AISD Cancels IDEA Contract

Trustees split 5-4 but Allan heads back to community

Panther Pride: Eastside Memorial advocates win the night as AISD trustees vote 5-4 to terminate their contract with IDEA Public Schools
Panther Pride: Eastside Memorial advocates win the night as AISD trustees vote 5-4 to terminate their contract with IDEA Public Schools (Photo by Richard Whittaker)

Going into last night's Austin ISD Board of Trustees meeting, AISD had two in-district charters on the books for the 2013-14 school year: Responsive Education Solutions at Travis and Lanier, and IDEA Allan. Now they still have two, but IDEA Public Schools are out and the Travis Heights Elementary community gets autonomy next year.

The evening, compared to last year's brutal fight to approve the contract with IDEA Public Schools, was surprisingly calm. The vote to approve the Travis Heights neighborhood's proposal to run their elementary as a quasi-autonomous in-district charter went through unanimously, as was expected, and showed how well the new-look board - reshaped by the November elections - can co-exist. Surprisingly, even the IDEA vote was relatively non-confrontational.

First, five members of the board - Secretary Jayme Mathias, Ann Teich, Robert Schneider, and at-large trustees Tamala Barksdale and Gina Hinojosa - voted to reject Mathias' own proposal to leave IDEA at Allan for one more year and appraise the deal next Fall. Then, rather than let the division go on in the board and the community, they moved to a straight up-down vote. The same five voted to terminate the contract: However, even the four 'nay' votes - President Vince Torres, Lori Moya, Cheryl Bradley and Amber Elenz - seemed more interested in giving IDEA more time to build an exit strategy over the next year than signing an eternal compact.

We'll have more in this week's issue, out Thursday, but in the meantime, here's the night in Tweets, Storified.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Austin ISD
AISD Trustees: Slow Down on School Closures
AISD Trustees: Slow Down on School Closures
Concerns raised over facilities plan timeline, community engagement

Austin Sanders, Feb. 12, 2019

AISD Starts the Clock on School Closures
AISD Starts the Clock on School Closures
Board set to decide in June on campus consolidations

Austin Sanders, Feb. 8, 2019

More AISD
Saldaña Quits AISD Board
Saldaña Quits AISD Board
Trustee cites workload for abrupt exit

Richard Whittaker, April 7, 2017

Ben Carson Invites Himself to Austin ISD
Carson vs. Garcia?
GOP contender's photo op plan quietly falls apart

Richard Whittaker, Oct. 17, 2015

More by Richard Whittaker
SXSW Film Review: <i>The Day Shall Come</i>
Film Review: The Day Shall Come
British satirist Chris Morris takes aim at security theater

March 16, 2019

SXSW Film Review: <i>Tread</i>
Film Review: Tread
The ugliest, wildest zoning fight ever becomes a trip into madness

March 14, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Austin ISD, AISD, Meria Carstarphen, IDEA Public Schools, Charter Schools, Travis Heights, Education Austin, Allan Elementary, Vince Torres, Jayme Mathias, Cheryl Bradley, Gina Hinojosa, Ann Teich, Lori Moya, Amber Elenz, Robert Schneider, Tamala Barksdale

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle