Mayor Ivy Taylor and District 8 City Councilman Ron Nirenberg, one of 13 candidates vying to unseat her, will address various education issues in a town hall meeting Monday, March 27, at KIPP Cevallos Campus south of downtown.

Speaking to an audience of educators, educational nonprofits, and school leaders, the candidates will field questions from the floor, Twitter, and moderator Robert Rivard, director of The Rivard Report.

“Many candidate debates focus on the physical development of the city,” Rivard said. “On this evening, we will talk about human development and what the candidates intend to do if elected mayor.” 

The event is sold out, but a live stream will be posted on KIPP San Antonio’s Facebook page, encouraging as much participation as possible.

“At KIPP San Antonio, we believe every child should have access to a quality education and a chance to prove what’s possible in life,” KIPP San Antonio Founder and CEO Mark Larson said. “We are honored to host the mayoral town hall on education, which should offer a forum for the community to reach our candidates on issues that impact their families.”

 While education issues are more frequently debated at the state level, San Antonio’s municipal government has actively pursued initiatives such as Pre-K 4 SA and My Brother’s Keeper, which lend City support to school districts.

State funding continues to be a great concern to educators throughout the city, hence the growing importance of out-of-school-time organizations, wraparound services, and mentorship initiatives. City government has a large part to play in the supporting organizations and partnerships that will bridge critical gaps, especially for low-income students.

“I’m always thankful for the opportunity to talk with voters about their aspirations and concerns,” Taylor said. “The countless conversations I’ve had with residents from every corner of San Antonio are the foundation of my vision for the city.”

One major mayoral candidate missing from the debate is Bexar County Democratic Party Chairman Manuel Medina.

“Despite numerous attempts, we were unable to confirm Chairman Medina for this event,” KIPP San Antonio spokesperson Damon Vaughan said.

KIPP Cevallos Campus, located at 239 Stark St. on the Southside, is a fitting place to discuss the prospects for education in the city. Far from a charter-centric event, attendees will include superintendents, board members, and other school leaders from 10 local school districts. The organizers have received RSVPs from representatives of San Antonio Youth Literacy, Region 20, City Education Partners, SAISD Foundation, The DoSeum, City Year, Communities in Schools, Teach For America, and P16Plus. 

The potential mayors may have the opportunity to leverage the city’s innovative school districts, active philanthropic presence, and explosive growth of high-performing charters like KIPP as keys to the city’s continued prosperity. 

“Education is fundamental to making San Antonio the city you deserve,” Nirenberg said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to talk about my plans to ensure we are equipping students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in the 21st century.”

Bekah McNeel

Bekah McNeel is a native San Antonian. You can also find her at her blog, FreeBekah.com, on Twitter @BekahMcneel, and on Instagram @wanderbekah.