AUSTIN (KXAN) - About 86,000 students went back to the classroom Monday in the Austin Independent School District. As many parents sent their kids off to school, teachers and administrators welcomed students to the start of a new year.
"This is a wonderful school to kick off the school year," said Superintendent Meria Carstrarphen. "Reagan High School is the home of early college high school, it's beginning it's third year."
She encouraged teens to make sure they're enrolled in dual-credit courses and get their high school diploma and associates degree.
The program has helped students graduate students with about 27 credit hours that apply to in-state colleges and university. She stressed the importance of this because she said it will save parents, guardians and families upward $8,000 in college tuition.
Carstarphen said this year the district is really focusing on literacy. She said the district's been strong on it and AISD has already improved in the academic areas for reinforcing literacy.
She told the high school students,"I want to encourage everyone whether you're a bus driver a librarian a teacher, math, language arts or someone in the community and every time you see a student, I want to see you reading, reading, reading," said Carstarphen.
The superintendent said t's been a tough time for school districts across the state, like Austin because of the financial woes.
"We still have a permanent reduction of about $60 million which changed slighting in the last legislative session," said the superintendent. "Only $11 million came back, so that means things are tight in Austin."
AISD is starting the school year with a $30 million shortage. It has a plan in place to manage that reduction, she says the district will just have to tighten its belt with hiring and efficiency.
"We also made a commitment to our community to our facility master planned and we will be working on that plan all school year," said Carstarphen in regards to the $400 million bodn project that passed in the Spring. "We already started the, the board will take action tomorrow (Tuesday) on the implementation of the 2013 bond program."
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The University of Texas Board of Regents adjourned Thursday without taking action on the job status of embattled UT President Bill Powers.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since reports surfaced this week that he could be stepping down.
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Parking arrangements are a bit different this year at Austin's Trail of Lights, but there are options to suit just about anybody.