Southside ISD loses appeal, conservator to take over as soon as next week

District's board to be disbanded, accreditation lowered

SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Education Agency confirmed Thursday it is moving forward with plans to disband Southside Independent School District's board of trustees, lower the district's accreditation and appoint a conservator to oversee the district's operations.

Conservator Velia Minjarez could begin work as early as next week, according to Southside ISD sources.

A board of managers, made up mostly of members of the Southside ISD community, will be put in place later this year.

The TEA's announcement comes weeks after its commissioner allowed the district to defend itself against the findings of a special accreditation investigation that was completed late last year.

The district is out of appeals regarding the TEA's decision, unless trustees decide to challenge it in court.

The investigation determined the district failed to comply with state laws regarding contracts.

In one instance, a contractor made close to $100,000 in improvements to the district's football stadium without the district soliciting other bids for the project.

Continuing coverage:

Southside ISD superintendent plans to move forward following scathing investigation report

State recommends conservator, disbanding board at troubled Southside ISD

Southside ISD under ‘notice of special accreditation investigation' from TEA

The investigation also found board members intimidated district staff.

During one incident, a trustee refused to sign in at a campus and was heard telling staff members, "I don't need an escort. I'm a board member. I don't need a badge. I can go anywhere I want."

Southside officials declined to comment Thursday, but previously said most of the issues uncovered by the investigation had been "addressed, audited and revamped."

In the letter sent Wednesday, the TEA commissioner said he will also appoint a superintendent.

Minjarez will be paid $85 per hour plus travel expenses, according to the letter.