The Austin ISD board of trustees agreed unanimously to approve paying teachers and staff during the districtwide closure due to Winter Storm Mara at its regular voting session Feb. 23.

According to AISD policy, the district allows each employee assigned to a regular, budgeted position with benefits to continue to be paid for their regular duty schedule regardless of whether the employee is required to report to work unless otherwise provided by board action. Those who qualify include classified, exempt and non-exempt employees who were unable to work due to inclement weather from Jan. 31-Feb. 3, who will not work to make up those service days.

Jacob Reach, AISD chief officer of governmental relations and board services, submitted the resolution to the board.

The district was closed from Jan. 31-Feb. 3 due to Winter Storm Mara, which brought with it rain and below-freezing temperatures. This created dangerous travel conditions and caused schools to lose power throughout the district. Other factors the district considered to decide to remain closed included the availability of food for school breakfasts and lunches, power lines blocking some school entrances, and internet availability at schools.

Most schools in the district reopened Feb. 6, and all were reopened by Feb. 7.