TEA Conservatorship Status

District Update Re: Texas Education Agency Conservatorship Status
Posted on 09/27/2022
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During the September 26, 2022, business meeting of the DeSoto Independent School District Board of Trustees, Texas Education Agency-assigned conservator AJ Crabill announced a transition in the district’s conservatorship.

After a period of review and based on observations of the assigned conservator, TEA has the option to issue one of the following actions: 

  • Maintenance of the conservator
  • Withdrawal of the conservator
  • Addition of more conservators
  • Replacement of the Board
  • Or dissolution of the district


DeSoto ISD will remain under conservatorship; however, Crabill will shift from a role of active conservatorship to a passive conservatorship stance. In this capacity, Crabill will continue to support the work of the administration and the school board, follow and remain abreast of district business and continue to submit reports regarding progress, updates and observations to TEA as required.

During the Sept. 26 board meeting, Crabill explained the rationale for not withdrawing from his role as a conservator. 

“DeSoto ISD has made significant progress over the last two years,” Crabill said. “ [....] but there is a long journey ahead,” Crabill explained that the passive approach will afford an opportunity for continued monitoring and support in the four areas of oversight for which he was assigned to support the district which includes governance, finance, talent, and student progress.

Crabill noted the following regarding each of those areas of responsibility:

  • Governance: Provision of coaching, support, and training for sound and consistent leadership and governance at the board level. 
    • Progress Note: During its initial self-evaluation, the DeSoto ISD Board graded itself at a 12; the Board’s most recent performance scored an 80.
  • Finance: Support and development of strong governance of district finances and fiscal operations inclusive of the development, training, and reinforcement of internal controls and systems. 
    • Progress Note:  The district’s FIRST Rating improved from an F in 2018 to a C in 2021.


  • Talent: Reinforcement of the development of structures for coaching, instruction, and provision of professional development and systems of support for district staff.
    • Progress Note: The District has developed roles, systems, and structures to support coaching and professional development for educators to strengthen Tier One instruction and create content and grade level alignment.


  • Academics and Student Progress: Proven and strategic growth of student academic achievement as based on board goals. 
    • Progress Note: In 2018, the district received a TEA accountability rating of a D and had campuses rated as D and F; currently, all district campuses have passing accountability ratings and the district recently announced its 2021 accountability rating of a B.

Crabill said,“ The Eagles are soaring in a way that we have not in a number of years.”

In a closing statement, Crabill simply remarked, “ Well Done.”