The Austin Independent School District held its first public meeting Tuesday night to hear from the community about proposed budget cuts, which include school closings or consolidations.
The district announced earlier this month a plan to close and consolidate schools. It’s one solution the district proposed in addressing a growing budget deficit and declining enrollment in AISD.
The first open forum for the district to engage with the public was Tuesday at Travis High School. Heather Merritt, a parent and teacher at Travis, brought up the fact that many Texas lawmakers are in favor of re-writing the school finance formula, which could potentially bring more money to school districts.
“Why are we discussing school consolidation now, when there’s a chance the school finance decisions could greatly impact Austin ISD?” she asked.
Even if the Legislature changes the school finance system, officials said, it wouldn’t solve all the financial issues the district is facing, so the district is choosing to create a plan rather than wait.
If the district moves forward with its plan, AISD officials say they would be able to provide more renovated schools with educational programs families want.
The district is hosting two more town hall meetings this week:
- Thursday at 6 p.m. at Reagan High School
- Saturday at 11 a.m. at Austin High School
AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz has asked school board members to vote on whether they support this plan at their meeting Monday.