2013 AISD Bond Election

10:38 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Parole Could Come for Minors Convicted of Capital Murder

A Senate committee voted a bill that requires a mandatory life sentence for 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder. The bill would also require a possibility of parole after 40 years.
Liang Shi for KUT

Texas lawmakers have approved new mandatory sentencing for minors convicted of capital murder.

It would require a life sentence with the opportunity for parole for 17-year-olds convicted of the crime, after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory life without parole for minors last year.

Read more
5:05 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Senate to Vote on Court-Drawn Legislative Districts

The Senate will debate whether to go with the districts used in 2012.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

A plan to use court-drawn political boundaries is on its way to the full Texas Senate.

Today the Senate Committee on Redistricting approved the district boundaries set by a federal court in San Antonio for the 2012 elections.

Read more
4:36 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Texas Senate Considers Transportation Fund

Transportation infrastructure is on the agenda for this special session.
Liang Shi, KUT News

One of the matters Gov. Rick Perry is having lawmakers take another look at this month is money for transportation infrastructure.

Today the Senate Finance Committee took up a constitutional amendment that would divert part of the oil and gas taxes from the Rainy Day Fund into a state highway fund.

Read more
AISD Portable Classrooms
6:54 am
Wed June 12, 2013

What is AISD's Future Plan for Portable Classrooms?

AISD Portable Classroom at Murchison Middle School.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

For at least fifty years, the Austin Independent School District has used portable classrooms as a way to relieve overcrowding. Yesterday, KUT reported more than half of the nearly 650 portables are over 25 years old – some are more than 50 years old. Many teachers and parents say portables conditions are poor.

But what – if anything – can the school district can do about it? 

Read more
2:39 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

County Commissioners Say Maintaining Roads Costs Counties

Travis County Commissioners say a bill before the legislature could alleviate county maintenance of highways like US-183

Gov. Rick Perry’s addition of transportation to the special session yesterday may mean more funding for Texas highways.

But Travis County Commissioners sent a letter today to the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House arguing the Texas Department of Transportation relies too heavily on Central Texas counties to fund improvements to the state highway system.

Read more
AISD Portable Classrooms
6:22 am
Tue June 11, 2013

60 Percent of AISD's Portable Classrooms At Least 25 Years Old

Some of the portable classrooms at Doss Elementary School.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

This past school year, more than 86,000 students in the Austin Independent School District woke up and went to class each day. For a growing number of those children, their learning is happening inside portable classrooms. 

AISD has almost 650 portable classrooms. The district bought most of them in the 1980's and 1990's. But dozens were purchased before that – some as early as 1952. Many teachers and parents say time is taking its toll on what was supposed to be a temporary solution to deal with overcrowding. 

Read more
6:00 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Prop 2 Defeat Puts Brakes on New South Austin High School

Lockers at Bowie High School. Parents and community members want a new high school constructed in the area to relieve overcrowding at that school, among others.
Nathan Bernier/KUT News

Some Austin school board members say the failure of bond Proposition 2 means the opening of a new high school in South Austin will most likely be delayed.

The proposition included $8 million for studies to design the new high school. Officials say now the district will have to wait until the next bond election.

Read more
9:31 am
Wed May 15, 2013

AISD’s Prop 4 Failure Means Less Money for Special Ed Schools

The Rosedale School for disabled children. If the entire bond package passed, it would've received $8.5 millon for renovations. Now, it will receive $400,000.

This failure of AISD bond Proposition 4 means the district's two schools for disabled children won't be getting as many renovations and repairs as the district had proposed.

Prop 4 would've put $10 million toward the district's two schools for disabled children, the Rosedale School and the Clifton Career Development Center. It also would have earmarked money for Career and Technical and Fine Art programs.

Read more
6:43 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

What Does AISD Bond Vote Mean?

Money for school buses was one measure approved by voters Saturday
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Austin voters rejected two out of four school bonds on Saturday. At $892 million, it was the largest proposed bond in AISD history.

We spoke with local education reporter Laura Heinauer to learn more. Click the player above to hear our conversation as it aired on KUT. 

7:44 pm
Sat May 11, 2013

AISD Bond Election Results

It's Election Night for AISD
KUT News

Update (10:30 pm): The Greater Austin Chamber has released its response to tonight's vote. The Chamber says it's excited about the technology upgrades being provided by the passage of bonds 1 and 3. While lamenting that Prop 2 lost by about 200 votes saying, "we should remember that only 7.2% of registered voters cast a ballot. Those who thought someone else would solve this problem were mistaken. Every vote matters."

Update (10:20 pm): With all votes counted, AISD only won 2 of the 4 bond propositions on the ballot today.


Prop 1: $140 million for Health, Environment, Equipment and Technology
Prop 3: $350 million for Academic and Building Infrastructure Renovations

Prop 2: $234 million for Safety and Security and Relief from Overcrowding
Prop 4: $169 million for Academic Initiatives, Fine Arts and Athletics

Read more
7:00 am
Sat May 11, 2013

The AISD Bond Election is Here

AISD's $892 Million dollar bond is up for a vote Saturday
KUT News

Polls are now open across Austin for AISD's $892 million dollar bond election. 

Registered voters can vote with a voter registration card, driver’s license or official photo ID, birth certificate, United States citizenship papers or passport, or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, or other official document that shows the name and address of the voter. There are many voting locations across Austin.

The bond is separated into four propositions. Each prop would use that money for different projects -everything from basic repairs to constructing new schools. 

Read more
5:05 am
Fri May 10, 2013

AISD Bond Election is Saturday

Polls are open 7 to 7 on Saturday to vote on the school bond.
Jason Brackins, Texas Tribune

Saturday is the last chance to vote in the Austin school district’s bond election. It’s the district’s largest bond proposition ever: $892 million.

Austin residents will four propositions to vote on. The propositions divide the nearly package by topics and projects.

Read more
12:37 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Early Voting on AISD Bonds? Here’s What You Need to Know

Early voting continues through May 7.

Update: Early voting ends today for the AISD bond election. 

Original post: Early voting starts today for the Austin Independent School District bond election.

Voters will make a decision on a $892 million bond for AISD. The bond is split into four parts and would go towards things such relieving overcrowded schoolsincreasing security, technology upgrades and more. You can view a sample ballot provided by the Travis County Clerk's Office listing each proposition.

Read more
AISD Bond Package
10:05 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Newspapers Split on AISD Bonds: Chronicle For, Statesman Against

A week into early voting, the Statesman came out against AISD's bond ask.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Austin American-Statesman editorial board surprised local politics watchers this weekend by voicing opposition to the Austin Independent School District’s $892 million bond package. The daily recommended taxpayers vote against all four bond propositions.

The editorial board said while it’s a strong supporter of public education, it “cannot in good conscience recommend approval of a package that is riddled with questionable cost estimates and expenditures and rushed for inclusion on the May ballot.”

Read more
11:52 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Who’s Donating Money to the AISD Bond Election Campaign?

AISD isn't allowed to campaign for or against the school bonds, but other Political Action Committees are picking up the slack
Kate McGee, KUT News

By law, the Austin Independent School District can’t advocate for or against the $892 million bond it’s proposed to voters. But that doesn’t mean outside groups haven't expressed support or opposition – specifically with their checkbooks.

In its April campaign finance report, the Vote for Our Kids political action committee reported $30,796 in donations for the bond election. Almost all of the contributors are developers and construction companies, as well as private donors affiliated with those trades.

Read more
5:07 am
Wed May 1, 2013

AISD Bonds: Prop 4 Focuses on Athletics and Fine Arts

AISD's Propsition Four would put money towards academics and athletics.
KUT News

Just over one percent of registered Travis County voters have cast a ballot in the May election so far. Early voting began Monday. The big item on the ballot is the Austin Independent School District’s bond.

Most of Austin ISD's $892 million in bond proposals would put money towards repairs and construction in schools district-wide. But Proposition 4 would allocate $168 million dollars towards academics and athletics, along with facility upgrades to implement those programs.

Read more
6:30 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Should AISD Hold the Bond Package Election in May?

Early voting started Monday for AISD's $892 million bond package.

Early voting is underway for the $892 million bond proposal from the Austin Independent School District. The district decided to hold the election in May – as it usually does. But now, the Austin City Council decided to move its general elections from May to November. 

With turnout expected to be extremely low, will AISD continue to keep its elections in May?

Read more
12:40 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

AISD Bonds: Money Aims to Relieve Overcrowding

Early voting begins Monday for the $892 million bond proposal from AISD.
KUT News

Early voting for the Austin Independent School District $892 million bond begins Monday. The bond is split into four propositions, based on a variety of projects from systemic repairs to improvements to relieve overcrowding. 

AISD says enrollment has grown by about 1,000 students per year, two to three times faster than the state average. The district is hoping to relieve some of the overcrowding that's come with that growth. Prop 2 would borrow $234 million to do that. Some of it goes toward school security, but most of the money is earmarked for expanding existing schools and building new ones. 

Read more
6:35 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

AISD Bond Language Comes Under Fire From Taxpayer Group

AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarpehn. The district's bond proposition ballot language is drawing criticism from the Travis County Taxpayers Union.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

An effort to derail the Austin school district’s bond election was unsuccessful Friday.

A Travis County Court judge refused a request for a temporary restraining order to stop the vote. The order was sought by the Travis County Taxpayer Union. The group contends the official ballot language doesn’t say anything about how much each proposition would cost voters. 

Read more
12:22 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

AISD Bonds: Prop 2 Earmarks Money for School Security

Prop 2 puts $23 million towards security, including more cameras and alarm systems.
Flickr user TylerMcQuarrie, bit.ly/15K08Z2

Since the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, school districts across the country are focusing on security. The Austin Independent School District is asking its voters whether it can use some of its $892 million proposed bond package to improve school security.

At $233 million, Proposition Two is the largest of the propositions in the bond package. $23 million of those funds would go toward a variety of security improvements district wide. The largest would be to replace the district’s 20 year-old radio system.

Read more