AISD Board Adopts Major Changes For 2012-13 School Year
So much community and media attention was focused last night on Austin ISD’s controversial proposal to outsource an East Austin college prep program to a South Texas charter school operator that we didn’t have time to tell you about other sweeping overhauls the school board approved for next year.
Here’s a recap of what the board approved.
- Contract with charter school operator Responsive Education Solutions to run an in-district charter targeting high school dropouts. The program will operate at Lanier and Travis High Schools. First year cost: $1.4 million
- Expand dual language programs to four more schools, including three Spanish programs and one Chinese Mandarin program. The Spanish language programs will be two-way: English-speaking kids will be taught Spanish in the same classroom that educates Spanish-speaking kids in English. The Chinese Mandarin program will be one-way, teaching English-speaking children in Chinese. First year cost: $192,000
- Overhaul the district’s two disciplinary schools with the goal of treating less serious cases on the student’s home campus. Part of the plan calls for adding an extra person to monitor in-school suspension rooms. AISD says it will save the district more than $328,000 in the first year.
- Designate money from the 2008 bond election to building a new elementary school in North Central Austin. First year cost: $31 million
- Address overcrowding in North Central Austin elementary schools by moving sixth graders to their respective middle schools and creating a Pre-K center at Dobie Middle School. First year cost: $5.5 million
The school board also voted to reject bids to buy two administrative buildings, Carruth on West Sixth Street and Baker in Hyde Park. AISD put those buildings on the market earlier this year when it was facing pressure to slash administrative costs while eliminating 1,100 positions.
The Baker Center was assessed at $5.2 million, and AISD received bids from Bula Lewis Farms and Hyde Park Historic Properties for $8.1 million and $7.8 million, respectively. But AISD staff advised rejecting the bids in part based on the future market value of the building and “recent facilities investments” the district made at Baker.
The Carruth Administration Center at 1111 West Sixth Street, which serves as AISD’s administrative headquarters, was appraised at $27.5 million. The district received bids from Cerco Development for $16 million. Another bid from a group called 1111 W. 6th St. JV, LLC offered a 50-year ground lease of 200,000 square feet in Highland Mall and a rent waiver worth $4.6 million.