Austin ISD board to discuss school-consolidation process at workshop Feb. 11

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Austin ISD trustees will discuss a draft of the district’s consolidation process and a plan for effectively using its campuses at a workshop Feb. 11.

According to the agenda for the board workshop, the board is scheduled to discuss boundary changes, consolidations, aging facilities and program offerings throughout the district. No action will be taken at the meeting.

District leadership is considering closing and consolidation of schools due to shortfalls in the district budget. Consolidation as a means to save costs and better utilize campus space was recommended by district staff in December and the district’s budget stabilization taskforce in January.

Supporting documents for the Feb. 11 meeting state that criteria for consolidation could be based on the process outlined in the district’s 2017 Facilities Master Plan. The master plan outlined a three-tier approach to evaluate schools for consolidation, and “only schools that meet the criteria in all three tiers should be considered for consolidation and repurposing of the facility,” the document states.

According to the document, those tiers include

  • Tier 1: Identify possible campuses through enrollment and facility utilization, population, possible boundary adjustments and geographic proximity.
  • Tier 2: Evaluate campus opportunities and needs based on facility conditions, cost benefits, available space, transportation impacts, program continuity and how the facility might be repurposed.
  • Tier 3: Conduct a detailed review of other factors and community engagement.

Additional details about the tiers can be found here.

The agenda also provided a draft timeline for the consolidation process, which outlined the following dates:

  • Feb. 25: The consolidation process and plan is presented for board approval.
  • April 22: “Guiding principals” for the process are presented for approval after being discussed at a board workshop April 8.
  • May 6: Preliminary consolidation scenarios and campuses are presented at a board workshop.
  • June 17: The board takes action related to impacted schools.
  • August: The 2019 Facilities Master Plan is presented for approval at the regular board meeting.
  • August 2020: Schools impacted by the plan open for the 2020-21 school year.

The board workshop will take place Feb. 11 at 6:10 p.m. in the Carruth Administration Center Board Conference Room, located at 1111 W. Sixth St., Austin. The board will meet in executive session prior to the workshop from 5:25-6 p.m.

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Nicholas Cicale
Nick was born in Long Island, New York and grew up in South Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in writing and a minor in music. Nick was a journalist for three years at the St. James Plaindealer in Minnesota before moving to Austin to join Community Impact Newspaper in 2016.
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