Austin ISD approves eased dress code for students, pay bump for employees

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District approved two big changes Monday night, one for students and one for staff and teachers.

AISD trustees unanimously approved the revamp of the district’s dress code, giving students more freedom in what they can wear. Clothing items that students were previously banned from wearing will now be allowed after parents petitioned the school district, saying the current dress code was sexist against women.

Items of clothing that will now be allowed include:

  • Hats
  • Hoodies
  • Athletic wear
  • Tank tops
  • Spaghetti strap tops
  • Halter tops

“I have heard from several people that they felt this was too lax, which I thought was very interesting,” said Kristin Ashy of District 4. “To that I just wanted to say, if you ever fought with a 15-year-old in the morning trying to get them to get dressed appropriately or in a way where they had something different than what they had in mind, you can only imagine what that is like and the power struggle that occurs and the lack of learning that occurs of a result of that.”

Another big agenda item was the pay bump for staff and teachers that was also approved Tuesday night. All AISD workers will get a 6% pay raise and senior teachers will get a 7% bump in pay starting later this summer.

“I’m still excited because 7% is something, it’s a good start but we still have to champion for more. It’s baby steps” said Teresa Razo, an AISD bilingual Pre-K teacher.

It will cost the district about $48 million to execute the pay raises, leaving the district with about a $3 million budget hole due to rising health care costs, declining enrollment and other expenses. AISD will tap into its reserves to cover the difference.

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