AISD institutes hiring freeze, says COVID-19 ‘rocked our financial world’


AUSTIN (KXAN) — While presenting the fiscal year 2020-21 budget at Monday’s Austin Independent School District board meeting, the district’s chief financial officer said COVID-19 “rocked our financial world.”

Nicole Conley says it’s still too early to quantify exactly how the recession will impact schools, but she said the most obvious similarity is concerning.

“The gathering storm clouds bare an eerie resemblance to the ones we saw on the horizon before the Texas Legislature cut $5.4 billion from education funding in 2011,” she said.

AISD has instituted a hiring freeze, and they haven’t had to make budget cuts yet, but that could soon change.

The district has set aside $10 million to reopen, and while Conley said they’ve been able to save some money because buildings have been essentially empty for 12 weeks, that will change how they operate in the future.

A public budget hearing is set for June 22.

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