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AISD enrollment drops

Monday, October 5, 2015 by Courtney Griffin

The Austin Independent School District wrapped up leveling in September, a process in which teachers from underenrolled schools are moved to overenrolled schools to help relieve overcrowding. According to district data on Sept. 21, AISD has experienced an estimated 1,090-student drop in enrollment compared to the same time last year. The district has lost the majority of its students, about 820, at the elementary school level, and the total enrollment to date is about 83,690. The district budgeted for 84,021 students, which is a key number because total enrollment affects the amount of state funding it receives. AISD moved a total of 20 teachers this year, sometimes despite protests from schools. Dusty Harshman, a parent from Maplewood Elementary School, thanked trustees at Monday’s board meeting for handling the leveling issues. However, he noted that communicating with the district about leveling using normal channels had no effect. It was not until “torches and pitchforks” came out in protest that Maplewood’s problem was solved, he said. AISD was going to move a sixth-grade teacher from Maplewood to Blackshear Elementary School. If it had gone through with the move, it would have left Maplewood with a single sixth-grade teacher instructing 29 students in all four academic areas.

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