Local school districts hope new partnership with TAMUSA will help with recruiting, retaining teachers, developing educational programs

Programs, services developing through collaboration between local university, south Bexar County districts

SAN ANTONIO – Officials with several school districts in south Bexar County are hoping a new partnership with a local university will help recruit and retain teachers and bring more educational programs to the area.

Three years ago, East Central Independent School District joined forces with Edgewood, Harlandale, Somerset, South San Antonio, Southside and Southwest school districts, according to ECISD Superintendent Roland Toscano.

Toscano said the districts found it challenging to retain and recruit staff members.

“They have a tendency to move to either high-paying school districts or to school districts that are in closer proximity to where they live,” Toscano said.

Through a new partnership, he hopes they can solve this problem.

Recently, the districts partnered with Texas A&M University-San Antonio in a collaboration called A&M-SA & South Bexar County ISDs Partnership to Impact Regional Equity and Excellence, or ASPIRE. Through this initiative, they will develop educational programs and services and much more.

To help East Central ISD’s problem, Toscano said his district wants to get students involved in teacher preparation programs.

Toscano is also looking forward to possibly hiring a college and career counselor. The counselor will focus on getting students to not only continue their education but also attend the local university.

Something else that could help other school districts is the creation of lab schools, said Toscano. University students would go to the school districts and get hands-on experience working with the instructors and students.

Toscano said these are just some of the possibilities this new collaboration will bring.

“I think it has the potential to impact the biggest problems across our system, wherever those problems exist,” Toscano said.

About the Authors: