Stories by Claire McInerny

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD plans to bring a small group of students back to schools in October

Lee esta historia en español. When the Austin Independent School District begins phasing students back into school buildings Oct. 5, it will prioritize special education and lower grade levels within each school as the first to return.At a school board…

Friday, August 7, 2020 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD’s school year delayed until Sept. 8, first eight weeks could be online-only

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted to delay the start of classes for the school year until Sept. 8. Virtual classes were supposed to begin Aug. 18, but the board wanted to give teachers more time to…

Thursday, July 9, 2020 by Claire McInerny

‘This is an issue of health’: Teachers union demands Austin ISD offer only online classes in August

The union for Austin Independent School District employees is asking the district and the state not to send employees back to school buildings in August. Union members say it is unsafe for employees and children to be in classes together.During…

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 by Claire McInerny

Schools in Travis County are not just segregated. They’re the most segregated in the state.

Valerie Sterne has always known anecdotally that schools in Austin are segregated. She used to be a teacher and an administrator with the Austin Independent School District, and saw firsthand that students of color and low-income students were all attending…

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD school board approves $1.6 billion budget, after public calls to defund AISD Police

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees passed a $1.65 billion budget early Tuesday, taking $47.6 million from the district’s reserve funds to make up for a shortfall partly caused by COVID-19 expenses.The budget also includes 2% raises for…

Friday, March 27, 2020 by Claire McInerny

Here’s what Central Texans need to do to not overwhelm our hospitals

We know there will be an outbreak of COVID-19 in Austin, but the severity of the outbreak is up to us.A new report from UT finds that if everyone in Austin reduces their human interaction by 90 percent, the city’s…

Friday, February 21, 2020 by Claire McInerny

As Superintendent Paul Cruz prepares to leave Austin ISD, his school closure plan remains unresolved

Even though Superintendent Paul Cruz said he’s leaving the Austin Independent School District, the process of school closures that started under his watch likely will not end. But where the plan goes from here is unknown.At a press conference Thursday, Cruz said…

Thursday, January 23, 2020 by Claire McInerny

Austin ISD considers opening a school for young adults with autism

A local nonprofit wants to start a school in Austin that serves young adults with neurological conditions like autism.Easterseals of Central Texas is seeking to start the school within the Austin Independent School District. The school would help students older…

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 by Claire McInerny

Chief equity officer calls Austin ISD’s school closure process inequitable and ‘short-sighted’

School closures and consolidations are not “equity strategies,” the Austin Independent School District’s chief equity officer says in a report released Monday.“They are short-term and often short-sighted approaches to cost savings that are seldom reinvested in programming in the very…

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…

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