AISD Facility Master Plan

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is hosting a series of meetings to ask the public for input on what might be on a bond proposal this November. The plan includes modernizing some schools and tackling other projects prioritized by the school board.

Nathan Bernier / KUT

After nearly six hours, the Austin School Board passed its 25-year Facility Master Plan at around 3 a.m. today. The $4.6 billion plan passed on a 6-3 vote.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Austin School Board is continuing to discuss a plan for the future of the district’s school buildings. At first, that plan included school closures, but the latest version, offered last night by a district committee, doesn’t close any schools.

Instead, it puts those campuses on something called a “target utilization plan," a fancy way to buy these schools time to boost enrollment before the district considers closing them. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

The Liberal Arts and Science Academy magnet school, known as LASA, is the top-performing high school in Austin ISD, but it's uniquely situated. It occupies the second floor of LBJ High School, a neighborhood school in Northeast Austin, and enrolls students from all over the district. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A committee tasked with imagining the future of Austin ISD’s 130 school buildings is taking its suggestions to the Austin School Board on Monday. The board is expected to question the Facility and Bond Planning Advisory Committee, or FABPAC, about its recommendations on school construction, renovations and closures.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Austin ISD is considering a possible relocation of its best school, the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), as it determines the future of its campuses. The district has started a months-long process to decide which schools to renovate or close, as well as where to possibly build new campuses.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Last week, Austin ISD released a proposal that suggests building an elementary school on a 10-acre tract in the Mueller neighborhood. That surprised a lot of people involved in the discussion, which has been going on for the past year, and last week’s conversations show just how delicate this situation is.

Cherrywood resident Jennifer Potter-Miller has a child in first grade at Maplewood Elementary. She has another child about to enter kindergarten and she wants to send her kid to public school. But, she has no idea where her kids will go once they get to middle school.

Photo by KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is starting to think about what its schools will look like, and where they’ll be located, two decades from now. On Wednesday, it released a set of possible options for its 120 campuses this week, including when and where to potentially renovate schools, build new ones and close others. 

Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

The Texas Civil Rights Project is warning any plans to close schools in East Austin would be discriminatory and would violate students' constitutional right to available education.

Earlier this summer, AISD released a report identifying 18 East Austin as under-enrolled, operating at less than 75 percent capacity. But AISD says that it currently has no plans to close any schools.

KUT News

Editor's note: Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen is leaving to become Atlanta's school superintendent. Read more about Carstarphen's departure and what that means for AISD.

In December 2013, on the eve of what would be Carstarphen's final State of the District address, KUT looked back at her time leading AISD.

Original story (Dec. 3, 2013): Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s releases her 2013 State of the District today – a movie where the superintendent highlights the district’s achievements and challenges over the past year.

It’s Carstarphen’s fifth State of the District since she became superintendent in 2009.

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin School Board last night approved a set of principles to direct them as they begin to create a Facility Master Plan, a document that will guide the board’s decision making process as it deals with facilities across the city. The principles were approved with an emphasis on community engagement.

“We need to educate all our constituents about a topic that is quite complex. You’re dealing from safety to facility construction, to financial to communications to academics," says School Board President Vincent Torres.

KUT News

Today is the first day of school for Austin ISD, and that means nearly 90,000 students filling hallways. Meria Carstarphen, AISD’s superintendent, sees the biggest challenges in a successful year as student safety, school funding, and STAAR testing.

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. 

KUT News

  The Austin Chamber of Commerce says it fully supports the Austin Independent School District’s $892 million bond package for facilities, technology and infrastructure.

But the chamber’s ultimate approval required negotiations.

The Chamber of Commerce wants to see a Facility Master Plan to address under-enrollment and overcrowding in some schools created by June 2014. On Monday, the school board voted to change the title of whatever it’s coming up with from “Master Plan” to “Guiding Principles.” The board also voted to loosen the deadline.

The chamber immediately rescinded its support for the bond propositions. The board then brought the proposal back up for a vote and returned it to its original language. The chamber went home happy.

How do you feel about the Austin school district’s proposal to open in-district charter schools in East Austin? What about reassigning North Central Austin sixth graders to their respective middle schools? Or expanding two-way dual language programs to four more schools?

If you have answers to any of those questions, the Austin Independent School District says it wants to hear from you tonight at a public hearing on its Facilities Master Plan.

A framework for the plan was adopted by the board last Monday. The Facility Master Plan creates a process for the school board to make major decisions about the district’s 12 million square feet of classrooms, office space, athletic facilities and other property.

Photo by KUT News

AISD Public Hearing

The Austin Independent School District is holding a public hearing on its Facilities Master Plan tonight. Last week the AISD Board adopted the framework to guide how it manages its facilities, but the Board still hasn’t decided on a few key issues. There has been opposition to some parts of the plan, including a proposal to add in-district charter schools at some struggling campuses. Tonight’s hearing runs from 6 – 8 p.m. at AISD’s headquarters on West 6th Street. Speakers are limited to two minutes each, and can sign up in the Board Auditorium until 6:15 p.m.

Primary Ballot Filing Begins

Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

All but one of the nine members on the Austin school board voted in favor last night of adopting the Facility Master Plan framework – a document that will guide decision making over how to manage AISD’s more than 100 schools and 12 million square feet of space.

Trustee Vince Torres, the vice president of the school board, offered a full-throated defense of the document, which was brought to the board after a lengthy and at times combative two-year process.

“Is it going to need tweaking? Absolutely,” Torres said. “But we need to start somewhere. I encourage us to start with this particular document.”

Photo by Nathan Bernier/KUT News

AISD Charter IDEA Facing Opposition

Emotions ran high at last night’s Austin Independent School District Board meeting. Some teachers and parents passionately told the board they don’t want the district to partner with a charter school.

AISD is considering collaborating with IDEA Public Schools to run in-district charter programs at some struggling East Austin campuses. The board is scheduled to vote on the plan December 12th. KUT's Nathan Bernier was at last night's meeting; you can read or listen to his report here.

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AISD East Austin Facilities Meeting Tonight

The Austin Independent School District is holding a community meeting tonight to continue discussion on its button Facilities Master Plan. Tonight's meeting will focus on college readiness for schools in East Austin. AISD is considering in-district charter programs for some East Austin campuses.

The meeting is from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Martin Middle School. KUT News recently interviewed the CEO of IDEA Public Schools, which is in talks with district officials to run the in-district charter programs. You can listen to that interview here.

Resolution Passed to Name Post Office After Fallen Soldier

After the Austin Independent School District’s last attempt at adopting a ten year master plan for its 12 million square feet of property was derailed in the spring, the AISD school board is scheduled tonight to hear some of the most specific proposals yet from Superintendent Meria Carstarphen on how to address issues such as overcrowding.

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