‘Challenging time’ for AISD as COVID-19 highlights needs of low-income students


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Independent School District is losing its leader in the middle of a pandemic as Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz is taking a position with UT-Austin.

AISD has narrowed its search to one final candidate, Stephanie Elizalde of Dallas ISD, but how will the transition play out amid a pandemic?

“This has been a challenging time,” said Cruz, as he discussed the many changes the district had to make.

Moving from in-person classes to online wasn’t easy, he admits. Now, with a new year starting, he says students’ access to the proper resources, like WiFi and laptops is even more important for distance learning.

“It is going to be different and there are these issues around access that are even more significant now than ever,” said Cruz. “Getting that accessibility out to different parts of our city where we know or we believe more kids are going to need those supports and services.”

Cruz said he is not worried about the transition after having talks with Elizalde. ​

“This is a very large organization, and Dr. Elizalde is also coming from a very large organization so she understands the dynamics of a large urban school system,” said Cruz.

Cruz says he spoke with Elizalde this week and plans to keep in touch if the district names her the next superintendent.

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