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AISD School Board Finalizes Massive Job Cuts

The Austin ISD School Board made the final decision last night to eliminate 1,153 district positions. Of those positions,  361 employees retired, resigned voluntarily or were assigned to different positions.  That leaves 792 AISD employees who now know for sure they will be out of a job after the school year. By eliminating these positions, AISD only gets about halfway to closing its $94 million budget deficit.

Photo by KUT.

Texas House to Debate Voter ID Legislation

The Texas House is scheduled to debate the controversial Voter ID bill today. The bill would require all voters in Texas to show photo identification before casting a ballot at the polls.

Photo by Paulo Martins / KUT

The City Council has unanimously approved what it calls an improvement to an existing ordinance that  prohibits people from sitting and lying in sidewalks and in front of buildings.

The ordinance will become effective starting on the 1st of May.

Opponents pointed out that the ordinance did not provide exemptions in instances of extreme weather. Richard Troxell, who heads House the Homeless, called it a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Austin Independent School District is discussing four more options for possible school closures. Becker, Blackshear, Dawson and Govalle elementary schools have been added to the list of schools that could be considered for closure, and Garcia elementary could be re-purposed as school for 4th-8th graders.

Photo by Chris Kosho/KUT.

Gov. Rick Perry has declared two more emergency items for the 2011 legislative session. The new emergency items include legislation that would require voters to show identification at the ballot box, and a bill calling for a new balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Fiscal discipline, balanced budgets and the integrity of the ballot box are critical to the people of Texas,”  Perry said in a press release today.  “Under this emergency declaration, Texas lawmakers will be able to address these priority issues more quickly.”

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