Teacher's Union Gets Involved in Southside ISD Politics
Plotting and planning
TSTA union member and employee gets involved in Southside ISD politics
There is no record that shows the teachers unions have ever been involved in Southside ISD school politics. However, the candidates, Luna, Chavez and Brewer are not your typical opponents. These gentlemen all have political ties, that have lead to appointments on other boards in Bexar County; as well as friendships with a representative involved with the TSTA, Texas State Teacher's Association (Susan Richardson); an affiliate of the National Education Association and an employee of the Southside ISD District.
A website dedicated to Southside ISD was discovered. According to a community member (Robin Ellison) was taking on the cause for these candidates; by attending school board meetings and speaking in open forum with demands, has made incriminating statements, whether out of innocence or ignorance it is unknown. This individual stated that the candidates, Luna, Chavez and Brewer had met with the union representative and informed her that they would work with her and the union once they were elected.
Again, she posted a contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org and urged members of the community to contact Mrs. Richardson at the a fore mentioned email to help organize the reinstatement of a program called STEP, which was not renewed by the Southside ISD school board at their meeting. This was a lie coming from a community member to anger voters, as the STEP program was not a part of the current agenda for that meeting. While Mrs. Richardson may be an employee of the district, she cannot legally conduct union business during school hours and on the schools email.
Meet and greet
A Meet & Greet was held at Don Pedro's Mexican Food Restaurant on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 with a fairly small number of district employees in attendance.
Mr. Chavez said they wanted to put the "trust" back in trustee, which after researching found that it was the same "slogan" they used when they ran previously under the Campaign management of Sylvia Ruiz Mendelsohn.
Mr. Chavez also claimed that he wanted to do right by the community. Mrs. Salazar rebutted with the fact that he did not do right by the community by cutting funding and removing the three volunteer fire departments from the district and instead hiring another volunteer fire department from another region to come into the area to protect the community. To which Mr. Chavez had no comment.
When Mrs. Salazar mentioned that unlike her opponent; she had a child in the district. Mr. Chavez then made reference to 90 or so people in the district that were his same skin color. Bringing the race card into an election is always a dangerous move, especially since his opponent, Mrs. Salazar is of Anglo descent.
Mr. Brewer, argued the point that the district did not need to purchase properties and instead give teachers pay raises. What Mr. Brewer forgot to mention was that while he served on the Southside ISD board, he himself let the community members of the district know that he wanted to clean up the area of drugs and theft and wanted the school to buy out the homes on Leal Road, where he believed was the biggest problem; and give the district the added property for growth. In reference to his other comment; according to the minutes of the Southside ISD School Board meetings, the board voted on and passed a pay structure that compensated employees for skills in different areas of expertise as well as the Absence Incentive programs for teachers and bus drivers that would allow them to earn extra money based on attendance.
Campaign funding from County Commissioner Rodriguez for school board elections
Violation of Esd6 Contract
According to ESD6 contracts that were signed by the fire departments and Ms. Mendelsohn, she was adamant that the contract include "anti" politicking clause. Being that the contracts were signed during an upcoming school board election and Ms. Mendelsohn's fear that the VFD's would campaign for others than those she was supporting. This also made it binding that she not campaign, however, rules are for everyone else when it comes to Ms. Mendelsohn and her "team".
VFD's out of the picture, thanks to Ms. Mendelsohn and County Commissioner Chico Rodriguez; Ms. Mendelsohn is now openly campaigning and meddling in school business.
As she and the newly elected board bankrupted the ESD6 Board, look for more of the same at Southside ISD.
6.8 The parties and its members should refrain from any campaign or other political activity by its members when they are working, volunteering, or otherwise providing services under this Agreement. The parties agree voluntarily not to campaign, support, or promote any candidate for public office during the duration of this Contract. If a member of the Service Provider's organization desires to publicly endorse a candidate verbally or in writing, he or she agrees to do so as an individual and not use the organization's title or position as an influence. This provision is not inserted herein to prevent or infringe on any individual's or organization's rights of free speech, but rather as a reasonable and necessary compromise and agreement between the District and the Service Provider to behave in a courteous, professional and respectful manner to the residents of the District and the general public.
Ms. Balderas received campaign funds from County Commissioner Rodriguez
Mrs. Balderas, who ran to maintain her seat; announced that while she was running for the board, she had yet to put up her signs. This comment opened up a comment from a community member stating that she should not even put one out because if you go through the neighborhood, it looks like only Mr. Chavez, Mr. Brewer and Mr. Luna are running because all the other candidates signs have been stolen as they have been put up. The "team" thought it was funny; others present did not.
Mrs. Balderas, being supported by the "team", to include Ms. Mendelsohn and County Commissioner Chico Rodriguez, had nothing to worry about when putting up signs as they went up with in conjunction with the "teams" signs.
Mrs. Balderas was believed by many to have played a part in this election simply to help "the team" advance their agenda.
Since, Mrs. Balderas has been eliminated from the board, she will no longer have association with the district as anything but a community member, that is until six months pass. According to school policy, a member of the board must wait a six month period after leaving a school board position before they become eligible to work for the district.
While Mrs. Balderas claimed to be running on her own, it is clear that she had received funds form County Commissioner for a BBQ Fundraiser during her election, in 2010 and has ties to Ms. Mendelsohn and "the team".
While many people in the community have known the newly elected board members from their school days and would never vote for them, there are those with the same moral fiber and those that are new to the area who bought the lies.
Susan Richardson being on top of the list, pushed for the TSTA endorsement of the newly elected board candidates.
Should a Teachers union employee be allowed to campaign during working hours?
© 2013 Lady Liberty