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Superintendent absence delays La Joya ISD board votes

The La Joya Independent School District Board of Trustees voted to delay action on six agenda items during a special meeting Monday because Superintendent Heriberto “Beto” Gonzalez wasn’t at the meeting.

Gonzalez told the Progress Times Monday evening that he was in another meeting, though he wouldn’t say what kind of meeting or where it was held.

It’s exceptionally uncommon for a superintendent to skip a school board meeting. Their attendance is, generally, integral.

Trustees only voted on what to delay after meeting behind closed doors in executive session.

Several of the delayed items deal with finance, including two budget amendments, action on its investment policies and officers, and action on sources of instruction relating to investment opportunities.

The board also delayed voting on a kindergarten classroom environment checklist research study and the district’s 2023-2024 district and campus improvement plans, along with slated discussion of its bilingual-ESL program evaluation.

Initially, however, the board considered postponing the meeting altogether because of Gonzalez’s absence.

“We’re going to have a long meeting. There’s a lot of questions on this agenda. Look guys…” Trustee Roberto Zamora said, slamming down a hefty, paperwork-filled binder in front of him before hoisting up a sack that held even more documents.

Agenda packets for the meeting posted online ran over 1,000 pages long in total.

Zamora and Trustee Mary Hernandez moved to postpone the meeting entirely, alt

“I know that there’s several items in the agenda that do need to be addressed. So I completely understand where our board of trustees are coming from, but administration is highly recommending that we continue with our board meeting,” Villarreal said.

Legal counsel described a possible settlement agreement before the board as particularly urgent and other items — including the district’s Region 1 Education Service Center partnership agreement — as pressing as well.

Trustees considered reconvening for another special meeting to discuss delayed items — at the earliest Thursday — though no agenda had been posted for one as of Wednesday afternoon.

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