"...School consolidations, attendance zone boundary adjustments, and a sunset review process for contracts and programs are among the strategies that could contain Austin ISD's budget deficit. Leaders with the Budget Stabilization Task Force presented a status update to AISD trustees on Monday night for the first time since the group was convened in June to find solutions to the district's $29-million-and-growing problem...."
"...• "Modest cuts" based on recommendations from the Budget Stabilization Task Force should be made before deeper cuts are considered;..."
"...AISD will operate at a $30 million loss in the 2018-19 school year, forcing district officials to again dip into its dwindling reserve fund, a process that district accountants have projected will continue if austerity measures are not taken. The Budget Stabilization Task Force has been charged with identifying and recommending to the AISD Board of Trustees solutions to the district's ballooning deficit...."
"...At the final meeting of Austin ISD's Budget Stabilization Task Force on Nov. 14, Eric Ramos pleaded with the committee to recommend cost-saving measures that would avoid impacting teachers and the students they serve..."
"...A total of 91 potential budget reductions are listed in the document, which was not widely shared with the public or with members of the district's own Budget Stabilization Task Force, which has been working to finalize its own report on the topic. Of the items, which total about $55.1 million in potential savings annually, more than half would primarily impact AISD's central administration rather than its individual campuses and students, but the most controversial options would definitely be felt among the broader community...."
"...But two agenda items sandwiched between those moments highlighted the less pleasant work that lies ahead. The district's Budget Stabilization Task Force presented its likely-to-be-controversial recommendations for navigating through AISD's fiscal crisis, and a briefing from district demographers revealed that AISD expects to continue losing students for at least the next 10 years...."
"...Elsewhere in this issue, you'll see members and watchers of the Legislature ready to take new Speaker Dennis Bonnen at his word that the time is now for school finance reform, which may help Austin ISD and probably can't make its fiscal woes worse. You'll also see the district itself grapple with the reality that, in the words of its Budget Stabilization Task Force, "only the most politically charged options to address the structural [budget] deficit remain."..."
"...Segura expects the needs assessment to take two to three months and hopes to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees on potential uses when the district's next facilities master plan is due in June. That updated plan is expected to account for some school closures – an earlier AISD report suggested as many as 12, though the district's Budget Stabilization Task Force has not settled on a number..."
"...The city, county, and a whole slew of law enforcement officials are currently being sued by eight sexual assault survivors who claim the criminal justice system – from street cops to the Travis County District Attorney’s office – fail rape victims at every turn. The original proposed class action suit was filed in June by three local survivors, and five more women have since added their stories..."
"...Last month, Austin Police Chief Stan Knee's task force on mental health submitted its final report on the state of Austin's mental health care system. The task force was convened in the wake of the June 2002 shooting death of Sophia King and initially charged with reviewing and making recommendations for strengthening APD officer training on mental health issues..."
"..."Is police officer training necessary? Yes. But more important is a mental health community that doesn't push people off a cliff and onto law enforcement..."
"...We have more low-income students and more English-language learners than we've had before. We also have a workforce that requires new skills and post-secondary certifications and degrees..."