Conservator starts her watch over South San ISD

Wednesday night's school board meeting first with conservator present

SAN ANTONIO – A new chapter started Wednesday night at South San Antonio Independent School District as a new conservator started her watch over the district.

Dr. Judy Castleberry has been appointed to observe each aspect of how the district is run for at least the next six to nine months. The appointment comes after the district failed to follow a state corrective plan for several noncompliance issues.

Ron Rowell, the Texas Education Agency director of school governance, was at Wednesday night's school board meeting and explained those issues were partly financial.

"In the report, there was what we call an SAI (a Special Accreditation Investigation) by our financial compliance division. They found some problems in their review of the finances," he said.

The other issues had to do with the school board and administration not working together.

"There just seems to be a disconnect there. There are some issues that we want to make sure they stay in compliance with the law, with their own board policies. You don't need to have 7-0 votes, but once they've voted, the whole seven follow whatever happens," Rowell said.

He said the issues brought up in the investigation were not about academics.

"It has zero (improvement required) campuses, so this district is really doing a great job academic-wise," he said.

Rowell explained that out of about 1,050 school districts in the state, around 50 have monitors or conservators. South San ISD is now one of those 50. 

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