


"yall know!" "Ain't nothing Changed!!" See, It's like that parrot told the husband in code speak, in my story below ..( That wife or yours is still the ugliest woman I've ever seen in my life! ). "Ain't nothing changed!!"
LMISD is LMISD now, and it will be the same fifteen years from now with the same managers!!! There is no turning back! The situation over there is like that Berlin wall was to those people years ago in Germany, many of them Russian Jews,...who were TRAPPED behind it, and many risked their lived trying to sneak over, under or through that wall! A few made it, but many, many more were killed trying to escape for a better opportunity in life. Many more ACCEPTED THEIR FATE,...and just remained where they were, hoping someone, anyone would come along and help them!
In LaMarque we see another type of the Berlin wall,...erected to stop the outflow of students fleeing,...running,...desperately clambering for a better opportunity! It would seem that LMISD students have been running away from something in this community for years,..even back in the sixties! They ought to be "hell" in track,...because they are well acquainted with running! Not that I can blame them,...I think every mother's son or daughter who is left behind this WALL WHICH HAS BEEN BUILT,...should transfer out of here, and leave these people holding an empty bag!
Can you believe that it is said one of the proposals LMISD considered not to long ago for retaining students in this district, was to go hat in hand, and beg surrounding districts to NOT ACCEPT any LMISD refugee students seeking a better opportunity with them? No! No! I think I read it in the Daily News! Now that is desperate. Something I would not only have to much pride to do, but to much honor and character as well!
No they are not going to clean this district up because they have allowed it to go to far, and they are not facilitated, or set up to affect the kind of change it would take to get it done! In short there is to much wrong with it! It is like an old automobile which has many things needing repairs! It is simply best to junk-it and move on! So, they won't turn LMISD around in 5years or 15years.. not this group!
If the TEA does not move on these people, but continue to allow them to push students ill-qualified to face reality, face the real world outside those doors over there, then I believe the TEA is complicit in the wrongs which are being perpetuated against the students, families,and taxpayers in this community.
It is time for these people to get a grip on reality and admit they have failed and it is time to step aside! If they will not voluntarily do this, then because of the protection SINGLE MEMBER DISTRICTS GIVES THEM,...the TEA needs to act in the best interests of the children here and SHUT them down. If they were in any other job or industry they would be summarily FIRED FOR CAUSE! The only thing holding this present board in office is the gerrymandered voting district set up to ensure inclusion but was never meant to shelter incompetence, or to maintain low performers!
If you were a student and you observed something like this,...what would you do? What would you think? Well? I fooled a lot of people from here to Houston to Southeast Asia,...because when they first made contact with me,...they thought this was the kind of productivity which would be forthcoming! Oh,were they ever in for a surprise!!! I don't roll like this, and have no patience or pity for anyone,...ANYONE,...who does!
I will end with a quote from a Hall Of Fame coach who is one of the best coaches to ever coach in the NFL. I took the liberty to revise it just a little to fit the situation at hand.

You can fool the whole world down the highway of YEARS;
And take pats on the back as you turn right or left;
But the end results will be heartache and TEARS;
If you cheated and lied to the individual called YOURSELF!

Walter Manuel

Some district employees have contacted me today saying that the district needs 3-5 more years in order to make sure they have fabricated all of their records enough to actually make LMISD look good to TEA because their grades are certainly indicating otherwise at this point.

Now is the perfect time for teachers to start applying with other districts seeing how it doesn't look favorable for LMISD or their job security at this point!

Walter Manuel

Paul, I went back and re-read your post and agree 110% with you!

You posted, "Did anyone notice that the Sup. brought supporters with her, but did not allow anyone else to know what she was doing until she got back...."

I don't recall any of the school board members nor Terri Watkins posting anything on their meeting agendas discussing this trip to Austin in order to address our accreditation status?

This is every reason why nothing has changed in LMISD and obviously the public CONTINUES only being told what school board members and district officials think that we are entitled to know.

Even though TEA didn't have the opportunity to hear from everyone that wanted to be heard, we can write letters to support TEA NOT reversing their decision to place LMISD on acreditation warned status and putting our children through yet another couple of years of receiving a substandard education.

You can write to TEA at:

Division of Accreditation & School Improvement
Texas Education Agency
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701

Now is OUR opportunity to be heard, not just their side! [angry]

Walter Manuel

I failed to include TEA's email address should you want to email TEA's Accreditation Department.

Here's their email address:

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