All Key and No Lock

No deal on Eastside Memorial with Southwest Key

The Austin Independent School District has no current plans to discuss turning over Eastside Memorial High School to education nonprofit Southwest Key, according to Superintendent Meria Carstar­phen, and doing so would take a major policy change. In February, Southwest Key offered to lease the campus from AISD for "$1 a year for 99 years," with plans to run it as a combined high school and community center. During the March 31 community conversation about the 2011 budget at Bowie High School, Carstarphen reiterated the district's commitment to keep a high school in the Govalle-Johnston Terrace neighborhood. She noted that any proposal would also have to be thoroughly vetted as part of facilities planning. Addressing the Southwest Key plan, she said, "I have to tell everyone that has submitted that proposal, it does not align with board policy." Southwest Key has discussed using Eastside Memorial as part of its East Austin College Prep academy since 2007, back when the school was still Johnston High, but the group has stepped up its rhetoric during the current budget crunch. They say the lease would save the district around $8 million a year in operating costs, but those calculations don't include any of the costs of educating displaced Eastside Memorial students.

Got something to say on the subject? Send a letter to the editor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 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 Eastside Memorial High School
Eastside Memorial Celebrates
Eastside Memorial Celebrates
High school meets state standards, first time since 2002

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 21, 2015

'Fighting For, Not Against' Eastside
'Fighting For, Not Against' Eastside
Now the turnaround work begins on troubled campus

Richard Whittaker, June 14, 2013

More by Richard Whittaker
Angels, Devils, and Jim Cummings at <i>The Last Stop in Yuma County</i>
Angels, Devils, and Jim Cummings at The Last Stop in Yuma County
The indie icon breaks down his new dusty noir and its ensemble

May 17, 2024

Fifty Years of Movie Magic at the Alamo Village
Fifty Years of Movie Magic at the Alamo Village
Oldest operating theatre in town adds Vulcan Video rentals

May 16, 2024

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Eastside Memorial High School, Meria Carstarphen, Southwest Key

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

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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