JONESBORO — The Jonesboro Independent School District began the process to prevent the Texas Education Agency from closing its doors after recent substandard financial reviews.

“I’ve already talked to members from the (Texas Education Agency’s) enforcement board. ... They know our district, and I think we’ll be fine,” Superintendent Matt Dossey said Wednesday.

Jonesboro ISD filed an informal review request Tuesday after it received a letter from the governing entity for public schools dated Feb. 3 that stated the district was assigned a “not accredited-revoked” status, requiring it to close July 1 after six consecutive years of substandard financial accountability ratings.

Dorsey said the problem outlined in the TEA’s letter is a year old, because 2014 financial accountability ratings are based on data from the 2013-2014 school year, and already was corrected.

“In a four-year span, we’ve literally made a $1.4 million swing,” he said.

In 2010, Jonesboro ISD officials took out a $500,000 loan to cover personnel expenses, causing its debts to surpass its assets beyond state allowable parameters, Dossey said.

The district was initially assigned a “not accredited-revoked” status for its 2013-2014 school year for substandard financial accountability ratings for five consecutive years, according to the TEA. The ratings were based on data from the 2012-2013 school year.

After changing its financial practices, by the end of September 2014, Jonesboro had a net fund balance of $478,000 and a debt balance of $200,000, Dossey said.

Subsequently, its 2013-2014 status was changed to “accredited-probation” after Jonesboro ISD finished its informal review process in December, said Lauren Callahan, a TEA spokeswoman.

“We’ve been through this before, and we’re in a lot better shape this year,” Dossey said, explaining he was not worried about the district being forced to close.

By the end of the next fiscal year, Jonesboro ISD should have more than $800,000 in its fund balance, Dossey said.

Jonesboro ISD serves students from both northern Coryell and southern Hamilton counties and has a student population of 178, according to the TEA.

Contact Courtney Griffin at cgriffin@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7559

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