Residents say problems between South San ISD board, superintendent like reoccurring bad movie

SAN ANTONIO – People in the South San Independent School District said they feel like the problems between the board of trustees and superintendent are like a bad movie that keeps repeating.

Rey Saldana, former District 4 councilman, spoke as a concerned resident before the board Tuesday night, saying the plot is always the same — in which the board blames the superintendent for the problems and then buys them out. It's a problem going back decades.

"Board members want to run the day-to-day of district,” he said.

According to the district records, Alexandro Flores is the sixth superintendent since 2011 to leave before finishing their contract.

The following is a list of the former superintendents’ names and when they were on the job:

  • Alexandro Flores: 2018-2019/severance pay of $187,577.50

  • Abelardo Saavedra: 2015-2018/ severance pay of $139,013.03

  • Mourette Hodge: 2013-2014

  • Rebecca Robinson: 2012-2013

  • Linda Zeigler: 2011-2012

  • Rob Durbon: 2011

Board members Mandy Martinez, Elda Flores and Louis Ybarra all stepped down.

The Texas Education Agency has been investigating the district. The appointed monitor has recommended that a TEA conservator be placed to oversee the board.

The TEA would not comment on the investigation, developments at South San ISD, nor what, if any, action it would or could take.

The agency offered the following information about what the Texas Education Code says is the next step regarding the vacancies:

Texas Education Code Sec. 11.060:

A) If a vacancy occurs on the board of trustees for an independent school district, the remaining trustees may fill the vacancy by appointment until the next trustee election.

B) If the board is appointed by the governing body of a municipality, a trustee appointed by the governing body to fill a vacancy shall serve for the unexpired term.

C) Instead of filling a vacancy by appointment under Subsection (a) or (b), the board or municipal governing body may order a special election to fill the vacancy. A special election is conducted in the same manner as the district’s general election except as provided by Election Code.

D) If more than one year remains in the term of the position vacated, the vacancy shall be filled under this section not later than the 180th day after the vacancy occurs.

The board could pick people to fill the vacancies or it could hold a special election.

Board President Connie Prado said the discussion about what happens next will take place during the next board meeting.

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