Inside the Fenwick Elementary School cafeteria, elections officials set up a table with ballots ready to hand out to the youngest of the nation’s patriots, student voters. Here the elementary children cast their ballots in a mock election, while in the nearby gym, adults are doing the real thing.
"I firmly believe that we have fought to have the right to vote and to choose our representatives,” said Dr. Tambrey Ozuna, who is the principal at Fenwick. “And I want my students to take that message with them when they get older. I want them to have that instilled in them."
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña are going the distance for a program they say is going to change the educational trajectory of the city.
Starting from Lions Field Park on Broadway, children from the George Gervin Academy helped the two start the run, where 5,700 of their steps represent the number of San Antonio’s four year olds that are not currently served by a quality, full-day pre-kindergarten program.
Among the most talked about issues this election season is San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro’s proposed Pre-K 4 SA program. In August, City Council members voted to send the measure to an election, and although the majority of members supported the initiative, several were against.
All but District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan, District 8 Councilman Reed Williams, and District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules agreed to the creation of a corporation that would oversee the tax revenues of the initiative, should voters approve it.
Southwest ISD graduated just under 600 students in 2010, but this year the district has grown by 600 students.
"We normally, for the first ten years, saw between 2.75 percent to about 4 percent," said SWISD Superintendent Dr. Lloyd Verstuyft, but he also said enrollment has spiked over the last couple of years, increasing to six percent over time.