Paul Cruz to Lead Austin Schools As Interim Superintendent
Update: KUT has learned from multiple sources that AISD Chief School Paul Cruz is expected to be named interim superintendent at Tuesday's school board meeting.
This comes one day after Superintendent Meria Carstarphen was unanimously approved to lead Atlanta Public Schools district Monday.
Cruz receives high marks from Drew Scheberle, the vice president of education for the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.
"He's a very good man," Scheberle said. "Very approachable. Very friendly. Strong sense of family. He's been in Austin for a long time. He understands the community."
The selection of Cruz is also supported by the largest teachers association in Austin ISD. Education Austin president Ken Zarifis says Cruz has proven himself to be a skilled administrator.
"But he also understands people," Zarifis said. "He's got a lot to offer in the interim position, so we're really excited about that."
Original Story(3:15 p.m.): The Atlanta Public Schools Board has unanimously approved Austin Superintendent Meria Carstarphen to lead the public school system in Georgia's capital city.
Atlanta Public Schools announced Carstarphen, who has run the Austin school district since 2009, as the lone finalist last month. She was chosen out of four superintendent candidates by the Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Search Committee.
Carstarphen is praised for raising graduation rates in Austin and expanding dual language programs. However, she faced criticism from parents and community leaders when she proposed some school closures as part of a Facility Master Plan and caused friction when she implemented an in-district charter with IDEA Pubic Schools without community support.
Last year, she faced additional criticism when voters failed to approve two of AISD's four bond proposals.
In a statement released Monday, Carstarphen says the school district is on a solid path:
The Austin School Board is holding a special meeting Tuesday night to name an interim superintendent.