Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections

To [Honorable Board of Trustees, San Antonio Independent School District], From [President, Council No, 16 of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, Chairman, Committee on Public Schools.]



Dublin Core


To [Honorable Board of Trustees, San Antonio Independent School District], From [President, Council No, 16 of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, Chairman, Committee on Public Schools.]


LEAGUE of United Latin American Citizens
HISPANIC Americans--education
MEXICAN Americans--Education
RACE discrimination in education
RACE discrimination


Reseach completed by the President of L.U.L.A.C council 16 and the Chairman for the Committee on Public School Buildings and Playgrounds. Information highlights "gross discrimination of students in the western part of the city" and the need for new school buildings in the area.







Content compilation of The Latino/Hispanic American Experience Leaders, Writers and Thinkers copyright 2012 by Arte Publico Historical Collections. All rights reserved.


Darder, A., & Torres, R. D. (1997). Eleuterio Escobar. In Latinos and education: A critical reader (pp. 401-404). London, England: Routledge.











SAN Antonio (Tex.)



Please return to Perales [Handwritten]

To the Honorable Board of Trustees,
San Antonio Independent School District
San Antonio, Texas.


Your Petitioner, Council No. 16 of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, is an organization composed of citizens of the United States of Latin-American extraction. The principal aims and purposes of this organization is to develop within the members of our race the best, purest and most perfect type of a true and loyal citizen of the United States of American, and to eradicate from our body politic all intents and tendencies to establish discriminations among our fellow-citizens on account of race, religion or social position as being contrary to the true spirit of Democracy, our Constitution and Laws. This Council, being mindful of our responsibility for the education of our children, has an active and efficient Committee of Public School Buildings and Playgrounds, which Committee, after a careful review of the records of the San Antonio Independent School District, has verified the facts and reports that the children attending the schools in the Western section of this city have been the object of gross discrimination, and this Council deems it pertinent to invite the Honorable School Board’s attention to the facts as revealed by your records, which show the following:

Ther There are 12,334 pupils attending 11 schools in the Western district, which, for the purpose of identification, we will refer to as Western schools, which are as follows: Margil, Johnson, Navarro, Bowie, Crockett, J. Brackenridge, Barclay, Hood, Ivanhoe, Briscoe and Austin. These schools have a total of 269 rooms. The capacity of each room is 35 pupils. The total capacity of the 269 rooms is 9415 pupils and since the present attendance is 12,334 pupils, it is patent that there is an excel of 2919 pupils and from these figures it is evident that at least 84 more rooms are needed to accommodate the present excess number of pupils in these schools.

Our survey further discloses the following facts by way of comparison with 28 other elementary schools in the city: in these 28 schools there are now in use 368 rooms with a total belongings of 12,224 students and a capacity of 12,880 students based on 35 students per room. The number of pupils in each room of the said 28 schools is 33.21 as compared with 45.85 in each room of the said 11 Western schools.

--page 2—

Our survey further discloses that the amount of money now being spent per pupil attending the above mentioned 11 Western schools is $24.50 direct cost as compared with $35.96 being spent per pupil attending the remaining 28 elementary schools. In other words, each pupil attending the 28 other elementary schools in receiving $11.46 more in the way of direct expenditure than each pupil attending the 11 Western schools.

The total investment in buildings and grounds in the 28 other schools is $2,470,628.43. The total investment in buildings and grounds in the said 11 Western schools is $1,350,959.38, which reduced to percentages indicates that 65% of the total investment applies to the 28 schools serving 12,224 pupils, whereas 35% of the total investment applies to the said 11 Western schools serving 12,334 pupils.

The survey further indicates that there are 81.74 acres of grounds in the 38 other schools serving 12,224 students, as compared with 23.9 acres in the said 11 Western schools serving 12,334 pupils.

Information furnished by your organization reveals that the total cost of operating the 11 Western schools for the year 1932 to 1933 was $302,233.98. The latest school census reveals that there are 21,822 children of scholastic age in the district comprised of these 11 Western schools and therefore $16.00 per capita received by the San Antonio Independent School District from the State amounted to approximately $349,152.00, which is an amount greater than the total operating expenses for these schools. In other words, the San Antonio Independent School District received from the State of Texas, on account of the pupils in this district, an amount greater than that spent for their benefit and this money paid by the State for their benefit was actually used for the benefit of the remaining schools of this city. Of course, this does not take into consideration the funds derived from the local tax upon the property located in this district, the assessed valuation of which is estimated at approximately forty-five millions of dollars.

Believing that this Honorable Board is desirous, in good faith, of carrying out the mandates of the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and Laws of Texas, guaranteeing to every student attending our schools equal school facilities irrespective of race, we respectfully request that the 84 additional rooms needed to accommodate the children attending these 11 Western schools be provided without further delay, and it is our earnest request that these 84 rooms take the form of six new, substantial and permanent school buildings, including


one Junior High School to take care of over 1500 fifth grade students which who will necessarily have to go to Junior High School from the said 11 Western schools in February, 1935. The said six schools to be ready for occupancy by September of this year.

Your Petitioner feels that this Honorable Board can devise ways and means of financing the construction of these buildings if it will not only resolve so to do.

For illustration, your Petition er is reliably informed that the school budget for this fiscal year for general operation of all branches is $1,747,000.00; that $883,000.00 of this amount is derived from the 66 cents local tax and $864,000.00 is received from the State. Your Petitioner is further informed that the school tax rate for the current year (June 1, 1933 to May 31, 1934) is $1.00 upon each $100.00 assessed valuation, and that this is divided as follows:
Interest and sinking fund to retire School Bonds .34
General operation of all branches and Schools .66
And that the 66 cents for operation of Schools is divided as follows:

Instruction proper (teachers) .46
Maintenance of buildings and equipment, insurance,
Pupils’ health service and general administration .18
Interest on money borrowed for running expenses .02

In this connection, your Petitioner respectfully suggests to your Honorable Board that the .46 ȼ which the Board contemplates spending in instruction be spent in the construction of the much needed buildings for the Western District.
[Handwritten - Available as well as other funds].

Furthermore, this Committee is informed through the local press that the Honorable School Board will
[Handwritten - and doubles at least a portion of this surplus could and should be used]
have in the very near future a surplus of nearly one-half million dollars, and that it is contemplating using this money to increase the teachers’ salaries. While this Committee is in entire accord that a staff of well paid teachers is essential to the operation of an efficient school system, it cannot help but feel that uppermost in the mind of any school board should be the duty of first providing adequate school facilities for ALL the children of the district. Particularly so when, as in the present case, money that should have been spent upon adequate school facilities for the children of the said 11 Western schools has in truth been spent for the benefit of children belonging to the other 28 schools above mentioned.


Your petitioner is aware that under the laws of Texas, the state and county available funds shall be used exclusively for the payment of teachers and superintendents’ salaries, fees for taking the scholastic census, and interest on money borrowed on short time to pay salaries of teachers and superintendents, when these salaries become due before the school funds for the current year become available; but your Petitioner is likewise aware that local school funds from district takes may be used for buying school sites, buying buildings and repairing and renting school houses, and that when the State available school fund in any city or district is sufficient to maintain the schools thereof in any year for at least eight months and leave a surplus, such surplus may likewise be expended for buying sites and building school houses.

In fine, your petitioner earnestly insists that these 11 Western schools have ample resources of their own (derived from the State, County and local funds) adequately to operate and maintain themselves and to provide adequate facilities if only this Honorable Board would refrain from depriving the said Western District of the money that lawfully and equitably belong to these pupil, by spending the same upon schools situated in other sections of the city.

Your petitioner prays that this Honorable Board grant a hearing of this petition in order that petitioner may be given an opportunity to present the detailed and specific facts in support of the conclusions hereinbefore stated and that the much needed facilities prayed for herein be granted.

Respectfully submitted,

President, Council No.16 of the
League of United Latin-American Citizens.

Chairman, Committee on Public Schol
Buildings and Playgrounds.

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Missing, “To [Honorable Board of Trustees, San Antonio Independent School District], From [President, Council No, 16 of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, Chairman, Committee on Public Schools.],” Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections, accessed May 19, 2024,