South San ISD

File Photo | Joey Palacios | Texas Public Radio

Updated 4:25 p.m. with comment from Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra.

Under the watchful eye of a state-appointed conservator for the past two years, South San Antonio Independent School District has returned to complete local control.

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For more than 20 years, Communities in Schools of San Antonio has operated a federally-funded program called Upward Bound at South San Antonio High School. Upward Bound’s aim is to help prepare students from low-income families for college and support them once they’re there.

But this summer Communities in Schools received bad news: The U.S. Department of Education would not be renewing the five year, $400,000 grant that supported the program.

The state has stripped board members and administrators in the South San Antonio Independent School District of some significant authority.

Friday, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, appointed a conservator to oversee financial management and governance decisions at the district.

“This intervention is necessary,” Morath wrote, “to prevent substantial or imminent harm to the welfare of the district’s students or to the public interest.”

The conservator’s role will include overseeing financial management and governance of the district.

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Earlier this month, the Texas Education Agency cited South San Antonio Independent School District with several violations surrounding the district's governance of its finances. The district was accused by elected officials and citizens of, among other things, mismanaging funds and violating procurement laws.

Bexar County

Many of the students in South San Antonio ISD have never had access to a Nook or a Kindle, but thanks to the Hidalgo Foundation, 200 kids at a time will be able to read their favorite books from BiblioTech.

Students in the South San School District can now reach out to BiblioTech while at school, thanks to a hefty donation of e-readers.

Officials with Bexar County’s bookless library delivered 50 of the e-readers to South San Antonio High School yesterday to be distributed among the high school and the district’s four middle schools.