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What's Next in the Search for Austin ISD's New Superintendent?

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT
Interim Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz took over for departing Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, who left in April to lead Atlanta's public schools.

The Austin Independent School District is taking steps to pick its next superintendent. Interim Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz took over the job in April, when former Superintendent Meria Carstarphen left to lead the district in Atlanta.

The deadline for candidates to apply was yesterday, and the district looks to begin a vetting process that will culminate in a confirmation of the next superintendent before the legislature meets in January.

The superintendent search process is happening even as half of the seats on the school board are up for election.

Four, if not five, new trustees will be sworn in. If any of the races head to a run off, that may prevent some new members from being involved in the search.  

According to the Superintendent search timeline, the district’s consultant, Ray and Associates, will not interview candidates until mid-November.
In December, finalists will be interviewed and the district will hold an open public forum with the final candidates. The board plans to announce a finalist in mid-December and officially hire the next superintendent in early January.

The school board wants a new permanent superintendent in time for the next legislative session, which starts in mid-January.

The school district is planning to heavily lobby lawmakers this session about the district’s financial situation. Under the state’s school finance system, the district sends millions of dollars in property taxes back to the state. In 2018, the district is expected to send back roughly $300 million.

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