Austin ISD: House Bill 3 not enough to “fully cure” school funding challenges

Education

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin ISD has addressed its controversial plan to close a number of schools ahead of a press conference on Monday.

In a statement, the school district acknowledged that it was one of the biggest benefactors of House Bill 3.

However, it was not enough to “fully cure” funding challenges, according to the ISD.

An initial plan to close as many as 12 schools in Austin has shrunk, with just four schools slated for closure in the most recent update, released Nov. 1.

“The district will need to rely on its reserves to balance its budget and buy time to implement budget cuts if revenue tightens at the state level,” Austin ISD said in the lengthy statement.

According to the statement, AISD says it expects to have a deficit of $24 million to $48 million next year, and that the increase in student enrollment will only generate $6 million in additional revenue.

At 11.30 a.m. on Monday, a coalition of City, County and State elected officials will hold the press conference at City Hall, calling on Austin ISD to postpone the school closure vote on Monday evening.

The group argues that the schools targeted for closure disproportionately affect students who are economically disadvantaged, and significantly reduces the percentage of racially diverse schools.

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