Oscar G. Brockett Theatre
"...Fancy running Austin ISD? The district has released the candidate profile for the new superintendent. However, very quietly, the hiring process has been pushed back a month...."
"...Another bombshell in the Austin ISD board of trustees: District 6 Trustee Lori Moya has announced that she will not seek re-election...."
"...It was business as usual this afternoon in the Austin ISD board room. President Vince Torres was walking the media through the process of hiring a new superintendent..."
"...2010: Tamala Barskdale beats Julie Cowan to become Austin ISD's Place 9 At-Large Trustee...."
"...Ever since Meria Carstarphen quit as superintendent, the trustees of Austin ISD have been putting together a search process that will attract a high quality replacement and engage the community. That process starts today, when the district asks that same community: Exactly what qualities do you want from the district's next CEO?..."
"...The anti-public education right has made tenure in education – or any teacher job security – a dirty term. So it took extraordinary circumstances for the supposedly progressive Austin ISD to weaken employee job security..."
"...Many Austin ISD teachers are wondering where their money is this morning, after an accounting system screw up left an unknown number with miscalculated and short salary checks...."
"...Opponents of the plan to turn Pearce and Garcia Middle Schools into single sex academies should have know the fix was in. Last night the Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted 5-3 to institute gender division across much of East Austin, starting in the 2014-15 school year..."
"...No-one expected last Monday's Austin ISD Board of Trustees work session to be a full-on fireworks display. But when they started talking about IDEA Allan, the fuse was lit..."
"...Late Wednesday afternoon, I got a phone call: There were big changes in the Austin ISD district 3 election. Briefly before the chamber of commerce forum, I got confirmation: Trustee Christine Brister was suspending her campaign, making challenger Ann Teich the heir apparent for the North-Central seat...."
"...What "kind of money" it will actually cost to rename the facilities has been central to the conversation on the dais; Teich floated a figure of $400,000 for Lanier High School, which is well above what AISD staff has estimated. District officials initially estimated the average cost at about $77,000, and on Tuesday told the Chronicle that the range would be between $50,000 and $100,000, depending on the facility..."
"...Austin ISD Board District 1: Ted Gordon..."
"...The Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees will explore potential changes to the policy which governs how district facilities are rented to outside groups. At the board meeting last Monday, several trustees questioned whether the district's decision to rent the AISD Performing Arts Center in Mueller to Celebration Church for an extended period violated specific rules for renting that facility..."
"...Following pushback from school leaders, state lawmakers delayed implementation of letter grades for individual campuses until 2019, although each campus did receive a numerical grade. Five AISD campuses received failing grades, one more than last year...."
"...The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted Monday night to approve a $1.4 billion budget for the upcoming school year – about $11.9 million less than last year. Key provisions include: funding an across-the-board raise of 1.5% for district employees, at a cost of $8.1 million; funding for 75 nurses and 48 clinical assistants across 130 campuses (meaning not every campus will be staffed with a full-time nurse, and nearly half of the campuses with on-site mental health centers will lose their therapists); five more AISDPD officers, an officer specializing in mental health, and other security measures at a cost of $1.7 million..."
"...There’s a national student walkout to promote gun safety today. Students from Austin ISD schools will participate in it..."
"...It seems that Carson made overtures to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which has an afterschool program at Austin ISD's first modern all-male public school. However, word that the trip could happen as early as next week quickly reached staff and teachers at Gus Garcia, who were suitably unimpressed by the proposal...."
"...In a near-unanimous vote, Austin ISD trustees appointed Yasmin Wagner to serve as District 7 trustee for the next 14 months...."
"...Two months ago, Austin ISD's board was split 6-3 on all major and controversial decisions. Now 5-4 could be the new normal, as the trustees unanimously elected vice-president Vince Torres as president and split over the other officers...."
"...Dear Sara Stevenson, Thank you for your letter to the editor [“It's a Bad Idea,” "Postmarks" online, Jan. 31] regarding Austin ISD’s partnership with IDEA Public Schools..."
"...According to the Texas Freedom Network report on state public schools, the Austin Independent School District is among the 3.6% of districts statewide actually teaching information about contraceptives as part of its sex-ed curriculum – a program known as "abstinence-plus." But that doesn't mean all AISD students get the same information or that they all get medically accurate information...."
"...What is "central" in the Austin Independent School District? Trustee Robert Schneider asked that question during the April 26 AISD board meeting when he voted against buying land for the long-awaited performing arts center. The board voted 8-1 to spend $4 million on a four-acre tract at the corner of East 51st and Barbara Jordan Boulevard to house a 1,200-capacity hall and 250-seat black box theatre..."
"...Even in a time of economic upheaval, Austin voters were still prepared to back education costs in last night's ballot. In the often-overlooked Austin ISD Prop..."
"...A group of East Austin community advocates led by Austin ISD District 1 Trustee Ted Gordon presented a 15-point "manifesto" last week of issues they say have gone unaddressed by the school district. Chief among the demands is a call for district administration to "do all in its power" to raise academic achievement among minority students; improve the compensation of and benefits offered to teachers, especially to those working in schools with high concentrations of low-income students; and "restructure school boundaries, or permit East Austin to form its own school district" to end segregation and inequity within AISD schools...."
"...Garcia defined the rules of engagement two weeks ago, when he claimed Austin has five low-performing high schools ("Naked City: Garcia Rates AISD 'Unacceptable,'" Oct. 19)..."
"...Austin ISD, the barometer for many local businesses, has announced that all classes are canceled and district offices are closed today. They will reopen on Monday, Jan..."
"...Manley said investigators won’t begin canvassing the neighborhood in earnest until the sun comes up on Monday morning, and APD has asked those who live in Travis Country to stay inside their homes until 10am unless they have an emergency they must attend to. Austin ISD won’t be sending buses to the neighborhood this morning; any late arrivals or absences resulting from that plan will be excused by the school district...."
"...AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz has posted resources available to immigrant and refugee students, parents, and employees on the school district’s website...."
"...• Unshared prosperity: Adler noted persistent inequality in the city, with high unemployment (10%) for African-American residents, high uninsurance rates (30%) for Latinos, high poverty rates in Austin ISD, and too many jobs that don’t pay living wages: “Our middle class is shrinking.”..."
"...Austin ISD has announced that all classes will be cancelled and all offices closed, as have Del Valle, Eanes, Lake Travis, Leander, Manor, Pflugerville and Round Rock. This could start to cause scheduling problems, since AISD only had two allotted bad weather days – Feb..."
"...Austin Kids First, the new PAC on the education block, has followed up its Austin ISD endorsements with big sums of cash behind its favored trustee election candidates...."
"...The fund has spun out of the Any Given Child initiative launched earlier this year when the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts named Austin one of seven cities in the nation to join this pioneering program for expanding arts education efforts. Under the leadership of Kennedy Center staff, a team of representatives from AISD, city government, area arts groups, and MindPop, an organization that coordinates arts-ed efforts among Austin's many providers and interested parties, is engaged in a yearlong process to find gaps in the current arts education system and devise a long-range plan for filling them...."
"...Austin ISD's bond package has something for every campus, as well as spending on districtwide facilities and infrastructure. However, about $636 million of the $1.134 billion package goes to specific neighborhood campuses and schools of choice, as well as relocating the Rosedale special education school to the current Lucy K..."
"...Preliminary results from an Austin ISD survey on the district's Human Sexuality and Responsibility curriculum were revealed last week. The survey, which was sent to parents, staff, and some high school students, asked respondents to assess whether and when topics are appropriate for K-8 students..."
"...At the city of Austin/Austin ISD/Austin Community College level, the choices are more detailed and less readily apparent. These open questions are why the Chronicle news group has spent the last several weeks following campaigns, interviewing candidates, and arguing among ourselves over who best represents the values and policies we want local officials to pursue..."
"...Last year, Austin ISD took the laudable step of renaming Lee Elementary School in honor of legendary photographer Russell Lee. Now City Council members plan to replace the street names of Robert E..."
"...Since most us feel frighteningly helpless about responding to those two very real historical crises – at least we can fret mightily about property taxes. That was also the task of City Council members Wednesday morning, as they considered a budget staff presentation of a potential "tax swap" with Austin ISD, a process under which the city would raise its fiscal year 2018 property tax rate in order to allow the school district to lower its rate as well as its "recapture" obligations to the state – thus in theory enabling an overall reduction of the property tax burden on local residents...."
"...Even considering the all-jurisdiction local property tax bill, the city – at 22.5% of the total – comes out rather modestly. The county represents roughly 18%, ACC and the new health care district nearly 9%..."
"...Many impoverished districts in Texas keep music at the bottom of its list of needs and demands. San Perlita ISD, for example, is currently considered to be the one of the most in-need school districts in the United States...."
"...That's the early outlook on various budget projections for the city of Austin, Travis County, Central Health, Austin ISD ... have I missed anybody? Oh yes, the state of Texas and its Legislature, which, like the mystery cat Macavity, traditionally leaves all these other jurisdictions in the lurch and then spends its off-year idly filing its nails and denying all responsibility for the crime...."
"...After six months of delays and wrangling, the Austin ISD Board of Trustees on April 23 finally approved its new policy for how it deals with employee issues. The system continues the use of an employee group as the exclusive consultation agent, selected by popular vote of all district employees (this being Texas, direct negotiation with unions is a no-no)..."
"...21, 2011, was supposed to be a big day for Education Austin. The union was expecting to celebrate the start of another four years representing Austin ISD workers in their dealings with the administration..."
"...In Austin, we've been stunned and gratified to watch the public outcry against a draft (and frankly bungled) Austin ISD proposal to close the budget gap by closing some neighborhood schools. Don't think we're alone – similar outrage has already risen elsewhere at similar proposals, and school districts everywhere are trying to imagine where the axe must fall if the Lege proceeds with its initial Draconian scheme..."
"...Since Texas has been on a stark austerity budget at least since 2009, we've been seeing the local consequences for some time, many of them predating the national recession and a direct consequence of the state property tax giveaway of 2006. School districts are anticipating additional hits this year, and Austin ISD is now surveying the public about how best to absorb an estimated shortfall "that could reach as high as $100 million" (reports its website) for the 2011-12 academic year..."
"...The commissioner of education announced his decision via a letter to new Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen on July 2 – her second day on the job – despite legislative revision of the state law just a few weeks ago that quite explicitly allowed another year for schools like Pearce to meet the state's rising test-score standards. Under the threat of closure, Pearce students had exceeded standards in all but one of the state's myriad "cells" of rising expectations – eighth-grade science – and had every reason to believe they had responded to the challenge sufficiently to earn another year's grace and progress..."
"...This week City Manager Marc Ott released the city's cheerfully titled "Menu of Potential Budget Reductions," a daunting $45 million list of things Austin probably shouldn't do without, but will likely learn to do so at least to the tune of $30 million (making up the rest in property taxes). The Austin ISD board of trustees just received its "efficiency study" from the good folks at MGT of America, suggesting that if the district really, really tightens its belt, it could save $392 million over the next five years (see "AISD 'Efficiency' Study")..."
"...That's not entirely fair. While it's undeniable that the retiring Austin ISD superintendent could talk the painted mascot off a gymnasium wall, generally his filibusters are neither evasive nor condescending, but full of the detail, energy, and personal engagement he's brought to his 10 years of managing Austin schools..."
"...As the semester winds down and Austin ISD calculates its annual tax bump, it's time to get worried again about troubled public schools. Under the gun this year are Pearce Middle School and Reagan High, both on the northeast side and both facing the threat of state closure next year if the students cannot achieve sufficient improvement on standardized tests, the dreaded Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills..."
"...When the new trustees take over in June, their first task will be among the least fun of all: balancing the district's budget. In case you've been sealed in carbonite for the past few years, AISD's budget has essentially been frozen by the state school finance system (known derisively as Robin Hood, although that revenue-sharing program has little to do with the overall and stagnant level of state funding)..."
"...The Austin ISD administration says it wants to make certain that construction workers on district projects are paid prevailing market wages, in the worst way and as AISD is going about the process, it just might get its wish. On Monday, after weeks of public and private wrangling over a fair wages and benefits package, the administration made its recommendations to the board of trustees for a vote next week, and it looks likes the district will succeed in making nobody happy..."