AISD school closures? It’s been proposed and shot down before


AUSTIN (KXAN) — School board members with the Austin Independent School District are faced with some tough decisions over the next few months and years. The administration handed trustees a draft of an austerity plan Monday night that proposes shutting down 12 schools over three years as a way to financially survive and continue providing a quality education to students.

Talk of closing schools is nothing new for Austin ISD. Under the previous superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen, there was community outrage in 2011 when the district released a draft list of nine underused campuses that could be closed to cut costs.

The list of proposed closures came from an outside consulting firm: 

  • Barton Hills ES
  • Brooke ES
  • Joslin ES
  • Oak Springs ES
  • Ortega ES
  • Pease ES
  • Sanchez ES
  •  Zilker ES
  • Pearce MS

There was major backlash from entire neighborhoods who were fearful of losing their schools. More than 1,000 people were showing up at some of the community meetings to fight it. 

In the end, the district didn’t close any campuses and instead cut more than 1,000 positions.

At the time, Dr. Carstarphen said, “If we’re not going to get efficiencies out of infrastructure, then your only other option is people. People and programs to students.”

In 2017, KXAN extensively covered another round of potential school closures. Facilities and bond planning committee put out the following list of 10 potential school closures:

  • Sanchez ES
  • Joslin ES
  • Brooke ES
  • Lucy Read Pre-K
  • Norman ES
  • Ridgetop ES
  • Dobie Pre-K
  • Webb Primary
  • Alternative Learning Center
  • Dawson ES

The school board has not moved forward with any decisions, but there has been discussion of potentially consolidating campuses.

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