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Concerns raised over eligibility of West Oso School Board members

Posted at 6:20 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 19:35:44-04

Two longtime West Oso ISD School Board members are still serving on the board, even though they no longer live in the district’s boundaries.

A state agency requires board members to be residents of the district they serve, which is raising questions about why Juan Canales and Lucas Jasso are still serving.

In a meeting earlier this week, the West Oso School Board voted to allow the members in question to remain on the board.

It was not a unanimous vote, and now there is backlash from at least one board member who was against the decision.

“I hear from the community. I hear from teachers and students. I get calls every day, and I’m just wondering why hasn’t something been done about it,” West Oso School Board member Liz Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said in order to serve, fellow members should live within district boundaries.

Neither Board President Juan Canales or Board Secretary Lucas Jasso live within that area, and even though both turned in resignation letters, they’re still on the board.

West Oso ISD Superintendent Conrado Garcia said the state agency that oversees school boards allows it.

“The Holdover Doctrine allows us for up to 180 days, more or less, that they can still serve and they can still vote,” Garcia said.

The superintendent added because of that clause, Canales and Jasso can still perform normal duties. However, they will not be allowed to vote on their replacements when the time comes.

Gutierrez disagrees.

“These people are elected by the people of West Oso ISD, not by London ISD, not by CCISD. This is West Oso ISD,” Gutierrez said.

KRIS 6 News questioned the superintendent about that concern.

“Taxpayers… how can they feel that they’re being properly represented by a school board member, which is funded by taxpayers, if these people don’t live within district guidelines?” KRIS 6 News reporter Emily Hamilton asked.

“Well because in our operations, all of our board members receive from me every week, extensive, detailed information as to what’s going on in the district,” Garcia replied.

KRIS 6 News verified the 180-day resignation policy on the Texas Association of School Boards’ website here:

Applications to fill the two vacancies will open on August 1st, 2019 when the period ends.

View documents regarding West Oso ISD Board policies and the TASB overview of Board Member resignations below.

Texas Association of School Boards Overview of School Board Member Resignations

Board Vacancies and Removal From Office

Filling a School Board Vacancy