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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
Meria Carstarphen in a file photo from 2009, shortly before she was hired by the Austin ISD school board.

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. 

The move to extend Meria Carstarphen's contract was led by school board president Mark Williams. In a relatively glowing job evaluation, Williams said that Carstarphen was the "right person to lead our district going forward."

Williams conceded that Carstarphen's handling of last year's controversy surrounding the possibility of school closures was "not sufficiently effective," but he said she has managed to build on the effort over the past few months to resuscitate the Facility Master Planning process. 

Two board of nine school board members voted against extending her contract: District 7 Trustee Rob Schneider and At-Large Trustee Annette LoVoi.

Schneider questioned Williams' rationale that Carstarphen's contract should be extended, in part, so that she could deal with the fallout from the next regular state legislative session, currently scheduled to begin January 2013 and end about six months later.

"The current contract does get us through the end of the legislative session," Schneider said. 

"Correct," Williams said. But he said Carstarphen would still have to deal with "it's impacts, because the impact would be the following year."

Dr. Carstarphen is paid $283,412 per year, according to the Texas Tribune's government employee salary database.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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