Stories by Claire McInerny

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by Claire McInerny

AISD’s plan to close schools prompts discussion on boosting equity in Austin public schools

The Austin School Board approved its guidelines for closing and consolidating schools Monday night, but much of the discussion ahead of the vote just before midnight centered on increasing equity in Austin public schools.Trustees Ann Teich and Jayme Mathias proposed…

Thursday, May 2, 2019 by Claire McInerny

To better market its schools, Austin ISD is turning to Realtors

Two dozen Realtors sit in the bleachers of the Burger Athletic Center, eating pastries and sipping on coffee. They’re listening to administrators from the Austin Independent School District preview the day ahead, which is a six-hour tour of schools in…

Monday, April 29, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Here are the regions Austin ISD is using in its plan to close schools

Austin Independent School District announced in February its plan to close and consolidate some schools. Now it has a clear plan for how to choose which schools.To make this decision, AISD administrative staff divided the district into seven regions. The…

Friday, April 12, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD removes Andrews principal accused of discriminating against immigrant parents

The Austin Independent School District has removed Andrews Elementary Principal Gabriela Soto after parents and teachers accused her of discriminating against immigrant parents.A group of school advocates held a press conference Monday to publicize the accusations. Parents said Soto made…

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Under House school finance bill, Austin would get to keep $194 million more in taxes in 2020

Austin Independent School District would pay $194 million less in recapture in 2020 if House Bill 3, the chamber’s $9 billion school finance plan, is passed.Recapture is the law that requires “property-rich” school districts, like Austin ISD and most other…

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD board approves process to close some schools by August 2020

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to move forward with a plan for closing and consolidating schools.The decision to close schools comes as the district continues to face declining enrollment. Demographic reports show enrollment will…

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD board members push back on short timeline to close schools

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees is balking at the administration’s plan to announce school closures by summer.AISD has lost more than 6,000 students in the past six years, and enrollment is projected to continue its decline. As…

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Task force recommends Austin ISD cut magnet programs, consolidate schools to save money

A task force created by the Austin Independent School District released a report outlining budget cuts and ways the district can bring in more money. Some of the more dramatic recommendations are redrawing attendance zones, closing schools and cutting magnet…

Wednesday, November 21, 2018 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD faces unpopular options to fix budget: Closing schools and redrawing boundaries

It’s time for the Austin Independent School District to do something drastic to improve its financial situation, says a member of a task force studying its budget.On the table: closing schools and changing boundaries.“There are some really key things that…

Monday, November 19, 2018 by Claire McInerny

Austin school board, communities clash over names for Confederate-named schools

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees will vote next Monday on what to rename four schools currently named after members of the Confederacy. The board will decide between honoring the schools’ wishes, which in some cases means no name…

Thursday, November 8, 2018 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD seeking parent input on new sex ed curriculum

The Austin Independent School District is seeking parental input as it prepares to rewrite its human sexuality curriculum.The district hasn’t revised its elementary and middle school curriculum in 12 years. Parents received an online survey Wednesday inviting them to give…

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 by Claire McInerny

Here are the candidates for Austin ISD board of trustees

Five seats on the Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees will be on the ballot Nov. 6.The role of the school board is to oversee the AISD superintendent and district administration. The board votes on district policy and budgets,…

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 by Claire McInerny

Some argue proposed new names for Austin schools don’t leave Confederacy behind

Despite momentum earlier this year to rid Austin Independent School District properties of links to the Confederacy, the district’s board of trustees is facing pushback over proposed new names.At a meeting last night to publicly discuss recommendations for Sidney Lanier…

Friday, September 14, 2018 by Claire McInerny

On the eve of East Austin school consolidation, community still has questions

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees will vote in a little over a week on how to consolidate three elementary schools in East Austin. Students at Metz, Zavala and Sanchez elementary schools will combine into one school, which…

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD schools honoring Confederate figures will find out new names this semester

Five Austin Independent School District schools named for Confederate figures will get renamed this semester.The Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted in February to rename the John T. Allan facility, Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Sidney Lanier Early College High…

Friday, August 3, 2018 by Claire McInerny

As fear rises among undocumented community, Austin ISD reminds families schools are a safe place

As the new school year approaches, the Austin Independent School District is preparing for more immigrant families to rely on it for resources outside of education.Leonor Vargas, AISD’s administrative supervisor of parent programs, said when there’s a rise in reports…

Monday, July 16, 2018 by Claire McInerny

New principal hopes project-based learning will improve academics at Mendez

When students at Mendez Middle School return to school next month, there will be new curriculum – and a new principal.After Mendez failed state standards four years in a row, the Austin Independent School District agreed to let an outside…

Thursday, June 28, 2018 by Claire McInerny

What should I ask of my legislators if I want Texas’ school funding system to change?

It’s a typical summer day at Emily Herrington’s house in Northeast Austin. Her two daughters, Penly, 7, and Laurel, 3, are playing with their kittens and reading books in the living room.Penly is going into second grade at Blanton Elementary…

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by Claire McInerny

Norman and Sims end school year as separate schools, before combining this fall

The Austin Independent School District is hosting a picnic Saturday to introduce the Norman and Sims elementary school communities to one another before they combine as one school in August.Students from Norman will go to school in the Sims building…

Friday, April 6, 2018 by Claire McInerny

Two community groups compete for job to help turn Mendez Middle School around

Mendez Middle School will be run by a group outside the Austin Independent School District next year. At a meeting last night, two groups explained to parents, teachers and community members how they would improve academics at the school.Mendez has…

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