SAISD considers closing campuses, presents ‘rightsizing’ study to parents, staff

District will host more meetings for community members

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio ISD is considering closing or consolidating some of its schools come next school year. While the district hasn’t finalized anything, it has conducted a “rightsizing” study and is presenting it in a series of meetings for community members.

“If I had the choice, we would stay the way we are,” said Lisa Morales, Highland Park Elementary’s assistant principal.

SAISD parent Irene Flores disagrees, saying, “I’m actually for it. I want my kids to have a good education.”

SAISD’s study shows enrollment has dropped by 18,326 students since 1998. School officials said a decline in the birth rate and a lack of affordable housing are to blame.

The district said the smaller campuses cost more money to run than the biggest because of the need for enrollment.

“Kids can benefit from having more stuff and have more money for better equipment,” said Irene Flores, an SAISD parent.

The district rightsizing study states that keeping under-enrolled campuses open is causing SAISD to have fewer officers and mental health professionals readily available, as well as fewer electives and split classrooms with multiple grade levels.

Parents in attendance, who favored consolidating, had concerns about travel times to different area schools.

Too many students in one classroom also had parents and educators worried.

“It puts a barrier up. We’re not making sure we’re differentiating the way we’re supposed to, or that our special needs population or any other demographic, that their needs aren’t getting met,” said Lisa Morales, assistant principal at Highlands Elementary.

Between Aug. 17 and Sept. 12, San Antonio ISD will seek feedback on a draft framework, a decision-making tool used to determine a recommendation package. That’ll include a preliminary list of schools to close. It’ll be presented to the board on Sept. 18.

Additional community engagement will occur from Sept. 20 through Oct. 30 before the board votes on the final recommendation package on Nov. 13. The recommendations will be implemented in the 2024-2025 school year if approved.

San Antonio ISD to host 14 public meetings focused on rightsizing study, community input

About the Authors

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

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