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Demonstrated need, planning and voters moved SAISD into the next phase with Bond 2020
11/04/2020
Pedro MartinezThe three key elements in the success of Bond 2020 included a demonstrated need, planning, and most importantly, voter confidence in the direction that the San Antonio Independent School District is moving. 

Among voters, almost 70% approved “Proposition A,” the $1.21 billion construction portion of Bond 2020, and almost 70% said yes to “Proposition B,” the $90 million technology component of the Bond. Due to language defined by the Texas legislature in 2019, building construction needed to be separated from technology upgrades. SAISD superintendent Pedro Martinez said that thanks to the community, students will benefit from new and improved learning environments with bigger classrooms, updated infrastructure and the latest technology. 

“We are just so excited to see not only the voter turnout, but the amount of support we have for our ballot questions,” Martinez said. “With this support, every single school in our District will be affected - classrooms will receive technology, outdated AC systems will be replaced, and security will be upgraded.” 

SAISD Board of Trustees took action on placing the Bond referendum on this November ballot after it received recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Task Force, a community-driven body made up of community leaders, parents, business professionals and alumni. The Task Force toured the campuses proposed for Bond 2020 to see for themselves the current conditions of the campus buildings.  

Patti RadleBoard President Patti Radle echoed a big thanks to the community for recognizing the need throughout the District. 

"First, we want to express extreme gratitude to the voters,” she said. “The boldness of our board and superintendent in the size of this bond is a statement about SAISD's determination to address the historic inequality and deterioration of the condition of our school facilities.” 

Indeed, Bond 2020 is historic. In fact, it’s the largest bond that SAISD has ever called, and the largest bond program ever sought in Bexar County. Work toward the Bond 2020 referendum took on plenty of planning, including vetting campuses in need of major renovations, upgrades, overhauls, chiller replacement, security additions, and providing each and every campus with the technology that teachers need to successfully engage their students in learning day-in and day-out. 

Parents and volunteers advocated for Bond 2020 because they saw the need for upgrades first hand. 

“As a parent and advocate for students with divergent needs, I am moved by the district’s and community’s commitment our children and families,” said Denise Ojeda, who served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. “The passing of this bond will allow us to create spaces and programs that will greatly improve and transform SAISD’s Special Education experience and work to empower our buildings and community as whole with better, strong internet capabilities.” 

Cristina Noriega also served on the Task Force and said it provided her an eye-opening opportunity to help shape Bond 2020. 

“On one hand, I was blown away by the beautiful renovations that the 2010 and 2016 bonds have brought. On the other hand, there is nothing like touring dozens of schools in person to make one truly understand the scale of need that remains in our SAISD schools,” she said. “It became crystal clear to me that all our students in all our schools deserve safe, modern facilities and technology that represent a district on the rise. And the best way to accomplish this is through support of the 2020 bond. 

Martinez said he is thankful for the voters now allowing SAISD to move forward with $1.21 billion in work.  

“We have been addressing inequities in our district that have existed for decades,” he said. “Over the past five years, our academics have improved. We have the largest achievement gains of any district in Texas in the last year that got tested in 2019. I can’t wait for this bond work to get started. I’ve seen with some of current projects the reaction that our children have when they come into buildings that all of a sudden now have been renovated and have great learning spaces. Just these smiles and they always ask us the question, ‘Is this for me? Is this for me?’  

“For us, we’re just grateful to our community and we can’t wait to be able to put these dollars into action,” he said. 

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