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SAISD reverses course, approves raises for faculty and staff

The San Antonio Independent School District board of trustees passed a 2% general pay increase for teachers and staff this week, a reversal from an initial recommendation by the district to forgo raises due to financial challenges. That initial recommendation came with a prediction by district leaders that other area school systems would forgo raises as well due to the expiration of federal pandemic relief dollars and the lack of increased state funding since 2019, but the largest district in t

Advocacy group questions UTSA over free speech allegations

A nonprofit advocacy organization focused on free speech rights has sent several letters to UTSA in the wake of student protests in recent months, during which students alleged that administrators forbade them from chanting in Arabic or using certain phrases — allegations the university has previously denied. The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expressions (FIRE) sent one letter on April 29 and another May 14 to UTSA President Taylor Eighmy, citing statements students made to the San Anton

NEISD trustees considering 1% retention bonus, no raise

One year after the North East Independent School District joined others in the region providing historic pay increases, a new board of trustees is grappling with how to retain employees while also managing a ballooning $38 million budget deficit due in part to those raises. They are mulling a district proposal that would provide a one-time, 1% retention bonus in lieu of a raise. The proposal would cost less than a raise, but would not contribute to employee retirement accounts, rankling some tr

TEA appoints conservator to oversee Great Hearts Texas

At the request of the board of Great Hearts Texas, the Texas Education Agency has appointed a conservator to oversee the San Antonio charter school network after a series of mishaps in recent months. The invitation is unique, with past interventions across the state following contentious battles with the agency. In April, an undisclosed number of Great Hearts Texas employees were sent home after the TEA found that fingerprints were not properly filed as required by the state. Board members vote

SAISD relocates final graduations indoors due to excessive heat

Graduation ceremonies for three high schools in the San Antonio Independent School District are being moved indoors from the Alamo Stadium to the Alamo Convocation Center due to forecasted high temperatures, according to an announcement on the district’s website. The announcement comes amid sweltering heat that led several campuses to close due to failing air conditioning systems last week, although students and teachers returned for the final days of class. Highs are expected to be 100 degrees

Families, teachers say goodbye to closing SAISD schools

At the 13 schools closing for good over the summer as part of San Antonio Independent School District’s effort to downsize amid falling enrollment, end-of-the-year ceremonies held an extra layer of meaning for current students, former students and educators. The festivities occur under the cloud of another possible round of closures in the coming years at the recommendation of a committee that investigated HVAC failures earlier this year. At Dorie Miller Elementary School last week, current st

SAISD cancels classes at two schools due to HVAC failures

Just days before the end of the school year, the San Antonio Independent School District canceled classes at two campuses as HVAC systems faltered and temperatures soared into the high 90s over the holiday weekend. Christopher Herrera, the director of Bonham Academy, apologized for the late notice in a letter that was sent to parents Monday and provided to the San Antonio Report. Classes are scheduled to resume on Wednesday. “Our air conditioning system is not functioning, and we are installi

San Antonio districts fail to enforce 2019 homeless suspension law

Hundreds of students experiencing homelessness across the San Antonio region have been suspended from school in recent years for scuffling, persistent misbehavior and other minor infractions. Many of those suspensions were likely in violation of a 2019 law that banned school administrators from doling out punishments that kick homeless students off campus for most offenses — a practice that has continued across hundreds of Texas districts with minimal response from state officials, a San Antoni

Incoming NEISD board to grapple with budget shortfall, book bans

Five trustees, including four new faces, were sworn into office for the North East Independent School District Board of Trustees this week — a changing of the guard for the seven-member panel, which conservative education groups targeted in all five electoral races earlier this month but were shut out. The politics of the district were on full display just one day earlier, as outgoing trustees heard from dozens of parents and community members about hot-button issues like inappropriate content

Students with disabilities get leg up with TAMU-SA program

Meera Phillips beamed with pride as she set up an iPad to showcase her culminating project for friends and family, just days before crossing the stage to graduate from Texas A&M University San Antonio along with hundreds of other students. Her eyes scanned the room, and she giggled as she clicked through slides showing her presenting in classes, tabling on campus and working in the university’s IT department. “I would like to work in Georgia at the local university,” she said, using the iPad t

How SAISD got caught off-guard by widespread HVAC failures

Not long after school began across San Antonio Independent School District on the morning of Jan. 16, principals and teachers began fielding frantic texts from parents who had heard their kids were sitting in frigid classrooms due to failing heaters. Some parents picked their kids up shortly after. One parent brought in a space heater to try to keep kids warm as outside temperatures hovered between 20 and 30 degrees on one of the coldest days of the winter season. But no communication was comi

AlamoU offers 4-year degrees at San Antonio community colleges

St. Philip’s College is in the process of recruiting students for the inaugural class of the recently approved Bachelor of Applied Technology in Cybersecurity — part of a system-wide expansion of bachelor’s degrees being offered at the Alamo Colleges District. While the growing offerings have been known for some time, the district enshrined the effort under the new name “AlamoU” during a ceremony Thursday, attended by trustees, professors and students. “These new programs advance our district’

Layoffs hit School of Science and Technology as budget tightens

The School of Science and Technology is the latest San Antonio school system to announce job cuts as federal COVID-19 funds run dry and attendance suffers. The cuts affect 40 teacher aide positions across eight campuses in the San Antonio region. Classrooms for pre-K, kindergarten and special education students as well as physical education classes will retain their teacher aides, according to the charter school. The reductions were the result of those funds expiring and the lack of increased

Conservative education groups shut out in all 5 NEISD races

This article has been updated. Two years after cracking into North East Independent School District on San Antonio’s North Side, conservative groups were beat back in a big way Saturday night. With five openings on the school district’s ballot, a slate of candidates backed by the local Democratic Party, the parent teachers association and public education advocates won each of them. “They saw us coming this time,” said Crystal Keene, president of Parents United for Freedom PAC, which formed i

Pro-Palestine UTSA protesters use banned phrase, loudspeakers

In a rebuke of restrictions placed on student protesters by UTSA officials last week, dozens of students chanted “from the river to the sea” while marching through campus on a muggy Wednesday afternoon, calling for the divestment of university funds from Israel and a ceasefire in the Gaza war. The phrase refers to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and has become a divisive chant that some say is a call for liberation and peace for Palestinian people while others say it

Northside ISD appoints college professor to vacant board seat

The Northside Independent School District board of trustees voted 4-2 Monday to appoint Homer Guevara Jr., a professor of government at Northwest Vista College, to the vacant seat representing District 2 on the school board. Gerald Lopez, who held that seat previously, sent a letter of resignation to the board on March 18, stating that he would be running for a seat on the Alamo Colleges District Board, noting at the time that he was running unopposed and would win by default. The appointment

Great Hearts employees back at work after compliance concerns

An undisclosed number of teachers working at Great Hearts Texas, a charter school with locations in San Antonio, returned to work on April 19 after being placed on administrative leave for several days. The action was required after the Texas Education Agency found that background paperwork, including fingerprinting, had been improperly filed with the state, according to statements from the school at the time. In a statement to the San Antonio Report Monday, the charter’s interim superintenden

Cornyation's outrageousness carries on despite political headwinds

Since the first Cornyation satire show kicked off in the 1950s, the debaucherous and outrageous rebuke of the frills of early Fiesta San Antonio and its Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo has pushed the envelope — so far, in fact, that it was put on pause for more than a decade between 1965 and 1982 for being too “modern.” The production turns the lavish, debutante pageant crowning a queen of the festival on its head, mocking the elite by creating their own flamboyant duchesses,