Austin ISD equity group lays out priorities, seeks new members

Members of the Austin ISD Equity Advisory Committee met Dec. 7 and talked about their desire to hear more from students directly. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Members of the Austin ISD Equity Advisory Committee met Dec. 7 and talked about their desire to hear more from students directly. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)

Members of the Austin ISD Equity Advisory Committee met Dec. 7 and talked about their desire to hear more from students directly. (Maggie Quinlan/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Austin ISD Equity Advisory Committee laid out its priorities for 2022 during its Dec. 7 meeting and called on community members, including students, to join the group.

Next year, the committee of community members will be focusing on hiring and retaining Black and other minority staff, increasing access to dual-language programs, and changing offensive school names and mascots, among other priorities.

"Students really need to be part of this conversation," committee member Lisa Flores said.

Some committee members said Dec. 7 that the group has not had enough focus on policy changes in the past.

The committee will be breaking into four subcommittees that will generate recommendations to send to Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde, according to a presentation from the Dec. 7 meeting.


The smaller groups will look at student well-being, staff well-being, financial stewardship and a culture of respect. Each priority will get its own subcommittee, which will send recommendations to the entire committee, which will then distill recommendations down for the superintendent, according to the presentation.

Committee member Nadia Khan pointed out each subcommittee should have a policy focus.

The committee is accepting applications for new members. Students, parents and other community members can apply to join on the district’s website.
By Maggie Quinlan

Reporter, Southwest Austin/Dripping Springs

Maggie joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July 2021 after a year spent covering crime, courts and politics at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, near the border with Idaho. In Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs, Maggie covers education, business, healthcare, transportation, real estate development and nonprofits. Prior to CI, she graduated from Washington State University, where she was managing editor of the student newspaper and a section editor at her hometown newspaper based in Moscow, Idaho. Maggie dreamed of living in the Austin area for years and feels honored to serve the communities of Southwest Austin and Dripping Springs.