AISD Moves Forward on Three Lingering Issues

School board’s busy, busy night

AISD board meeting in November 2018
AISD board meeting in November 2018 (Photo by John Anderson)

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees on Monday, Feb. 25, voted to move forward on three long-simmering issues in the district. First was the outline of a new Human Sexual­ity and Responsibility curriculum, to be taught incrementally to students in third through eighth grade. The unanimous vote authorized staff to contract with a curriculum supplier to write the sex-ed lessons, which will conform to the National Sexuality Educa­tion Standards and which will come back to the board for approval before entering the classroom in 2020. In an 8-1 vote, trustees also agreed to rename John H. Reagan Early College High School to Northeast ECHS. D1 Trustee LaTisha Anderson, who represents the school, threw her support behind dropping the name of a prominent Confederate because "I want to celebrate the community," she said. "I don't want this to be about a name on a building. I am interested in what's going on in the building." Ann Teich was the sole nay, citing the opposition of alumni who've provided financial support to the school. Finally, the school board approved unanimously a framework that will guide the district through a process aimed at reducing a budget deficit projected to reach $65 million next year through the closure, consolidation, and/or repurposing of some schools, with more lead time before those schools are identified; trustees will adopt "guiding principles" in May, identify specific campuses by August, and vote on the final list in Octo­ber, with changes taking effect in August 2020.

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