The San Antonio Independent School District board approved a 16-member blue ribbon task force on Monday to assess and help prioritize the facilities and operations needs of the district.
The task force will begin meeting next week to consider a practical path forward for SAISD’s five-year plan for excellence. SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez has set ambitious goals for student achievement. Financial management is one of the pillars of Martinez’s plan, and so far the superintendent has given a creative eye to possible revenue streams.
“We have bold goals for our district and aim to meet them by 2020 to ensure our students are performing at higher levels and are well-prepared for college and career,” Martinez said. “To realize these goals we must consider partnering with our voters to leverage our resources and address the most critical needs of our district.”
To fund the urgent needs identified by the task force, SAISD will consider issuance of a new bond proposal and/or a tax increase to be approved by the voters. An increase a district’s maintenance and operations tax rate above the current rate of $1.04 per $100 of property value, which is the maximum allowed by the state without voter approval, would allow for the funding of both capital and programmatic needs.
Each board member nominated two citizens to the task force to represent their district:
Task Force Co-Chairs: Mario Barrera, Victoria Moreno-Herrera
District 1 – Brian Dillard, Shannan Hern
District 2 – Linda Jackson, Dan Martinez
District 3 – Pat Jasso, Denise Ojeda
District 4 – Maria Cruz, Michelle Elms
District 5 – Carlos Gonzalez, Richard Montez
District 6 – Rachel Ponce, Steven Ibañez
District 7 – Chris Alderete, Liliana Mireles-Moreno
“We appreciate the invaluable service our community members will provide by being part of this task force. It is so important to have citizens involved in the effort,” said SAISD Board President Patti Radle.
The $515 million 2010 bond is in its final stages and expected to come in under budget. It included major renovations to 22 schools, as well as safety and security upgrades across the district and enhanced career instruction facilities at all high schools.
Top image: The SAISD board asks questions following a presentation during a recent meeting in January 2016. Photo by Scott Ball.