All sports at the school have postponed until at least the next basketball season as Singleton shifts the focus to extra tutoring and test preparation. Singleton told Sherman it was a tough decision in a community that values high school sports so much, but "because we're so far behind with student performance I wanted an environment that was academic only."
Singleton estimates the decision to end sports programs will also save the school about $50,000 in the spring and $100,000 in the fall. The money can be used to update facilities, attract qualified teachers and pay off its $400,000 line of credit, Sherman reports.
The community would lose its largest employer, with 90 jobs, if the school is forced to close. Frank Davila, a Jim Wells County constable and school security officer told Sherman, if "the school shuts down in this town, the town dies. This is all we have." The nearest school district is 35 miles away. (Wikipedia map locates Premont)
Not everyone agrees with the decision to stop athletics. Patricia Bunch, 36, mother of three in Premont schools, "disagrees with the decision because sports helps students stay healthy and keep out of trouble," Sherman reports. Premont student Cedric de la Garza, 15, told Sherman, "Staying eligible for sports is what motivates many students to pass their classes." (Read more)