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SAISD Board Elections: District 5 Candidates Janell Rubio, Patti Radle

Voters in the San Antonio Independent School District may soon decide on a shift in leadership for the area's public schools.  

The third largest school district in the city, SAISD currently serves over 50,000 students in central San Antonio.

School board trustees help administrators decide on budgets and overall goals for a school district. SAISD's governing body is comprised of seven single-member areas called "districts," which elect representatives to the board of trustees.

"The Source" hosts a candidate forum for one of three open races in the upcoming local elections: District 5.

Former San Antonio City Council member Patti Radle was an elementary school teacher in SAISD for 12 years before joining the Board of Trustees in 2011. Radle's current term expires this year.

The San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel, the district's union, backs challenger Janell Rubio. Rubio is an SAISD parent whose family has lived in the area for generations. 

There has been disagreement over the district's direction in recent years as SAISD works to balance the incorporation of in-district charter schools and investment in new educational strategies. The district is also grappling with multiple at-risk campuses, the risk of state sanctions and a decrease in enrollment.

Union members have voiced concerns about a lack of transparencyregarding charter-related changes as well as frustration related to teacher layoffs last year. Some educators and community members are worried that more resources will be diverted to SAISD's new speciality schools at the expense of neighborhood schools, which Superintendent Pedro Martinez refutes.

What duties comprise the position of a school board member? What will these candidates bring to the table? What kind of leader do SAISD families, educators, and area residents want for the district?

Early voting begins Monday, April 22, and ends April 30. Election Day is Saturday, May 4. 

For more details on your polling locations, visit the Bexar County Elections Department.


"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 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource. 

This interview aired on Thursday, April 18, 2019.

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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.