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League formed to help Mexican-American children


On this day in 1934, the School Defense League was founded in San Antonio to promote educational opportunities for Mexican-American children. Within a few months of its formation the committee had developed a coalition for school reform from seventy-three civic, social, labor, and religious groups representing 75,000 persons. On October 24 the league sponsored a rally that drew 10,000, mostly women and children. This was perhaps the largest rally ever held by Mexican Americans in San Antonio to that time. The league dissolved in 1935 and was revived as the School Improvement League in 1947. When its investigations into overcrowding revealed classrooms that held as many as 75 students, the group petitioned the school board on November 12, 1947, for six to eight new elementary schools, a junior high, a senior high, and a vocational school. In 1950 the city passed a $9.3 million bond issue for school construction. The league operated until 1956.

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