Stories by Claire McInerny

Tuesday, November 19, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD equity officer calls closure plan ‘racist’ before board votes to close four schools

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted 6-3 on Monday to close Brooke, Metz, Sims and Pease elementary schools at the end of this school year.Trustees Ann Teich, Arati Singh and LaTisha Anderson opposed the closures.Parents and community…

Monday, November 4, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Under new proposal, Austin ISD gives itself more time to consider closing eight schools

Instead of closing 12 schools over the next five years, the Austin Independent School District is now proposing to close four schools over two years.In a revised school changes plan released Friday, AISD says it will take more time considering…

Monday, October 14, 2019 by Claire McInerny

What’s next in the process to close Austin ISD schools?

The Austin Independent School District finished its third week of community meetings to get feedback on its plan to close and consolidate 12 schools. Now, district staff will revise the proposal before the school board votes in late November.Here’s a…

Thursday, September 19, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD says second draft of school changes will emphasize academics district-wide

At a live discussion of the Austin Independent School District’s proposal to overhaul the entire district, school officials said the idea is about more than just closing schools. Meanwhile, city leaders said there’s room to grow to bring more equitable…

Friday, September 6, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD wants to close 12 schools, expand academic programs throughout the district

The Austin Independent School District has released a plan to close 12 schools and move those students to other campuses. The district is also proposing boundary changes and wants to add academic programs at more than 30 schools.“Change is hard,” Superintendent Paul…

Monday, August 5, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Parents push back against possible boundary changes as Austin ISD works out school closure plan

The cafeteria of Bedichek Middle School in Southwest Austin was chaotic as almost 100 parents fought for the attention of AISD administrative staff. Some were still in work clothes, some in T-shirts. Almost all of them were asking questions –…

Friday, August 2, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD says it needs more time to announce school closure plan

The Austin Independent School District will not publicly announce which schools it is considering for closures until Sept. 6.The board of trustees had been planning to review possible options at its August meeting. Now it will discuss scenarios at its…

Tuesday, July 23, 2019 by Claire McInerny

New Texas law aims to make sure students don’t leave free college money unclaimed

When Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3 into law earlier this summer, in addition to increasing school funding and approving teacher raises, he also approved a requirement for all Texas high school seniors to fill out an application for…

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 by Claire McInerny

UT Austin to give free tuition to low-income Texas students

The University of Texas System Board of Regents voted Tuesday to offer full tuition assistance to more UT Austin students, adding $160 million to an endowment to help cover costs.Undergraduates from Texas who come from families making up to $65,000…

Friday, June 28, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Confused about Austin ISD’s decision to close schools? You’re not alone.

The Austin Independent School District is in the middle of a process to decide which schools to close and consolidate in the city. It announced in February that the closures needed to happen to help the district’s financial situation; later…

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD school board approves raises for teachers, hiring of new equity officer

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted Monday to approve a $1.6 billion budget, which includes across-the-board raises for school employees.The board also voted unanimously to hire Stephanie Hawley as AISD’s first chief equity officer.During public comment at…

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…

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