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AISD Board
Endorsements for AISD board of trustees
News Story  October 16, 2014, by The Chronicle Editorial Board
"...The following are the Chronicle's recommendations for the Austin Independent School District board of trustees, where a dramatic changeover in policy leadership will follow the not unexpected but abrupt departure to Atlanta of Superintendent Meria Carstarphen. The district faces increasing pressure from the state's inadequate public school finance system – again ruled unconstitutional even while it continues to "recapture" many millions in resources from the "property wealthy" AISD that yet serves a majority of poor, minority students..."

Sump vs. Wagner for AISD Board
Vacant D7 seat will be filled for 14 months
News Story  September 17, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...Sump is a 30-year resident of AISD, 27 of those in District 7, and Schneider's loss was a personal one. Their families lived on the same road; their kids played together and all attended AISD campuses..."

AISD Documentary Captures Spirit of Recent Initiative
SEL improves grades, reduces absenteeism, and more.
DAILY News  June 4, 2014, by R.U. Steinberg
"...This spring, the Austin Independent School District (AISD) was the subject of a 7-minute documentary called Austin ISD: A District Embracing SEL...."

Lege Session Dealt Blow to AISD Budget
AISD grapples with impact of this session's bills on its financial future
News Story  July 9, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...After the legislative session, the district's finance department calculated AISD would receive $10.6 million in recapture relief – the reduction in payments to the state under the Robin Hood recapture system. However, new calculations from the Texas Education Agen­cy suggest that could fall to $2.4 million, a figure AISD Finance Executive Director Leo Lopez called "negligible for a budget our size."..."

AISD: New South High School(s)?
AISD mulls over a possible South Austin high school
News Story  January 22, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...The board has announced that it will meet in executive session in February to discuss the purchase of "multiple parcels of land" for the school. It's already effectively paid for: Voters approved the funding as part of a $344 million bond package in 2008, designed primarily to tackle overcrowding and update existing facilities (see "AISD Gets New Trustee, PAC, Working Bathrooms," May 11, 2008)..."

AISD, ACC Final Results
Villarreal, Barksdale take trustee positions
DAILY News  June 12, 2010, by Richard Whittaker
"...Finals results for both ACC and AISD elections, with all precincts reporting..."

AISD, ACC Early Voting Results (UPDATED)
Villareal, Cowan leading with knife-edge margins
DAILY News  June 12, 2010, by Richard Whittaker
"...Early voting results in for both ACC and AISD elections in Travis and Williamson Counties...."

AISD Staff Shake-up
Under Cruz, AISD staff get a reorganization
News Story  May 14, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...This cabinet shuffle comes six months after he took office, a much less aggressive timeline than that adopted by previous Superintendent Meria Carstarphen. On her second day on the job in 2009, she issued a revamped cabinet structure (see "AISD Staff Shake-Up," July 3, 2009)..."

AISD Cancels IDEA Contract
Trustees split 5-4 but Allan heads back to community
DAILY News  December 18, 2012, 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 Storify of AISD and IDEA
How the East Austin community fired back against the charter plan
DAILY News  December 21, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...At Monday night's AISD Board Meeting, trustee Annette LoVoi said she wanted the entire record of their controversial decision to hand the Eastside Memorial Vertical Team over to IDEA Public Schools put on-line. We can't quite manage that, but we can do the next best thing: Put all our Tweets from throughout the night together...."

AISD and Ike
Classes resume Monday as school district moves evacuees.
DAILY News  September 14, 2008, by Richard Whittaker
"...Don't underestimate the scale of the need: As of 11am Sunday, the city of Austin estimates there 3,879 general needs evacuees and 98 special needs evacuees at 20 shelters around Austin, and that doesn't include people staying with friends and family. See below the jump for the full AISD press release...."

AISD Trustee Passes
Robert Schneider, 13-year board incumbent, dies
DAILY News  July 28, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...A devastating blow has been struck to the heart of Austin ISD today, as the district confirmed that Trustee Robert Schneider died this morning at the age of 62. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen, and their four children, all of whom are AISD graduates...."

School's Out, but AISD Pay Raise Talk Goes On
Debate over salary increase details carries on at AISD
News Story  July 9, 2015, by Richard Whittaker
"...The district faces an ever more complex balancing act, and that is driving ever more cautious budgeting. As the biggest single contributor to state coffers under the Robin Hood school property tax recapture system, AISD is in a multimillion-dollar hole that only gets deeper..."

AISD Approves Employee Policy (Finally)
Six months of delays leads to 6-1-1 vote
DAILY News  April 24, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...After months of delays, changes and unnecessary ugliness, the AISD Board of Trustees has finally revised its policy dealing with employee relations...."

AISD: Who is Under the Axe?
Breaking down the 1,017 proposed cuts
DAILY News  February 13, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...The scale of the 1,017 staff cuts Superintendent Meria Carstarphen will present to the AISD Board of Trustees on Monday is daunting enough. Now district parents and employees have a chance to pick apart the presentation, and it's clearer now which schools, offices, and individual jobs are under the lay-off axe...."

AISD on ICE
Superintendent Paul Cruz wants AISD to know ICE is watching
News Story  February 16, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...25 and Dobie Middle School on March 11. On Monday, however, Cruz's office sent a memo to campus administrators indicating that AISD "activities, statements, and reactions are immensely scrutinized," and reminding them of existing policy that staff should not talk about "political affiliation, views, protests, advocacy or other controversial issues or topics that may arise while on District property." This induced the ire of both the union and Board Vice President Paul Saldaña, who criticized what he called "the conservative tone of the memorandum." Wednesday morning, EA representatives held a press conference to voice support for the school district's immigrant students...."

AISD Proposes Property Tax Cut
AISD looks to adopt FY 2016 budget
News Story  August 6, 2015, by Richard Whittaker


Cruz in Contention for AISD Superintendency
Interim district chief now officially in the mix
DAILY News  December 3, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...He has been cast as Mother Ginger in Ballet Austin's production of The Nutcracker. That, and he is now officially in the running to become AISD's next permanent superintendent...."

AISD Gets Wired
News Story  August 1, 1997, by Roseana Auten
"...When Anne Verburg, a second grade teacher at Hill Elementary, got the chance last year to be one of 125 teacher-members of the Austin Independent School District's (AISD) District Technology Leadership Team, there was just one small hitch. AISD doesn't have a computer network in place, nor a districtwide Internet connection..."

AISD's Underutilized Business
AISD weighs equity study to improve its limited program for minority- and women-owned firms
News Story  May 24, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...At the AISD board meeting on May 7, trustees started to broach that possibility. The first step is to hold what is known as an equity or disparity study: External consultants compare the kind of work an entity has available to contract out, then they look at the available minority- and women-owned firms in the metropolitan area that can provide such services..."

AISD Budget
District may have resources to reverse cuts if it can muster the courage to raise taxes
News Story  June 30, 2006, by Michael May
"...AISD Superintendent Pat Forgione will have to retire, at least for the time being, his familiar speech about Austin trying to educate an increasingly needy student population on a "fixed income." For the first time in three fiscal years, AISD has presented a balanced budget that won't require staff cuts or digging into the savings account. The preliminary $604.4 million that will be spent during the 2006-07 school year is almost $56 million more than last year's budget, and there's more money available if the AISD board of trustees has the cojones (or the chutzpah) to vote to raise taxes...."

AISD Gets the Ball Rolling on High School Redesign
Gates Foundation grant pushes attempt to completely rethink high school
News Story  January 13, 2006, by Rachel Proctor May
"...Slice! Dice! Mix! Puree! On Thursday the Austin ISD board of trustees grappled with the proper recipe for high school success, the latest step of a multiyear process known as high school redesign. Redesign, or breaking large high schools into "educational condominiums" of autonomous schools-within-schools, is the Big Idea in the educational policy world – for evidence, one need only view the consultant-studded attendance list of the meeting, and the sweet aroma of a $1.5 million redesign grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that now permeates AISD..."

Is AISD Ready for Disaster?
News Story  April 28, 1995, by Roseana Auten
"...The Austin Independent School District (AISD) has an important role to play when disaster strikes. In conjunction with the Red Cross, high school gyms can serve as hurricane evacuation centers, and cafeterias can feed thousands..."

AISD: Low-Budget Wrassling Resumes
Budgeting for public education always involves struggles between competing needs, but these days the competition is particularly fierce
News Story  July 15, 2005, by Rachel Proctor May
"...The main source of contention is teacher pay. AISD says it just can't afford a raise, while Education Austin, the teachers union, argues that the money is there if AISD can find the will to spend it..."

AISD High Schools Flunk Real-World Test
Audit says district poorly prepares grads for college or careers
News Story  October 22, 2004, by Rachel Proctor May
"...If a good friend is one who is honest about your faults, then AISD has no better friend than the Southern Regional Education Board, which last week issued a less-than-rosy audit – commissioned by AISD – of the district's ability to prepare its graduates for college and careers. The solutions the SREB offered will shape several months of discussion and planning in the AISD community – and then the future of AISD high schools...."

AISD's "Concerned Parents" Rail Against LGBTQ Inclusivity
Religious extremists against comprehensive sex ed and Welcoming Schools program
News Story  August 17, 2017, by Sarah Marloff
"...Concerned Parents of Austin, a newly formed religious extremist group, has spent much of the summer pressuring the Austin Independent School District to terminate its Welcoming Schools program – a professional development training program created by the Human Rights Campaign to help teachers and classroom staff support children with diverse families, and decrease bullying of queer and transgender kids in elementary school. AISD was the first school district in the state to implement this program, in 2014..."

AISD Explores Its Options
AISD has at least 10 properties it could be making better use of
News Story  April 7, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...Did you know that the Austin Indepen­dent School District has 12 apartments at the Carruth Administration Center on West Sixth? Or that it owns the historic Millett Opera House, currently home to the Austin Club, where Texas' politicos gather to bond and machinate? If not, that puts you with the AISD Board of Trustees, who recently voted to examine 10 underused properties and work out what best to do with them...."

Labor and AISD Butt Heads Again
'Prevailing wage' creates a sticking point
News Story  March 18, 2005, by Rachel Proctor May
"...The labor community is once again butting heads with the perpetually cash-strapped AISD, after the district recommended that the board of trustees adopt a prevailing wage scale for skilled laborers that does not budget for benefits. "They're sending a message that despite the princely benefit packages they all enjoy, they don't think that construction workers should enjoy the same," said Michael Murphy of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers...."

AISD Fills Pipeline From Within
New partnership helps teachers' aides get degrees, meet district bilingual gap
News Story  October 29, 2004, by Rachel Proctor May
"...As AISD struggles to find and keep enough bilingual teachers to serve a student body where about one in six students is classified as "limited English proficiency," a new "teacher pipeline" program is banking on the idea that the most promising candidates for the jobs are already in the classrooms. These are the district's 740 teachers' aides, employees without teaching certificates, but with years of experience working with some of AISD's most challenged students...."

AISD Notebook
News Story  June 27, 1997, by Roseana Auten
"...After about a month-long marathon of exhaustive work sessions, public hearings, and staff presentations on the 1997-98 budget for AISD, you would have thought that the last thing anyone would find edifying was a retrospective of those discussions. But when AISD administrators surprised the board at the budget adoption session with video clips of themselves discussing the budget with the board, set to upbeat music and intercut with arty, black-and-white shots of AISD students striding confidently across campus, the casual observer could have gotten the feeling that there are some folks working for AISD who actually want to help educate kids..."

AISD’s Big Balancing Act
The Austin Independent School District is considering bringing a $1 billion bond to voters in November. That's a lot of money. What all would it do? And can the package keep everybody happy?
News Story  June 22, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...Now it's on the cusp of asking voters to approve the biggest bond issue ever – one that still will not do everything that's needed for the school district. As AISD Board President Kendall Pace told her fellow trustees on Monday, the district is "squishing $4 billion in need into a $999 million no-tax-increase bond."..."

AISD Notebook
News Story  November 1, 1996, by Roseana Auten
"...An overnight fire at Casis Elementary in West Austin on October 21 damaged two classrooms before burning itself out. If the blaze, caused by an overhead projector, hadn't managed itself, God only knows how long it would have been before someone noticed the joint was on fire, for Casis is one of about 25 AISD schools without a fire alarm...."

AISD's Carstarphen Atlanta Bound
Superintendent named sole finalist to head Atlanta Public Schools
News Story  April 4, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...Paul, Minn., knew that she was considering quitting was when her name was leaked to the Austin American-Statesman and the St. Paul Pioneer Press* caught her flying to Austin for a barbecue lunch with the AISD trustees..."

AISD Union Leaders Butt Heads Over Insurance Costs
Low-wage workers pay more for increase in health plan rates
News Story  July 12, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...AISD is currently holding open enrollment for its employee insurance, and educating staff that premiums will double for their top-level package (see "School District Staff Face Big Health Care Rate Hike," June 7.) In June, six district employees at Becker Elementary filed a formal grievance with the district, arguing that the hike places a disproportionate burden on its lowest-paid employees: They already pay more per paycheck than many of their AISD colleagues, and will see the biggest increase. Joaquin Abrego, a labor organizer with the Southwest Workers Union, said, "You put 131% on anything, that's a lot."..."

City, AISD Look for School Fixes
A vow to work together
News Story  February 25, 2011, by Richard Whittaker
"...Mayor Lee Leffingwell put a hole in the wall separating the two entities when he politely warned the district last month about the perils of its plan to close nine schools (See "Closing Schools Won't Fix AISD Budget," Jan. 21)..."

AISD Efficiency Study Thwarted by Math
About that 'efficiency' ...
News Story  June 19, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...A week after it was first delivered, district staff and members of the Austin Independent School District board of trustees were already concerned about methodologies used and conclusions reached in the $455,000 districtwide efficiency study commissioned from MGT of America (see "AISD 'Efficiency' Study: Not Exactly What the Doctor Ordered?," June 12). Now additional questions have been raised about the numbers in the report – and whether they even add up...."

AISD Goes Global
Johnston High School welcomes immigrant students and makes waves in the neighborhood
News Story  November 26, 2004, by Rachel Proctor May
"...In the past, many immigrant students responded to these pressures by just giving up: Last year, the dropout rate was about 50%. AISD administrators hope the international school-within-a-school can change that...."

Money Makes AISD's World Go Round
Policy questions at Austin ISD are increasingly being answered by the district's fiscal crunch.
News Story  January 24, 2003, by Michael King
"..."None of the choices are pleasant." Austin ISD spokesman Andy Welch was describing the district's ongoing budget deliberations, but he could as well be discussing virtually every decision AISD makes for the next couple of years. It's no secret that Texas schools, like the rest of the public sector, are strapped for cash..."

AISD Notebook
News Story  June 14, 1996
"...Will it be "Good- night, nurse" in AISD? As part of their budget deliberations, the AISD school board is poised to consider a partnership proposal, engineered by Superintendent Jim Fox, with Seton Hospital to put a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) at each AISD elementary campus during the 1996-97 school year. The program would be exanded to include all secondary campuses next year..."

Dukes Up Between Dawnna and AISD Board?
A longstanding vendetta between Dawnna Dukes and the AISD Board?
News Story  December 15, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...In a letter published in the Dec. 2 issue of East Austin community paper The Austin Villager, Lottie Spaulding accused AISD Trustee Paul Saldaña of a longstanding vendetta against the outgoing Democrat­ic state representative, who says she'll resign Jan..."

AISD Expands Pre-K
Program will prep 3-year-olds for kindergarten
News Story  May 12, 2016, by Richard Whittaker
"...AISD's Pre-K3 program was born from a very simple need: According to the nonprofit E3 Alliance, only 50% of students entering kindergarten are ready for the challenge. Jacquie Porter, AISD's director of early childhood education, said, "Many of our kids, when they walk through the [kindergarten] door, have the vocabulary of a 2-year-old."..."

AISD Braces for Lege, Court Action
School finance likely to hang fire for several months
News Story  January 25, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...In 2011, the Legislature gutted public school spending by $5.4 billion, meaning a $60 million cut in state funding for AISD. This year, they are offering a minimal gesture of apology: a commitment to track enrollment growth..."

Can Edison Pass the AISD Test?
AISD considers hiring Edison Schools Inc. for East Austin.
News Story  January 25, 2002, by Jordan Smith
"...Tonight (Thursday), representatives of the for-profit school management company Edison Schools Inc. appear before Austin ISD Superintendent Pat Forgione and members of the Board of Trustees to present Edison's proposal to contract with the district to manage, in partnership with AISD, a cluster of up to 15 East Austin public schools..."

AISD Notebook
News Story  February 28, 1997, by Roseana Auten
"...The AISD Board of Trustees on Monday tackled two quite controversial issues: the district's "new" grading policy, and site acquisition for new schools south of the river...."

AISD Notebook
News Story  October 27, 1995
"...Bruce Banner's job as a teacher's aide at AISD's Alternative Learning Center (ALC) is a lot harder these days; he's been assaulted by students three times so far this year...."

AISD Notebook
News Story  September 29, 1995
"...It's the seventh week of the school year, and the complaints keep coming about AISD's new surplus system. Last April, the district implemented a method of "surplusing" teachers on campuses that supposedly don't have high enough enrollments to support them..."

On Consent: AISD Employees See Increased Wages
A 1.5% increase will go to district employees
News Story  May 25, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...That's less than employee union Education Austin initially asked for, but their hope is that a new incentive program will mean staff at the district's most demanding campuses will see extra pay in return for career development. AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz and Education Austin President Ken Zarifis signed a consultation agreement on May 22 approving the pay increase..."

AISD Sees Uptick in Homeless Youth
Lack of affordability jeopardizes housing stability for Austin families
News Story  September 1, 2016, by Annamarya Scaccia
"...The latest statistics released by the affordable housing nonprofit show that AISD students identified as homeless under the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act climbed between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years, from 2,648 to 2,693. This is the fifth consecutive year the school district has seen an increase in homeless youth, the bulk of whom share housing with other people – or "doubled up" – because of economic hardship or housing loss...."

AISD on Cruz Control
AISD gets closer to finding a new superintendent
News Story  December 11, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...In April, when then-Chief Schools Officer Cruz replaced former superintendent Meria Carstarphen on an interim basis, AISD trustees followed the recommendations of the Texas Association of School Boards that an interim should be excluded from applying for the permanent position. The logic is that an incumbent would have an unfair advantage over external candidates..."

Candidate Filings for AISD, ACC Seats
A last-minute deluge of candidates
News Story  August 21, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...Normally, the college board is a lower-profile post than the school district. Yet with all ACC seats at-large, and a six-year trustee term, both the election and the actual tenure are as major a commitment as the shorter four-year terms in the smaller, mostly geographically based AISD seats. Austin Independent School Dist...."

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