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Is SAISD's rightsizing plan fair?

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A dais on the left where the SAISD superintendent and trustees sit facing a podium on the right where teacher union President Alejandra Lopez speaks.
Camille Phillips
San Antonio ISD Superintendent Jaime Aquino and trustees listen as San Antonio Alliance President Alejandra Lopez speaks during public comments Sept. 18, 2023.

The San Antonio ISD Board of Trustees will soon vote on the “Rightsizing” plan which could close 19 school campuses.

The board and administration argue that the closures are necessary due to the shrinking enrollment in the district. They also make a case that consolidating campuses will improve academic success and education opportunities for the students.

However, parents, teacher organizations and some civic leaders are critical of the plan. They question the methodology in deciding which campuses to shutter and claim there was a lack of transparency in the decision making process. They are also asking for guarantees that the new school structure will improve student achievement.

There are also complaints that the closure plan doesn’t adequately take into account issues of equity and the students that come from the most marginalized neighborhoods will be the most affected.

SAISD Superintendent Jaime Aquino has told parents that the school closures are needed as the district faces growing budget constraints, and if nothing is done in five years, SAISD will have a budget shortfall of $300 million dollars.

Over the past seven years, the district lost 7,814 students, according to the “rightsizing” dashboard data.

The schools set to close include Lamar and Pershing elementary schools in District 1; Douglas, Gates, and Miller elementary schools, and Both Tynan and Carroll early childhood education centers in District 2; Forbes, Foster, and Highland Park elementary schools in District 3; Collins Garden and Riverside Park elementary schools, and Lowell Middle School and Knox Early Childhood Education Center in District 4; Ogden and Storm elementary schools in District 5; and Baskin and Huppertz elementary schools, and Nelson Early Childhood Learning Education Center in District 7.


Jaime Aquino is the SAISD Superintendent.

Ed Garza is on the SAISD Board of Trustees.

Jennifer Tobias is a representative from Our School San Antonio. She's also with the Schools Our Students Deserve Coalition.

Alejandra Lopez is president of the San Antonio Alliance. She is part of the Schools Our Children Deserve coalition.

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255 or email thesource@tpr.org.

This interview will be recorded Wednesday, November 8, 2023.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi