AISD

News Brief
7:29 am
Mon November 28, 2011

Top Morning Stories 11/28/11: AISD Public Hearing, Primary Ballot Filing Begins

AISD is holding a Public Hearing tonight from 6-8 p.m.
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

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Education
4:44 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

AISD Board Adopts Facility Master Plan Framework

The Austin ISD school board
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.”

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Education
1:07 pm
Fri November 18, 2011

Austin ISD To Hold Public Meeting On Single-Sex Schools

Pearce Middle School could become one of two single-sex schools under a plan Austin school district officials will discuss with public tomorrow at LBJ High School
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin school district is considering an $11 million plan to open two single-sex middle schools at Pearce and Garcia Middle Schools, and on Saturday morning, district officials will be available at LBJ High School to explain their proposal.

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Education
12:51 pm
Wed November 16, 2011

Study Questions Claims Of Charter School Seeking AISD Contract

Austin ISD is considering a deal with IDEA Public Schools that would create an in-district charter school, but one study questions how effective IDEA really is at educating disadvantaged kids.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is negotiating a deal with IDEA Public Schools, a charter school district based in the Rio Grande Valley, to run an in-district charter school in East Austin that targets AISD students classified as “economically disadvantaged.” But a new study suggests IDEA’s educational outcomes may not be much better than traditional public schools.

The study was conducted by Dr. Ed Fuller. He used to work as at the University of Texas’ College of Education. But earlier this year Fuller was hired by Penn State University to direct a research center.

Fuller examined student level data he obtained from the Texas Education Agency and published a study online that makes three critical claims.

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Education
4:29 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

AISD Board Discusses Tax Increase to Finance Staff Pay Raise

Austin ISD headquarters on W. 6th Street
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Teachers in Austin Independent School District have not received a raise since 2009, and some school board members are talking openly about the possibility of raising taxes to finance one. Such a tax rate increase would require approval of voters. 

At a meeting last night, AISD chief financial officer Nicole Conley-Abram explained how the district still expects a shortfall of around $20 million next school year. She presented board members with some options under consideration, including a pay raise for staff, without specifying how much that pay raise could cost.  

“Where were we going to get the money to do this?” Trustee Lori Moya asked.

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Education
11:28 am
Mon October 24, 2011

AISD Board To Get Some Specifics on Facilities Proposals

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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News Brief
4:56 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Top Morning Stories October 24, 2011

Bastrop County is hosting another open house Monday night to discuss wildfire recovery.
Photo by KUT News.

Bastrop County: On the Road Back

Bastrop County is holding its second open house to talk about wildfire recovery. Everyone affected by the Labor Day wildfires is invited to the come-and-go event. Local, state and federal officials will be on hand to answer questions about debris removal, utilities, FEMA aid and more. Bastrop County officials say more than 250 families attended the first open house. Tonight’s meeting is from 6-8 p.m. at the Smithville Recreation Center.

AISD Board Discussing Facilities Plan Tonight

The Austin Independent School District’s board has a full agenda tonight. The board will hear some possible scenarios about how facilities could be used during the 2012-2013 school year.

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News Brief
5:23 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Top Morning Stories October 21, 2011

Photo by Flickr user pantagrapher

Mexican Truck to Enter U.S. Today Under Trade Agreement

The first Mexican truck to deliver goods in the U.S. interior in the long-delayed portion of the NAFTA free-trade agreement is scheduled to cross the border at Laredo today. The Associated Press reports the truck, owned by Transportes Olympic, will be making a delivery to Garland, in the Dallas area.

This trucking agreement complies with a provision of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Some lawmakers and the Teamsters union are opposed, saying it will make U.S. highways more dangerous and cost American jobs. Here's KUT's reporting on when the deal was struck this summer. 

Autopsy Report Details Officer Involved Shooting

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News Brief
5:28 am
Thu October 20, 2011

Top Morning Stories October 20, 2011

Taylor Farms Retail Inc. has issued a voluntary recall for some bagged salads that could be contaminated with Salmonella.
Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration

Precautionary Recall for Bagged Salads

Taylor Farms Retail Inc., a California company, is voluntarily recalling over 3,000 cases of various bagged salad blends because they could be contaminated with salmonella. The salad products were distributed in several states including Texas.

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Austin
12:12 pm
Tue October 11, 2011

AISD Moves Elections to November

The Austin Independent School District's Board has voted to move elections from May to November.
Photo by KUT News

The Austin Independent School District’s board has voted unanimously to move trustee elections from May to November of even numbered years. Trustee Rob Schneider says the move will save the district money and increase the number of people voting in AISD elections, since they would coincide with state and federal elections.

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Education
10:01 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

AISD Superintendent Carstarphen's Contract Extended

Meria Carstarphen in a file photo from 2009, shortly before she was hired by the Austin ISD school board.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The superintendent who took the helm of the largest school district in Central Texas two years ago just had her contract extended for an additional year. Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen's contract now expires in June 2014. The extension did not include a pay raise or increase in benefits. 

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Education
9:21 pm
Mon September 26, 2011

Austin School Board Approves New Voting Map

The new redistricting map approved by the Austin school board Monday night. See a larger version of this image here: http://archive.austinisd.org/inside/board/docs/AustinISD_TD_Yellow_Illustrative1.pdf

The Austin ISD school board gave a redrawn school district voting map the green light tonight in an 8-1 vote, clearing the way for the proposal to be sent to the US Justice Department for approval. Texas is among the jurisdictions that require federal approval to redraw voting boundaries under provisions of the Voting Rights Act intended to prevent minority groups from having their electoral influence reduced. 

Several members of the Mueller neighborhood, a mixed-use development just east of I-35, protested the changes during a public comment portion of the board meeting. At least three speakers said they wanted to be included in East Austin's District 1, an area that includes the highest proportion of African-American voters in the entire school district and the second largest percentage of Hispanic voters.

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Education
11:12 am
Mon September 26, 2011

AISD Withholds New Facility Master Plan Recommendation Until Tonight

Austin ISD headquarters downtown on West 6th Street.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Austin Independent School District operates more than 100 schools in the city covering 12 million square feet. Some of those schools are overcrowded. Others that are way under-capacity.

A plan developed this year to deal with that was shelved, after school board members found the notion of school closures politically unpalatable.  A revised version of that facilities master plan will be unveiled tonight.

In an unusual move, the Austin Independent School District is refusing to release the proposed facility master plan to the public until immediately before it is presented to the school board.

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News Brief
7:39 am
Mon September 26, 2011

Top Morning Stories September 26, 2011

Texas A&M has officially left the Big 12. On Sunday the SEC announced A&M would join the conference beginning in fall 2012.
Photo courtesy of AggieAthletics.com

Tar Sand Pipeline Hearings

The U.S. Department of State will hold the first two of nine public hearings today to discuss the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. This afternoon there will be a hearing in Port Arthur from 4:30 - 10:00 p.m.  More information on the pipeline can be found here.

Texas A&M Officially Joins SEC

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Education
5:02 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

AISD Considers Process to Redraw School Boundaries

School trustee Lori Moya leans over to say something to school board president Mark Williams during a board meeting in June.
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is about to begin a long and likely contentious process that could end in school attendance boundaries being redrawn.

Tonight, school board members will look at the district’s plan to develop a committee that would examine attendance zones. It’s all kind of dry at this point – but that could change if the district starts tinkering with which students go to what schools.

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