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San Antonio Independent School District
Resolution on Facilities Planning and Development Calling for a Study of School Building Capacity

WHEREAS, San Antonio Independent School District has declared its aspirations to become a national model school district by becoming “an inclusive familia that is the destination for transformational learning  that makes the impossible a reality by demonstrating an urgent and relentless commitment to love, nurture, and teach all our students as if they are our own so that they realize their power to shape the world”; 

WHEREAS, in pursuit of these aspirations the Board has clear goals and guardrails to guide district staff; 

WHEREAS, the district has adopted a comprehensive strategic management plan called Always Learning that will unite the district in its effort to meet the Trustees’ goals, while embracing their guardrails; 

WHEREAS, one fundamental strategy established under Always Learning is to develop a set of profiles describing thriving students, teachers, school leaders, classrooms and schools, as well as a thriving central office and a thriving district; 

WHEREAS, those “Thriving Profiles” will be informed by a rich and diverse set of voices drawn from our district familia and informed by evidence, including quantitative and qualitative data, so as a district we can assure our community that we are approaching our best hopes to thrive; 

And WHEREAS, since 1998, San Antonio ISD’s enrollment has declined steadily, from 61,112 to 45,285 this year, or a total of 15,287 students; 

WHEREAS, an independent demographer has tied this decrease in enrollment to historic decreases in birthrate and related historic decreases in school-aged population across the United States, the state of Texas and in our region, a decrease that the demographer projects to continue for at least the next five to ten years, or the 2032-33 school year;

WHEREAS, an independent demographer tied this decrease in enrollment not only to demographic trends, but also to regional shortages of housing options for young families;

WHEREAS, San Antonio ISD’s current enrollment is more than 4,200 students lower than the worst case scenario projected by an independent demographer a decade ago in 2010-2011; 

And WHEREAS, in that same period of time, San Antonio ISD  has not decreased the number of schools it operates in proportion to its declining enrollment;

WHEREAS, in 2003-04, when San Antonio ISD had an enrollment of 56,812 students, ranking tenth in Texas, the district had 106 schools, fifth largest number of buildings in Texas; in 2021-22 when the district had an enrollment of 44,568, ranking 24th in the state, the district still had 100 buildings, the seventh largest number of buildings in Texas; 

WHEREAS, this means that San Antonio ISD currently has more buildings per student than comparable school districts in the United States, Texas and the region; while our district has a ratio of 2.2 schools to 1000 students, the national median for districts with more than 20,000 students is 1.6:1000, the state median is 1.4:1000, and in Bexar County the ratio is 1.7:1000;

WHEREAS, San Antonio ISD has a functional school capacity for as many as 65,320 students and a current enrollment of 45,285 students, vacant space that could hold 20,035 more students;

WHEREAS, if San Antonio ISD maintained the ratio of facility square feet per student that it had in 2010-11 (179.6 square feet per student) the district would have approximately 8,000,000 total facility square feet (1,200,000 fewer than it has now);
And WHEREAS, maintaining excess facilities and excess facility square feet even while enrollment steadily decreases means that individual schools, especially those in neighborhoods where enrollment is steadily decreasing, have smaller and smaller student bodies;

And WHEREAS, smaller schools are more expensive to operate, creating an inequitable distribution of financial resources between smaller schools and larger schools; 

WHEREAS, San Antonio ISD’s smallest middle school is 1.4 times more expensive to operate than the largest, its smallest PreK-8 academy is 1.5 times more expensive than the largest, its smallest elementary school is 2.3 times more expensive than the largest, and its smallest high school is 2.4 times more expensive than the largest.

WHEREAS, smaller schools are less able to provide adequate academic program offerings, even as they are more expensive to operate, creating inequitable distribution of academic program resources between small schools and large schools, including, but not limited to…
• …split grade classrooms, or classes of mixed subjects or content,
• …teachers with no grade level or subject area partners to grow with and share responsibilities.
• …teachers burdened with too many course preparations,
• …fewer, thinly spread police officers or mental health and student services,
• …fewer electives or academic choice opportunities, including extra curricular activities. 


The Superintendent and District staff are directed to complete a study of excess capacity in San Antonio ISD’s school buildings to assess each school’s staffing levels and programming and maintenance conditions in order to determine our ability to deliver on the expectations of Always Learning and a thriving educational program. This study shall include rightsizing recommendations that aim to address the inequitable distribution of resources among schools and create improved opportunities for all SAISD students to attend a thriving school .

The study will analyze at least the following factors and their alignment to the profiles of thriving students, teachers, principals and schools, along with a thriving central office and school district called for in Always Learning:

• Educational program
• Operating costs
• Per pupil costs
• Staffing structures
• Student dislocation
• Building capacity
• Projected enrollment
• Desirability of site
• Building and property condition
• Life expectancy of building
• Community use of facility and historical context

Prior to publication of the study, the District will present a decision framework composed of these factors to the District Advisory Committees as well as the general San Antonio ISD community in a series of regional meetings aligned to the feeder patterns and geographic areas of our seven comprehensive high schools.  At those meetings, District staff will present the factors along with a preliminary analysis before making any recommendations to the Board.

After this round of preliminary feedback, the District will prepare by September 18, 2023, a draft of the study, which shall include its initial rightsizing recommendations, and share it with the Board, the school staff, and school families, as well as offer presentations to the community in a series of  regional meetings aligned to the feeder patterns and geographic areas of our seven comprehensive high schools.

Notification of the initial rightsizing recommendation will be shared first and directly with impacted school staff, families, and area elected officials.

Prior to enacting any approved rightsizing recommendation, the District shall establish a Rightsizing Transition Team the purpose of which shall be to support students, families and staff through the rightsizing process.

Following the initial rightsizing recommendation, the District shall prepare a final report, including rightsizing recommendations, and present it to the Board by November 13, 2023.

APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the Board of Education of the San Antonio Independent School District at its regular meeting held on the 20th day in June of 2023.  

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