TEA appoints conservator to oversee South San ISD

Appointment made after district 'failed to follow corrective action plan'

SAN ANTONIO – The South San Independent School District was appointed a conservator on Friday to oversee the district.

The appointment was made after the district "failed to follow its corrective action plan following previous findings of non-compliance," according to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath.

Morath appointed Judy Castleberry as the conservator.

“This intervention is necessary to prevent substantial or imminent harm to the welfare of the district’s students or to the public interest, and because the district has not been responsive to or compliant with TEA intervention requirements," Morath said in a statement.

Previously, Castleberry was the executive director of  Education Service Center-Region 20 in San Antonio.

Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra said the conservator will attend board meetings, including executive session and direct the board as necessary.

The superintendent and members of the board will continue to cooperate with the directives of the commissioner and TEA. We want to assure our students, parents, and community that this will not affect day to day operations of the district. Our students are the number one priority and we will continue to work towards ensuring they receive the best educational opportunities available.

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, who represents District 19, issued the following statement Friday:

"The students and the community in South San Antonio ISD deserve to have a cooperative board of trustees who work together to solve the very real challenges this district faces. I hope that Ms. Castleberry, as managing conservator for the district, will be able to elevate the educational needs of the students over the personal squabbles which have divided this board of trustees for years.

“In November 2015, I wrote the board and stressed the importance of meeting the deadlines in the Corrective Action Plan, sadly that did not happen. I will continue to work with TEA to ensure the educational needs of our children are met."