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South San ISD Board Holds Unusual Mid-year Officer Election

The South San ISD administrative buildings are also being used to house South San High School West Campus.
File Photo / Camille Phillips
Texas Public Radio

The board of trustees for the South San Antonio Independent School District held an unusual mid-year election for board officers May 24.

School board officers are typically elected once a year, immediately after newly elected trustees are sworn in. South San’s last board election was in November, but trustees Connie Prado and Ernesto Arrellano called a special meeting to elect Arrellano as board president.

Outgoing Board President Gilbert Rodriguez lambasted Prado and Arrellano for the move, and said he called the Texas Education Agency the day before the meeting to ask them to increase state oversight over the board.

“I had a very detailed conversation with the TEA,” Rodriguez said. “What you're seeing here tonight unfold is a crisis situation that I'm forced to manage in protection of our kids.”

Trustee Stacey Alderete also called on TEA to appoint a conservator, or even replace the elected board with an appointed board of managers.

South San trustees voted 5-2 in favor of electing new board officers mid-year. Alderete and Rodriguez voted against the change.

The Texas Education Code directs school boards to hold officer elections once a year, during the first board meeting after trustee elections. However, a Texas attorney general opinion from 1982 states that it’s not illegal to hold officer elections at other times.

South San has a long history of board infighting. Most recently, three trustees resigned in 2019, after the board majority forced the district’s superintendent to resign.

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