SAN ANTONIO – The superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District said school closures and campus reorganizations may be on the horizon.
In a letter and video released on Tuesday, Superintendent Jaime Aquino said the school board will vote next week to move forward with a study to determine how to reorganize schools in the district.
“Their call to action should not come as a surprise to you. In our faculty and team meetings over the past 12 months, we have not shied away from discussing how our district enrollment has been declining for more than two decades, and that, because we have not closed schools at the same rate, we have a large and costly amount of unused school space,” Aquino said in his letter.
Aquino said any changes would not affect the upcoming school year but would likely be in effect starting in the fall of 2024.
He also said the district anticipates retaining its staff members and promised the process would be as transparent as possible.
“We want your input and the input of our community before any decisions are made,” Aquino said in his video message.
According to data from the Texas Education Agency, 45,255 students were enrolled in the district last year. That’s more than 9,000 fewer students than 10 years ago. The district has more than 90 campuses.
Aquino said resources are spread too thin and that is creating inequities.
“These inequities come from spending more per student at our smallest schools than we do in more fully enrolled ones. On the one hand, schools with low enrollments are more expensive to operate, and on the other, more likely to provide fewer services,” Aquino said.
The reorganization wouldn’t just mean school closings, he said. It will also mean reorganizing campuses “to best use our buildings,” school mergers, or co-locating schools at the same campus.
Aquino promised “numerous public meetings” and a soon-to-be-launched website to provide updated details.
“The time has come. We cannot put off this important conversation any longer,” Aquino said.