AISD Master Plan Ending

Save Austin Schools calling for board to reject study

AISD Master Plan Ending

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees is scheduled to receive the final draft of the controversial Facilities Task Force Master Plan at its board meeting tonight. However, the Save Austin Schools group is formally calling for the board to reject the plan. Expect fireworks on the dais tonight.

Save Austin Schools has launched an online petition, calling for the board to reject the plan as fruit of a poisoned tree. In a letter of no confidence in the plan, the group writes, "What should have been an exercise in district-wide facilities maintenance evaluation has turned into an irresponsible blueprint for gutting Central Austin’s neighborhood schools."

The current schedule is for the board to simply receive the report tonight, then hand it over to Superintendent Meria Carstarphen to turn into administrative recommendations. However, considering how many senior staff members have been part of the task force, and that Carstarphen has met with them repeatedly in what could generously be interpreted as an advisory capacity, there are real questions about whether the process has already become a feedback loop.

The real problem, Save Austin Schools argues, is that the data that many of the assumptions within the report are based upon is out-of-date, misinterpreted or just flat out wrong. Expect this to be a major part of citizens' communication at tonight's board meeting at the Caruth Administration Center, 1111 W. Sixth, at 7pm.

Unfortunately, if you are hoping to speak in the meeting, too late. All 30 slots have already been taken, and were taken this morning by parents and community members who were prepared to camp out as early as 6.30am. Education Austin co-president Rae Nwosu has already clashed with Board President Mark Williams over the trustees' seeming lack of flexibility on increased public input. This meeting seems unlikely to change that paradigm.

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AISD, Education Austin, Austin Independent School District, Rae Nwosu, Meria Carstarphen, Mark Williams, Facility Master Plan Task Force

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