The South San Antonio Independent School District will only have one high school starting in the next school year after trustees voted 3 to 1 to close West Campus High School.
The San Antonio Report says the vote follows a presentation that showed that more than half of the 502 students enrolled at West Campus already travel to South San Antonio High School for half-days, increasing the cost per pupil at the smaller campus.
A continued decline in enrollment and a $9.5 million budget deficit are still affecting the district, according to the presentation. Compounding the problem, next year the district will run out of COVID-relief money, which has buoyed the district for the last several years.
“Our job is to educate these kids and making sure that what we do with our money goes directly to them and not to a building,” Superintendent Henry Yzaguirre said.
The board room was filled with district alumni, parents and students, many of whom shared concerns about the process being rushed and with little opportunity for meaningful engagement.
The campus narrowly avoided a closure vote in April after Yzaguirre rescinded a recommendation, saying it was too late to make it happen for the 2023-2024 school year.
Board member Abel Martinez Jr., who voted against the closure, argued that the campus should stay open, citing the growth of the campus since it was reopened four years ago and new construction in the area. He also questioned whether the move would resolve the district’s budget deficit.