Where will bond funds go if schools close, among concerns by SAISD parents

19 schools could be closed under proposed plan

SAN ANTONIO – Parents, students, and staff are making their cases for keeping schools open as the San Antonio Independent School District considers closing 19 campuses.

SAISD officials heard community members’ feedback this week on the district’s “rightsizing” resolution proposal.

The proposed closures are the result of a study conducted as SAISD says it is experiencing declining enrollment.

Those who spoke at community meetings Monday and Tuesday night voiced their frustrations.

“You didn’t come to us asking for solutions, you’re amputating a leg when a Band-Aid would have worked,” said a Lamar Elementary parent.

Students also shared their position on the proposed closures.

A Lamar Elementary student told district officials “this school is the perfect school for me,” while another said, “people will be heartbroken, not just children and their families.”

A teacher at Gates Elementary added, “How are we building a family that way? Why can’t we stay?”

Some even raised concerns about the district’s plans for bond money already promised to campuses that could close.

“They had a plan, a schedule, they marked trees; which ones were going to be cut and which ones weren’t. Where did that investment back into the community go?” said a Lamar Elementary parent.

SAISD’s most recent bond package was approved by voters in 2020.

The package is worth $1.2 billion, of which $179 million is set to go to schools on the chopping block.

District officials say only about $3.5 million has been spent on the schools facing potential closure.

“That paid for a lot of conditions assessments and surveys that we can use as we determine what we’re going to do with our campuses,” said Yvonne Little, executive director of planning and construction for SAISD.

Little says if trustees approve the rightsizing proposal, the district does not plan on selling any of its buildings.

As for the remaining bond funds, SAISD says they “will conduct facility assessments of each of the schools that will receive additional students and teachers... [and] will reinvest in [its] remaining facilities, bringing them closer to the contemporary standards.”

SAISD will hear from community members at more than 20 public meetings before the school board’s vote on the final recommendation package on November 13.


About the Author:

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.