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A new Austin ISD superintendent won’t be hired until next summer

An emblem reading "Austin Independent School District" hangs behind two chairs in the AISD board room.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Following the departure of Stephanie Elizalde, AISD released their plans for finding a new superintendent on Thursday.

The Austin Independent School District will hire an interim superintendent for the next school year after Stephanie Elizalde leaves June 30.

Elizalde has been named the lone finalistfor the superintendent job in Dallas ISD.

“After the interim superintendent is hired, the board and community will prepare for the deep work of identifying the next superintendent,” a statement the district released Thursday night said.

In the statement, the district offered a rough timeline of their search process. They will look for a superintendent search firm to hire in January 2023 and aim to hire the new superintendent by summer 2023.

It's unclear if the interim superintendent will be someone already working for the district or an outside hire.

Elizalde has served as superintendent for two years, after being hired in August 2020. She led the district through the first full school year after the pandemic began. She also made the controversial choice of ignoring Gov. Greg Abbott’s direction that schools couldn’t mandate masks, and she said masks were required when this school year began.

The district is also facing massive financial issues, as it is poised to pay more than $800 million in recapture back to the state. That money is local property taxes that don’t get to stay in Austin ISD schools. AISD pays the most of any district in Texas.

Elizalde and her administrative staff proposed a budget — that the board will vote on next month — that makes many cuts to the district. The next superintendent will have to continue the work of managing this recapture payment with the district’s financial needs.

Claire McInerny is a former education reporter for KUT.
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