Voters in three out of four San Antonio area school districts rejected Tuesday’s proposed tax rate increases from $1.04 to $1.17 per $100 valuation. Now the San Antonio ISD (SAISD) superintendent says voters didn’t know what they were doing when they rejected his tax increase.Â

SAISD, Harlandale ISD, and Southside ISD voters rejected the measures while Edgewood ISD voters narrowly approved it.

In August SAISD superintendent Robert Duron acknowledged that with one-third of its available facility space going had been going unused for a considerable period of time due to declining enrollment.  When a business experiences lower demand for its services, it makes cutbacks, but SAISD did not act promptly to sell these facilities.Â

In fact, an Express-News columnist who supported the bond admits that SAISD has refused to consolidate schools with declining enrollment because it is politically difficult.  But school board members and superintendents have an obligation to reject parochial interests and govern efficiently – when they don’t, voters will act accordingly.

Now, following voters’ rebuke, Duron says, “I think what we have to do is that we have to roll up our sleeves and communicate to those who voted no the importance of this,” Durón said. “Tomorrow begins our first day of going out to voters who possibly didn’t understand the issues.”  He says they will put another tax increase on the next ballot.

That is the equivalent of saying the voters were too dumb to understand the issue – maybe they did understand and made an educated vote against the tax increase.  SAISD needs to roll up its sleeves and trim its fat, not put lipstick on the same pig and take it to the market again.

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