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.
This comes on the heels of news earlier this month that nine public schools were on a list of potential closures being discussed by a task force charged with trimming district expenditures. AISD is estimating a budget shortfall of $94 million in 2011-12 school year, partially due to decreased state funding and diminished revenue generated from property taxes.
Should school closures occur, affected students will likely be reassigned to nearby schools. Criticism from the community has been fierce, but school board members insist closures are an inevitable solution.
Among new options provided at the task force meeting on Tuesday, the four elementary schools added to the list will either be closed or receive additional students from adjacent schools. Among the proposed changes, Govalle Elementary is slated to receive students from a closing Allan Elementary. Or if Govalle closes, its students would be reassigned to Ortega, Oak Springs, and Allan Elementary.
If Garcia Middle School is re-purposed as a 4th-8th grade school, part of its elementary school student population would be reassigned to Pearce Elementary. Additionally, the new Garcia school would receive 4th and 5th graders from Overton and Jordan Elementary.