Schools appealed UIL to move back to Class 5A

Pete Garcia, Alice Echo-News Journal

The UIL's decision to drop Laredo Cigarroa, Johnson and Nixon to Class 4A and add the former 5As to District 31-4A is now final.

A UIL committee which included five school superintendents and various other officials ruled Thursday to uphold the decision to move the schools, UIL spokesperson Kim Rogers said.

That means District 31-4A will now include Alice, Calallen, Flour Bluff, Tuloso-Midway, Kingsville, Cigarroa, Johnson and Nixon.

It isn't the first time that Laredo schools have fallen in the 4A classification. However, in the past, those schools have always checked a box on the student enrollment form issued by the UIL before its biennial reclassification and realignment. That little box tells the UIL of the school's intention to stay in a bigger classification if its enrollment falls into another.

Laredo school officials said principals at Cigarroa, Johnson and Nixon didn't check that box because it was believed the campuses would have 5A enrollment numbers.

However, the UIL changed the 5A mininum enrollment to 2,085.

The three Laredo schools moved out of 31-5A. It is the first time in years in which all of the schools inside the city of Laredo have not competed in the same district.

Laredo ISD and United ISD officials pleaded their case to the committee and argued that the move would be an extra expense on the district and take away from classroom time for the extended travel.

However, a reversal by the UIL would have been a stretch since moving the three schools would have given 31-5A with 11 schools and 31-4A with only five. It would have left 31-4A schools scrambling to redo their fall football schedules.