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AISD wins $3.5 million innovation grant

Friday, October 13, 2017 by Nina Hernandez

The Austin Independent School District has won a $3.5 million Education Innovation and Research Early-Phase grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the district announced yesterday morning. The funds are going to help the district move away from disciplinary practices like suspension and expulsion. It’s called the “restorative model,” and will be put in place over five years for more than 6,000 students graduating from elementary to a selection of four middle schools. “The grant aims to lessen the use of suspensions and expulsions and their disproportionate impact on students with disabilities and students of color,” said Michelle Wallis, the city’s executive director of innovation and development, in the district’s press release. AISD chose the four middle schools for the grant based on their disproportionate rates of “disciplinary referrals and removals, poverty levels and percentages of students of color.”

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