AISD

Education
9:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

AISD's Free Summer Meal Program Underway

28 AISD schools are offering free breakfast and lunch throughout the summer.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/USDAgov

The Austin Independent School District will be feeding free breakfast and lunch to children starting today. The summer food service program is in place at more than two dozen campuses.

Students don’t have to apply for the program. The free meals are open to any child ages one through 18 regardless of family income.

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AM Update
8:10 am
Mon May 21, 2012

AM Update: Fort Hood Bombing Trial, AISD Tax Talk, Longhorn Tourney Time

Jurors are being selected in the trial of Naser Abdo this week.
Photo by Matt Largey for KUT News

Jury selection begins for Fort Hood bomber suspect

Jury selection is set to begin this morning in the trial of a soldier accused of planning to blow up a Killeen restaurant filled with Fort Hood soldiers.

Private First Class Naser Abdo could face up to life in prison if convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and other charges.

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Education
2:35 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

More Interested Students than Spots at IDEA Allan

Allan Elementary will be home to an in-district charter school next year.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Student registration for IDEA Allan – the new in-district charter school for the Austin Independent School District – ended at midnight. It will be housed in the current Allan Elementary School campus on Gonzales Street and serve kindergartners as well as students in first, second and sixth grade next school year.

Matthew Randazzo is IDEA’s Chief Growth Officer. He says registration has been strong. In fact, there are more interested students than spaces. A lottery will have to be held for each grade level to determine which students will be able to attend.

Randazzo says the most popular grades for registration were kindergarten and sixth.

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Education
12:16 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

AISD Board Members Face Deadline on Tax Hike Decision

Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

If the Austin school board wants to adopt its budget in June, it has only until May 25 to decide whether to ask for permission to raise property taxes on the November ballot. That’s the timeline the nine trustees will consider at a board work session tonight.

A proposal would cost the owner of an average Austin home an extra $100 a year.

Austin ISD has been trying to get in the habit of adopting its budgets in June, rather than leaving the work until August, just days before the new school year starts. The change would create “considerable benefits”, according to an AISD budget FAQ, because of a one-time accounting change that “effectively generates a two-month expenditure credit for payroll and other liabilities.”

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AM Update
8:12 am
Tue April 24, 2012

AM Update: Migration from Mexico, AISD Negotiations, McLeroy Visits 'Colbert Report'

Study finds hundreds of thousands of Mexican immigrants are leaving the U.S.
Flickr user Noah Jacquemin, bit.ly/127bpAP

Migration from Mexico to U.S. at Net Zero — Or less

Are more Mexican immigrants leaving the United States than entering? Maybe. A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center found net migration from Mexico to the U.S. has stopped—and perhaps reversed.

In an analysis of censuses and other data from both countries, researchers determined 1.4 million Mexicans immigrated to the U.S. from 2005 to 2010. Over that same five-year period, 1.4 million Mexican immigrants and their U.S.-born children moved from America to Mexico.

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AM Update
8:56 am
Mon April 23, 2012

AM Update: AISD Budget, Medical School Funding, and Ron Paul's Austin Appearance

The AISD Board is holding a hearing on the budget and its arrangement with teacher unions.
Photo by KUT News

AISD Budget Meeting Tonight

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees will meet tonight to discuss the 2013 budget, and policy on consulting with employee unions.

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AM Update
8:46 am
Mon April 16, 2012

AM Update: Perry's Spending Pledge, AISD Budget Plan, LCRA's Evaporating Water

Gov. Perry is offering a conservative "pledge" to lawmakers.
Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Governor Rick Perry to Unveil Budget Pledge

From the Texas Tribune, Governor Rick Perry is focusing on the state’s financial future. He’ll be in Houston this afternoon to talk about a budget plan.

Perry will unveil a pledge he’ll ask politicians to sign. It promises to cut spending, keep taxes the same and set strict limits on how much government can expand. It’s his first major move as governor since dropping out of the presidential race.

Perry says this pledge will “lead to a stronger Texas.” But some state Democrats aren’t so sure.

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Education
4:48 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Sound Off on the AISD Budget Tonight

Reagan High School hosts a forum on the AISD budget tonight.
Photo by KUT News

The Austin school district has a budget of almost a billion dollars to spend next year, and it wants your input on how to do it.

AISD is hosting two public meetings on its preliminary budget and facilities master plan this month. The first meeting is tonight, at Reagan High School, 7104 Berkman Drive, 6-8:30 p.m.

As KUT News previously reported, the 2012-13 preliminary budget would increase spending slightly while assuming the district will lose $8.7 million in federal money and $53.6 million in state funding.

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Education
1:06 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

June or November? Political Calculus of AISD Tax Vote

Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin school district wants to ask voters for more money. But it’s still trying to determine when to do that. Holding a tax rate vote during the November general election potentially could be less expensive, but one seasoned political consultant suggests it would be “cheap and stupid.”

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Austin
8:52 am
Tue February 28, 2012

AM Update: Another Redistricting Deadline, STAAR Rule Deferred, Weekend Rail on the Way?

An agreement on Texas redistricting maps must be reached this weekend to preserve a May 29 primary.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/joegratz

Redistricting Maps Must be Drawn By Saturday for May Primaries

According to the Texas Tribune, if redistricting maps are not drawn by Saturday, March 3 then primaries will move to June.

The Tribune reports that the primaries cannot be held on May 29 if the deadline is not met this weekend. Instead, the date will yet again be pushed back, this time to June 26.

“The lawyers working on House maps have been pushing back and forth, primarily on three districts, and haven't produced an accord. And congressional maps, several lawyers have said, will have to be drawn by the three federal judges in San Antonio, because the parties can't seem to find common ground."

If the primaries are held in late May or June, the primary runoffs will be delayed to July 31 or August 28 reports the Tribune.

KUT News' Andy Uhler sheds some light on the court's long battle over the redistricting maps.

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Education
4:36 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

AISD Extends Opt-Out Deadline For IDEA Charter Program

Allan Elementary school will be the first campus to host the IDEA charter school program starting in the 2012-13 school year.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Parents with children at Allan Elementary school now have an extra two weeks to decide if they want their kids to enroll in a controversial charter school program launching next year. The Austin Independent School District announced this afternoon that it has set a new deadline for March 9. The original deadline was last Friday, February 24. 

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Austin
8:21 am
Mon February 27, 2012

AM Update: AISD Budget Talks, Health Reform Hits Texas House, Advances in Nerve Repair

The Austin ISD school board meets tonight to discuss a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
KUT News

Austin ISD's Preliminary Budget for 2012-2013

At tonight's Austin ISD School Board meeting, administrators will present a 2012-13 preliminary budget that increases spending slightly while assuming the district will lose $8.7 million in federal money and $53.6 million in state funding. The Austin-American Statesman reports:

The preliminary $724 million spending plan increases expenses 2.9 percent over the current budget and holds the property tax rate steady at $1.242 per $100 of valuation. It includes $14.2 million for an across-the-board 3 percent pay raise and $1.1 million to jump start an early childhood center at Linder Elementary School in Southeast Austin, among other goals. To hit those targets, budget officials say the district plans to dip into reserves for $32.5 million.

Austin ISD will present a revised budget on April 16th and a public hearing is scheduled for April 23rd. The board will vote on the budget on June 18th.

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Education
4:51 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Austin School Board Examines Contract With Union Tonight

The AISD School Board of Trustees will discuss possible changes to its consultation contract tonight.
Photo by KUT News

The Austin ISD school board will discuss alternatives to their current, longstanding consultation agreement with Education Austin tonight.

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austin
9:02 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Top Morning Stories 2/13/12: Districts React to STAAR, Texas on Top in Exporting

At their headquarters on West Sixth tonight, AISD will consider the role the STAASR test should play in determining students' grades.
KUT News

STAAR-Crossed Educators Take Second Look at Test

Districts from across Texas are finding ways to curtail a component of the STAAR exam that makes the test  count towards students' grade-point averages and class rank, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The move comes in the wake of a growing unease with the role of standardized testing.

While the exam is required by law to compose 15 percent of a student's grade in each course, no specific guideline for doing so exists. With that leeway, individual districts are taking the reins into their own hands. Georgetown and Pflugerville, for example, have set minimum scores on end-of-course exams at 60 and 69, respectively.

In Austin, AISD has polled parents on several potential courses of action. Currently, all of the proposed options would affect class rank.  But now with the actions of surrounding districts, AISD is poised to change how they'll incorporate the scores.

The Austin school board will meet today to discuss end-of-course exams. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m., Carruth Administration Center Board Auditorium, Room B100, 1111 W. Sixth St.

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Austin
10:46 am
Fri February 10, 2012

KUT News Roundup: Rolling Blackouts for Texas, Drought Examples to Follow, a Mortgage Cash Payout

A big week for news around the city and the state. If you've missed anything, we've compiled this online report.
Photo by KUT News

It's Friday, so here’s an end-of-the-week look at what we’ve been following: News from KUT.org, our reporting partner StateImpact Texas, and our friends at the Texas Tribune:

AISD Teachers Weigh Options with In-District Charter (KUT News):

"A charter school operator from South Texas is moving into East Austin’s Allan Elementary School next school year. It’s the first step in a multiyear strategy that Austin ISD hopes will reverse years of academic setbacks. But for some teachers, it’s a cue to leave their campus.

“I do not want to be a part of what they’re bringing to our community, and it’s still not what I think is best for kids,” Allan Elementary bilingual education teacher Constanza Serna said.

Austin ISD’s first ever in-district charter school program starts next year and will be run by IDEA Public Schools from South Texas. Alejandro Delgado – a graduate of Bowie High in Austin – will be the first vice principal of the renamed IDEA Allan campus.

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Education
1:28 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

AISD Board to Vote on Performing Arts Center Design

The Austin school board will vote tonight on the schematic design for a new $40 million district-wide performing arts center to be built next to the Dell Children’s Medical Center at the corner of Mueller Boulevard and East 51st Street. The board approved buying the empty 3.5 acre lot last April for about $4 million.

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Austin
8:45 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Top Morning Stories 1/30/12: AISD Out of Financial Emergency?

Austin ISD is expected to lift a declaration of financial exigency at a board meeting tonight.
Photo by KUT News

School Board to Withdraw Financial Exigency

The Austin ISD board is expected to withdraw the district's declaration of financial exigency at a board meeting tonight. AISD declared itself to be in a state of fiscal emergency last February, which allowed the district to cut more than 1,000 positions. The district says they now have enough money in reserve to cover an anticipated deficit year. 

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Education
2:52 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

AISD Board To Vote On Spending Leftover Bond Money

Plans for spending some $16 million in "contingency funds" will be discussed by the AISD board tonight.
Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News

The Austin ISD board will vote tonight on whether to spend $16 million left over from the 2008 bond package. But at least one item on the plan dealing with an in-district charter school is likely face some opposition.

Back in 2008, Austin voters approved  $345 million in spending for the school district. Then the recession hit. Construction prices dropped. And AISD wound up saving a bunch of money.

Now, the school district wants to spend $16 million of the $19 million in left over “bond contingency funds.”  The school district’s lawyers say that’s okay as long as it fits with the original intention of the bond.

Some of the money would pay for dozens of critical renovations at schools across town, like replacing an elevator at Anderson High School, repairing the heating and cooling system, and fixing waste pipes under the kitchen at Eastside Memorial High School.

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Austin
8:52 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Top Morning Stories 1/23/12: Public Hearing on AISD Bond Money

AISD Headquarters located on 1111 W. 6 street.
Photo by KUT News

AISD Public Hearing on Bond Money

During the Austin ISD’s school board meeting tonight there will be a public hearing on how to spend the 2008 Bond Program's contingency funds. The 2008 bond initiative gave the district $343 million to spend on projects to meet new health requirements and to upgrade technology.

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Education
3:01 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Texas School Finance Lawsuits Get a Judge

2011 cuts to public education inspired protests at the Capitol - and subsequently, a round of lawsuits.
Photo courtesy www.flickr.com/jesabele

A judge has been named to hear several lawsuits brought by school districts against the State of Texas, to protest the way public education is funded.

Judge John Dietz, of the 250th Judicial District Civil Court in Travis County, will preside over the suits. The news was trumpeted by the Equity Center, a coalition of several poorer school districts. An Equity Center offshoot, the Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition sued the state last year alleging Texas’ system of school funding was unconstitutional. As the coalition wrote in a complaint, “Taxpayers in low wealth districts who are willing to tax themselves at the highest rates allowed are unable to access the same dollars for education as taxpayers in high wealth districts who tax themselves at a lower rate.”

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