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Facing budget trouble, South San Antonio (Texas) district is closing 3 schools.

March 27, 2023
The board has voted to shutter Athens and Kindred elementary schools and Kazen Middle School.

The South San Antonio (Texas) school board, faced with a $12 million budget deficit following years of declining enrollment, has voted to close three schools.

The San Antonio Report says that schools that will be shut down are Athens and Kindred elementary schools and Kazen Middle School, all in San Antonio.

Superintendent Henry Yzaguirre had suggested closing four campuses, including West Campus High School, but West Campus was removed from the board's March agenda

Tom Cummins, president of the San Antonio AFL-CIO, spoke on behalf of South San Antonio American Federation of Teachers before the vote, repeating calls to solve financial problems in other ways.

“All of these are legitimate concerns that must be addressed,” he said. “However, we encourage you to vote no tonight (and) we don’t say that lightly.” 

Cummins said closures could lead to even more students leaving the district than have done so already.

Abe Saavedra, who was appointed by the Texas Education Agency to monitor the district, said board members should do the right thing, even if it is hard. Saavedra previously served as superintendent of the district.

“The last time a board voted to close schools it was during my time and several of those board members got voted out the very next election,” he said. “I’m not telling you that that won’t happen. But I am telling you, you need to do what’s right for kids in order for this district to get better.”

The district encompasses about 21 square miles in the South and Southwest portion of San Antonio.

According to Texas Education Agency data, a growing number of students living in the area served by the South San Antonio district are transferring to other schools, primarily public charter schools. 

Others are attending nearby schools, including 22 students who are now enrolled in the Edgewood district and just over 200 students who are attending the San Antonio district. 

Some of that is offset by 600 students who live in other districts but attend South San Antonio ISD schools. Those students are there from Southwest, San Antonio and Harlandale districts. 

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