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State Senators Ask TEA To Intervene At South San ISD

The board of South San ISD is developing plans to open Athens Elementary, which closed in 2017.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio
The majority on the South San board has voted to reopen Athens Elementary and two other schools in the fall.

The state senators that represent the South San Antonio Independent School District want the Texas Education Agency to appoint a conservator to oversee the district. They are concerned South San trustees aren’t making sound financial decisions.

Republican Peter Flores and Democrat José Menéndez sent identical letters to the education commissioner asking for state oversight.

The senators said they are worried that reopening the schools will “deplete needed resources from an already thinly stretched district.” They also said they were concerned because the majority of the board is disregarding the superintendent’s advice.

"My request to the Commissioner is a response from the requests of our communities,” Flores said in a statement. “Whatever serves Texas kids best is whatever schools, districts, teachers, and administrators should be doing. Ignoring this issue is to ignore the children of South San Antonio."

TEA removed South San from state oversight last year after two years under the guidance of a conservator.

Flores and Menéndez said they asked the commissioner to re-appoint a conservator because they were afraid the new board had reverted to old behaviors.

TEA also has the authority to replace the elected board with an appointed board of managers.

Camille Phillips can be reached at Camille@TPR.org and on Twitter at @cmpcamille.

Camille Phillips can be reached at camille@tpr.org or on Instagram at camille.m.phillips. TPR was founded by and is supported by our community. If you value our commitment to the highest standards of responsible journalism and are able to do so, please consider making your gift of support today.