Ask the Editor: Why is AISD proposing to close schools?

Joslin Elementary School is one of 12 Austin ISD schools proposed to close.

Joslin Elementary School is one of 12 Austin ISD schools proposed to close.

In a Sept. 5 letter to the Austin ISD community, Superintendent Paul Cruz wrote the district is considering school changes because district leaders know they must “fundamentally change” the education system.

Whether you’re a parent, a community member or a student, you may be wondering why these fundamental changes are necessary. AISD’s enrollment has dropped by more than 6,000 students in the last six years, and many of its schools are too big for the number of students enrolled there.

District leaders said they proposed the plan to close 12 schools because they believe students will have better experiences in new campuses optimized for modern learning.

However, in many places, schools are the centerpieces of community, and a closure is not as simple as turning off the lights and locking the doors. These decisions are complex, and Community Impact Newspaper has much more information (see Page 34) to help you understand the details of a process that will have a major effect on the lives of students throughout this city.


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Director of Elementary Schools Monica Gonzalez said June 1 that the district is looking into training teachers this summer to prepare for partial or full-time virtual learning. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
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Protesters and Texas Rangers stood face to face during demonstrations at the Texas Capitol on May 31. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Richard Rhodes, the president and CEO of Austin Community College, said June 1 that the district is prioritizing the hiring of a new chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer. (Courtesy Austin Community College)
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Demonstrators gathered at the Texas Capitol on May 31 to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Wanderlust Wine Co. is now open in downtown Austin. (Courtesy Wanderlust Wine Co.)
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Protesters march toward the Texas Capitol. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
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