For the first time in seven weeks, more than three South San Antonio Independent School District board members showed up in person Thursday for a meeting, allowing the district to pay bills.

Trustees unanimously voted to approve budget amendments and ratify the transfer of $1 million from the district’s general fund to its self-insurance fund. The vote was largely symbolic, as interim superintendent Henry Yzaguirre already authorized the transfer to cover an insurance payment that was due Tuesday.

South San’s school board had not met in nearly seven weeks because too few board members have attended the meetings in person to constitute a quorum, stalling district operations that are the board’s responsibility. At least four trustees must be present in person to meet.

Board President Gilbert Rodriguez, Vice President Homer Flores and Secretary Stacey Alderete attended Thursday’s meeting, along with trustees Connie Prado and Ernesto Arrellano Jr. Shirley Ibarra attended virtually for some of the meeting. The board met for 26 minutes.

The transferring of funds is the board’s duty and not the superintendent’s, under the Texas Education Code. But Yzaguirre told the board Thursday that he made the transfer so the district wouldn’t default on its insurance payment, which could have led to sanctions from the Texas Education Agency and employees to pay full cost for medical treatment. He said the district’s attorney Mark Sánchez advised him to make the payment.

“I made the decision, and we stick by it,” Yzaguirre said.

Alderete, Rodriguez, Arrellano and Flores thanked the interim superintendent for taking care of district business while the board was unable to meet.

The TEA is investigating South San ISD in response to complaints the agency had received, claiming the school board has interfered with the superintendent’s duties. The agency appointed Abelardo Saavedra to monitor the board in September after it closed another investigation into similar problems between the board and superintendent.

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Brooke Crum

Brooke Crum covered education for the San Antonio Report.