AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Education Agency is prohibited from assigning A-F performance ratings for the 2022-23 school year until the court issues another order or a final judgment in the suit, whichever occurs first.

Pflugerville Independent School District, Del Valle Independent School District and multiple other districts are suing the head of the Texas Education Agency over the agency’s decision to change how the state grades schools.

The districts previously asked a judge to temporarily stop the state from issuing ratings based on the new methods. 

In the lawsuit, the districts claim the agency did not follow the law in notifying districts of changes to the A-F system before the beginning of the school year in which the new metrics will be applied.

The suit also claims the new methods would dramatically decrease campus and district scores. According to Austin ISD officials, 22% of its schools would have had lower 2021-22 school year ratings under the new metrics.

TEA delays A-F ratings

The A-F ratings were set to be released to the public on Sept. 28, but agency officials said they want more time to analyze growth data. Specifically, the agency said it was focusing on whether it should incorporate data from the 2021-22 school year in upcoming ratings.

The changes have generated criticism from both school officials and legislators. A bipartisan group of 26 lawmakers sent a letter to Education Commissioner Mike Morath in May asking him to reconsider the changes.

More than 200 school districts wrote a letter to the commissioner in March requesting the delay of the A-F accountability changes, including at least 10 Central Texas school districts.

“The A-F system was designed to make it easier for the public to understand how schools are truly performing. But increasing the cut score for A for CCMR by almost 47% in a single year will create the misconception that high-performing schools are drastically declining,” the letter stated.