AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District is planning to fund at least least four positions that were previously funded by Parent Teacher Associations.
This comes after Austin ISD barred PTAs from funding both full-time and part-time positions, saying the practice creates inequities in the district. AISD said PTAs at 11 elementary schools previously funded 31 positions, including library clerks, tutors and a Spanish teacher.
Many of those PTA-funded roles were at schools in wealthier parts of town with hefty PTA budgets and high parent involvement.
“We have begun work to intentionally and transparently pursue educational equity by ensuring equitable allocations of district resources, including staffing,” wrote Chief of Schools Anthony Mays, Chief of Human Capital Leslie Stephens and Equity Officer Stephanie Hawley in a May 3 letter.
In an update May 21, the district said it is “analyzing data to identify the need for teachers and staff at each campus,” keeping equity in mind. As a result, four positions have been picked up by the district that were previously PTA funded:
- Mathews (Project Lead-the-Way): for tech/innovation coach
- Davis (Innovation): for technology coach
- Baranoff (STEAM): for STEAM Makerspace lab/technology coordinator
- Summitt and Davis will receive dyslexia support
Moving forward, AISD said anyone who was in one of those PTA-funded positions will “go into the district’s priority pool for selection and may apply for other vacant positions.”
“We are a public institution. We exist to serve the public. The minute we become enablers of inequities, we cease to be a public institution and become private,” Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said, in response to groups that did not agree with the district’s decision.