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AISD superintendent gets 3 percent raise

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 by Courtney Griffin

Despite persistent talk of the Austin Independent School District’s unfavorable financial situation, board members approved a 3 percent raise for AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz after a 7-1-1 vote, with District 2 Trustee Jayme Mathias against and District 1 Trustee Edmund Gordon abstaining at Monday’s regular meeting. This raise brings Cruz’s base salary to $294,580 annually. Board members reviewed Cruz’s work as AISD’s top executive at the meeting, releasing the first evaluation with plans of releasing future yearly reports every October. In its review, the board applauded Cruz for his role in completing the five-year district plan to “reinvent the urban school experience,” reorganizing administration, handling enrollment issues, completing a large portion of the facilities master plan and furthering AISD students’ academic progress. Under Cruz’s leadership, several top positions were cut and reorganized this summer. AISD will save about $840,000 over the next two years as a result, said Board President Gina Hinojosa. Since Cruz was appointed superintendent in January, AISD has accepted more than 100 out-of-district transfers, launched an aggressive marketing campaign to increase student enrollment, completed 84 bond renovation projects on time and on budget, hit its highest federal graduation rate ever (86.3 percent) and had all of its high schools – including Eastside Memorial High School, formerly Johnston High School – meet state standards (a first since 2002). Mathias, the sole dissenting vote, noted that 3 percent of a teacher’s salary – the recent board-approved raise that staff received this year – equated to much more when applied to an executive salary. He said a discussion regarding the board’s role in creating income gaps within the district would be welcome.

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