A plan recently released by the Austin Independent School District details closing a total of 12 schools, with the affected students being moved to other campuses. Additionally, the district further proposes changes involving boundaries, as well as increasing academic programs at over 30 other schools.
The district Superintendent released a letter to the community, which stated the following in part:
“Change is hard, but it can also make us stronger. We all care about the future of our students, and we’re willing to step up to help reimagine and reinvent our school district. The changes we make will be worth the effort.”
A formal vote on the draft of this plan is expected to be held by the school board this coming November. In the meantime, however, the Superintendent says he is welcoming feedback from the community:
“I want to have these options out for our board to consider, for the community to review, to create a dialogue about how we address inequities from the past, how we deal with it head on, and actually do something in a better way for all of our students and communities.”
Back in February, the Austin Independent School District announced that “dramatic changes” needed to be made, stating that both budget issues and declining enrollment provided no other choice for the aforementioned changes needing to be done. According to reports, many of the schools on the list submitted by the district have been undercapacity for a number of years, and officials with the Austin Independent School District say that it’s far too expensive to keep these specific schools open. They have further promised that if these schools are closed, more money will be invested in other schools.
The Superintendent further stated that he realized these types of changes will be difficult for some families in the area; however, he feels that the students will ultimately benefit from all of the improvements being proposed for academics.
All of the school closings and consolidations under the current draft submitted by the Austin Independent School District are expected to take place over the next four years, the first one at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.