TEA Will Begin Transitioning Southside ISD Back to Elected Leadership

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A Southside Independent School District bus leaves the recently constructed Menchaca Early Childhood Center.

Scott Ball / Rivard Report

Southside Independent School District begins the transition back to elected official governing by May 18, 2022.

Southside Independent School District will be entirely governed by an elected board of trustees by May 18, 2022, according to a letter sent to the school district Friday.

In the letter to Superintendent Mark Eads, Commissioner of Education Mike Morath wrote that the state’s appointed board of managers would be cycled out of the district in the coming years.

Each year, one-third of the members of the board of managers would be replaced by members of the elected board of trustees in a process set to begin no later than May 18, 2020.

At that time, Morath will appoint two elected trustees to join the appointed board of five managers, which will bump the governing board’s total membership up to seven. A year later, Morath will designate three more elected trustees to join the board, and replace three appointed managers. In 2022, the final two elected trustees will join the board, replacing the last two appointed managers.

Morath first suspended Southside’s elected board’s powers in 2017 after the state agency found the district’s governance dysfunctional. He appointed a board of five managers to oversee district operations in the elected board’s place.

A similar cyclical process already has begun in Edgewood ISD, where two trustees were added back to the governing board last summer.

In May, Southside ISD held elections for four of the seven trustee positions, placing in office Maggie Morales, Mary Silva, Lisa Salazar, and Katie Farias. Of the four, only Salazar had previously served on the board.

Southside and Edgewood ISDs are two of four districts that have attracted state attention in recent years. Harlandale and South San ISDs are both the subject of state investigations involving questionable governance practices.

A spokesperson from Southside ISD directed requests for comment to the TEA.

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