San Angelo School Board Candidates Spar Over Funding and Academic Performance
SAN ANGELO, TX — Early voting for the May 4 school board election begins Monday, April 22 and the two candidates running for the at-large seat on the San Angelo board of trustees discussed school funding and academic performance during Wednesday’s Pachyderm luncheon at Zentner’s Daughter restaurant.
Lanny Layman, who is an 18-year incumbent on the SAISD board and Chris Giroux, who is challenging Layman, each spoke about five minutes each and then answered questions from the well attended monthly meeting.
“We need to be seriously looking at what the scores are of these students who are coming through our school system. My opponent has been quoting the academic performance report that just came out and touting that the school district is scoring 77 in the state. I’m sitting here looking at this and the fourth grade reading scores. If we want to look at mathematics, 38 percent of third graders meet grade level. That number is abysmal.” Giroux said.
Giroux said he opposed the bond election that failed last year and that the building students are taught in doesn't affect academic performance.
Layman said the STAAR test the students took in April is a poor measure of how students are being educated. “To look at the performance of our students based on one day of testing, the STAAR test they take on an annual basis in April, is a poor way to look at how we judge our district. So let me tell you a few of the positive things about our district. SAT scores were about 50 percent (Layman likely meant points) above the state average. ACT scores were about three percent above the state average. Graduation rates were about three percent above the state average. We are well above the state average in college readiness.”
Layman said he was disappointed the bond failed twice and that the district has to invest in its facilities just like any business does.
Giroux ran unsuccessfully for San Angelo City Council in May 2017. City Councilwoman Lucy Gonzales defeated Giroux 62.07 percent to 37.93 percent in that election.
Early voting for the May 4 school board election begins Monday, April 22 in person at the Tom Green County Elections office in the Keyes building at 113 W. Beauregard. Early voting ends April 30. Election Day is Saturday, May 4.
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