AUSTIN (KXAN) — Teachers, school staff, parents and others are expected to turn out for a day of action, which will include “walk-ins” at three Austin schools to show support for funding community schools in Austin Independent School District. AISD Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz along with city council members, school administrators, parents and community members are invited to gather outside Burnet Middle School, Hart Elementary School and Webb Middle School Wednesday morning.
Spearheaded by Education Austin, Austin ISD and Austin Voices for Education and Youth, the groups will say a few words and then walk in to the schools where parents are encouraged to talk with officials about what they want to see and what they envision for these community schools. The National Day of Action includes over 30 cities and nearly 900 schools that will coordinate “walk-ins” to address the need for community schools that help break down barriers for many students across the country and here in Austin.
“We need to get funding, we need to have our state and our city and our district help to support and fund community school work. And that’s what we are trying to do here, draw attention to it here locally, on a state level because it’s happening in Dallas and Houston and also on a national level with 900 schools,” said Ken Zarifis, President of Education Austin.
Zarifis says Austin has seen success with this community school approach at Reagan High School, which has seniors graduating with 60 college credits, Also at Eastside Memorial High School, which had increased graduation rates, and Webb Middle School that went from being on the verge of closure, to the highest performing Title one middle school in AISD. Zarifis said this success comes from within the community and without the help outside entities insisting they know better for the communities. He says AISD has the answers to fixing some serious challenges facing our schools.
“There’s no skimming or trimming, there’s no lottery, there’s no chance at getting into the school. You get into our schools and we want everyone and unless every educational entity is willing to take on every single kid, then I doubt their interest in really addressing the success of every kid,” Zarifis said.National Day of Action Walk-Ins
WHERE: Burnet Middle School: 8401 Hathaway
Speakers: Dr. Cruz, AISD Superintendent, Allen Weeks, Austin Voices
Rally/Press Conference 7:30-7:50
Walk-In 7:50 Greg Cesar, City Councilmember
Celebration 7:55-8:05 Ann Teich, AISD Trustee
Parent meeting 8:05-8:30 David Dean, Burnet principal
WHERE: Hart Elementary School, 8301 Furness Dr
Speakers: Edmund Oropez, AISD
Rally/Press Conference 7:15-7:30 Ted Gordon, AISD trustee
Walk-In 7:30 Montserrat Garibay, Ed Austin
Celebration 7:35-7:45 Kazique Prince, City of Austin
Parent meeting 7:50-8:15 Austin Voices rep. Sonia Tosh, Hart principalWHERE: Webb Middle School, 601 E. St. Johns Ave.
Speakers: Dr. Terrence Eaton, AISD Associate Sup
When: Rally/Press Conference 7:30-7:50 Gina Hinojosa, AISD trustee
Walk-In 7:50 Kendall Pace, AISD Board President
Celebration 7:55-8:05 Raul Sanchez, Webb principal
Parent meeting 8:05-8:30