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Top Morning Stories 12/12/11: AISD to Vote on IDEA Charter Programs, New Performing Arts Center

Photo by KUT News.

AISD Board to Vote on In-District Charter, Dual Language Programs

The Austin Independent School District’s Board has a long agenda and is scheduled to take several important votes tonight. The board is voting on whether to partner with a charter school to run programs at some East Austin campuses. Some teachers and parents are opposed to the proposed contract with IDEA Public Schools.

The board is also voting on adding more dual language programs, in which students are taught in two different languages at the same time. The goal is for students in those programs to become bilingual.

Here are more of the district's so-called Annual Academic and Facilities Recommendations being voted on tonight:

Address overcrowding in north-central elementary schools in the 2012-13 school year by: eliminating the sixth grade at Barrington, Brown and Walnut Creek elementary schools; creating a Pre-K center at Dobie Middle School and moving pre-K programs at Graham and Hart to Dobie; making Webb a pre-K-8 school, and reassigning part of the Barrington attendance zone to Webb; and moving remaining Barrington Pre-K to Reilly. Establish an in-district charter agreement with Responsive Education Solutions to operate a graduation pathway program at Lanier and Travis high schools for students who have dropped out or are at risk of dropping out.

Also on the agenda: whether to keep or sell the district’s headquarters on West Sixth Street and the Baker Administrative Center in Hyde Park. Staff is recommending the board reject all submitted bids.

Board to Review Design for AISD Performing Arts Center

The AISD Board is also voting on the schematic design for the AISD Performing Arts Center. It will be located at the intersection of Mueller Boulevard and East 51st Street. The Center was approved in a 2008 bond. It will be used for district-wide music and theater events. The design includes a 1,200 seat auditorium, a 225-seat Black Box theater, Fine Arts Department offices, and a parking garage.

Tonight's meeting gets started at seven at district headquarters.

Man Dead After Travis County Standoff

YNN is reporting authorities are investigating an officer-involved shooting Sunday. A sheriff's deputy killed a man during a standoff in southeast Travis County. According to YNN:

According the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the 11000 block of Farm to Market 812, just west of Highway 130, around noon for a suicidal man barricaded in a home. Roger Wade with the Sheriff’s office said the man’s family had become concerned for his well-being after receiving messages from him earlier in the day. During the standoff, the man left the home several times, each time armed, to talk with SWAT negotiators. Around 3:00 p.m., the subject left the home, but this time reportedly pointed a weapon at a SWAT deputy, prompting the peace officer to shoot, killing the suspect.