Who needs an education when you can have a professional soccer field? That seems to the mentality of the San Antonio ISD board of trustees, given they just voted to spend $3 million more to build a professional-size field at Alamo Stadium despite participating in a lawsuit claiming the state underfunds public schools.

By a vote of 5-2 on Monday, San Antonio Board of Trustees approved spending an additional $3 million to add a professional-size soccer field to Alamo Stadium, despite the cheaper (and previously budgeted) option of adding a smaller field. Trustees made the decision to spend the extra money despite opposition from taxpayers, district staff, a citizen oversight committee, and their own superintendent.

Given the number of grandiose (and often over-the-top) high school football stadiums there are across the state, this kind of wasteful spending might pale in comparison. But San Antonio ISD is one of school districts suing the state because they think the Legislature underfunded public schools because it finally stopped overfunding “enrollment growth”.

That’s right. They claim not to have enough money to property educate their students, but that didn’t stop them from scrounging up an extra $3 million for a professional-sized soccer stadium. Good to see they have their priorities in order.

Image courtesy of the San Antonio Express NewsWho would benefit from a professional-size soccer field anyway? That would be the parent company of the San Antonio Spurs. A professional field in San Antonio would open the door for them to finally start a new minor-league soccer team they’ve been planning.

If they even get to play on the field, that is. A deed restriction was placed on Alamo Stadium years ago when it was transferred to SAISD, preventing for-profit companies from leasing the stadium.

This isn’t the first school district to ignore the wishes of taxpayers either. Brownwood ISD came under fire in December for wishing the state to return funding to “normal levels” so they could contribute to the cost of a new scoreboard –even though local taxpayers didn’t want to pay for it.

And let’s not forget Allen ISD, which pushed for a new $40 million bus barn despite taxpayers calls for a simple renovation of the old building. They also joined the lawsuit over school funding.

It’s hard to take all the educrats seriously as stories like these pop up all across the state. If they can afford such lavish auxiliary projects, they cannot claim with a straight face it’s the state’s fault alone for low-levels of instructional spending.

Dustin Matocha

Dustin Matocha is the CFO and COO of Texas Scorecard. Dustin graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Management, a BA in Government, and a minor in Marketing. He’s a self-described Corvette enthusiast, baseball purist, tech geek and growing connoisseur of local craft beer.