Paul Cruz, superintendent of the Austin Independent School District, announced Wednesday he is resigning to take a position at UT Austin.
“Serving as superintendent of schools for six years alongside each and every one of you, in one of the best urban school districts in the nation, has been the most exciting, inspiring and rewarding experience for me,” he wrote in a letter posted Wednesday on the AISD website.
Starting this fall, Cruz will serve as co-director of the Cooperative Superintendency Program in the College of Education, according to a UT press release.
Cruz is under contract to serve as superintendent until December 2021. His letter does not indicate when he will leave the district. AISD’s Board of Trustees could force him to honor his contract, change it so he must finish out the school year or dismiss him immediately, among other options.
The board will decide whether to bring in an interim superintendent, if it decides to let Cruz leave before a permanent replacement is hired.
"We appreciate Dr. Cruz’s 14 years of leadership service to AISD students and their families," Geronimo Rodriguez, the school board president, said. "We look forward to discussing his transition at our board meeting this coming Monday.”
Cruz has worked for the district for 14 years, according to his statement. His resignation comes as the district is working on a contentious plan to close and consolidate schools. In November, the board approved the closing of four elementary schools as part of the first phase of a plan the district says is a response to financial pressures as enrollment continues to decline.
This story has been updated.
Claire McInerny contributed to this report.