AUSTIN (KXAN) - The Austin school board could put the brakes on expansion plans for the first in-district charter school that opened this year in East Austin.
Trustees have until December 31 to decide if they want to change anything in the contract with IDEA Public Schools heading into next school year.
The IDEA Allan campus currently serves kindergarten through second graders along with sixth graders. The plan calls for IDEA to move onto the Eastside Memorial High School campus next year to serve seventh graders who are currently sixth graders at IDEA Allan.
New school board members, who were not part of the decision to partner with IDEA, want to take a good look at whether the program is working. Jayme Mathias is leading the charge.
"Do we want to continue building out this model and/or is this an appropriate time to begin asking questions?" said Mathias.
He wants to keep the campus confined to one building for now. Mathias also has concerns over numbers shared by a fellow board member regarding IDEA Public Schools' track record of preparing kids for college.
"As Trustee [Robert] Schneider pointed out during our Dec 3 work session, 46-percent of IDEA students were receiving less than a 2.0 [grade point average] during their first semester at college," said Mathias.
Tuesday night, the mother of a second grader at IDEA Allan took to the airwaves of Austin's public access channel to explain why the campus is exceeding her expectations.
"I'm a fan. I'm a super fan," said Brandee Davis. "It's more than what I thought it was going to be."
Her daughter, Bralynn, was previously enrolled in a private school. She says the 7-year-old is finally being challenged.
Davis, who also serves as IDEA Allan's PTA president, would like to see the school board give the program some time.
"You have to give them a year," said Davis. "Let those kids take the STAAR test and compare those numbers from last year to see if they're doing what they said they're going to do."
The freezing and near-freezing rain that swooped into Central Texas overnight prompted numerous school closings and delays and made for a harrowing morning commute on Friday.
A man is charged with murder in the shooting death Wednesday of a woman at a North Austin auto repair shop, police said Friday.
A man is expected to survive after being stabbed in the head at the Salvation Army shelter in Downtown Austin at about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
It's the first criminal charge following a yearlong criminal investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
With freezing temperatures pushing through the region, heating systems will likely be working overtime, which can bring rising energy bills.
Investigators are looking into an overnight fire that left one woman with third-degree burns.