Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Rightsizing education will harm San Antonio’s youth

SAISD proposes school closures and mergers due to declined enrollment
Noah Willoughby

On Nov. 13, the SAISD Board of Trustees will vote on the recommendation of rightsizing the school district. The rightsizing would include five proposed campus consolidations and 19 suggested closures over the next two academic years. 

SAISD Superintendent Jaime Aquino and other board members proposed this recommendation on Sept. 18 during a school board meeting. Aquino disclosed that although finances do not drive the proposal, the district must consider its financial future. The recommendation was introduced due to declining enrollment rates — originating from competing charter school enrollments — and San Antonio’s declining birth rates. 

The board proposed the closures to end inequity in underpopulated schools. Aquino discussed how smaller schools with bigger minority groups receive less funding. If no change is made, there will be a budget shortage of $300 million in five years. However, if SAISD wants to improve its enrollment rates and be a desirable school district, it needs to take the community into account and put children and education first, not an issue that resulted from negligence.

If the board votes for the closures, families will need transition specialists to assist with the changes. SAISD has resorted to a rushed, inconvenient solution. SAISD parents and trustees expressed discomfort and disappointment regarding the recommendation, claiming the proposal was sudden and lacked community involvement. If parents and board trustees had been made aware of the enrollment decline sooner, the proposed solutions may have been more appropriate. 

Although mergers, redesigns and closures could potentially benefit SAISD’s underpopulated schools in terms of academic and personal resources, this recommendation proposes too many school closures. If San Antonio wants to tackle the issue of underpopulated, under-resourced schools, it cannot be done in two years. Rushing school closures will not benefit minority groups who have found community and resources in their current schools. 

SAISD is pushing for this recommendation without carefully considering the feelings of those who matter most — the children and families. Change needs to take place, however, this recommendation should not have been sprung on those who were not made aware of the issue. With the upcoming community meetings SAISD will hold, families need to use the opportunity to have a voice and advocate for an end to this outrageous proposal.

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About the Contributors
Noah Willoughby
Noah Willoughby, Staff Writer
Noah (he/him) is a Communications major at UTSA. Noah was born in San Antonio and has been here all of his life. He has spent a large portion of that life working with people who have disabilities throughout various jobs, but decided to come back to college to find a new path. He enjoys reading and writing and hopes to do the latter as a full-time gig.

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    jaydenMar 27, 2024 at 11:35 am

    thats sigma