SAN JUAN, RGV – As expected, a majority of teachers in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD schools have voted against a plan that could have seen non-profits play a bigger role in running education operations.
The vote for the EmpowerED proposal was 661. The vote against was 441. Six elementary schools voted for the proposal, while 19 voted against. None of the middle schools voted for the proposal and eight voted against. Of the high schools, one voted for, and seven against.
The table showing the results at each school is posted at the end of this story.
Dr. Daniel King, superintendent of PSJA, had held a number of meetings at different campuses to push the proposal. He argued more money would be available for instruction and teacher pay. Groups like the American Federation of Teachers opposed the measure.
Announcing the results, King told teachers and staff:
“Thank you for taking the interest and time to vote on the EmpowerED! proposal. Attached you will find the summary tabulation sheet for all of the campuses. A substantial majority of campuses and teachers voted against moving forward with this plan. I will be forwarding the results of the vote to the Board of Trustees.
“I have enjoyed the discussion we have had over the past few weeks. I promised to give you voice and first say on this proposal, and I respect your choice. As per our discussions, our plan is to move towards increasing participatory decision-making with all campuses.
“Enjoy the last day of Enrichment Camps with your students, and then enjoy your summer. I know many of you are working summer school, curriculum writing, etc. Nevertheless, take time for yourselves and your families. And then come back ready for a great 2018-19 school year.”
King sent a copy of his letter to the PSJA school board.
AFT at PSJA posted this message on Facebook:
“We are tracking results from across the district, and so far, the results are sending a resoundingly clear message. When educators are asked if their public schools should be handed over to private operators, the overwhelming answer is no.
“So far we have verified that at least 30 campuses, including every single High school and Middle School have overwhelmingly rejected EmpowerED, and by large margins.”