Austin school district looking at major changes to address deficit spending

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Austin ISD

Redrawing boundaries and consolidating campuses are among the changes being considered by a task force in the deficit-strained Austin Independent School District (AISD), where parents are concerned about possible cuts to fine arts and specialty programs, according to a recent news report.

“What we’re trying to be is thoughtful and engaging as AISD parents and stakeholders,” Robert Thomas, an AISD parent and chairman of the task force, said in an Austin AmericanStatesman story Sunday.

Thomas said that special interests have driven too much of the discussion and decisions in the district.

The task force, made up of parents, school staff, “activists and other stakeholders,” is looking at ways to cut millions from AISD’s budget in an effort to keep the district solvent while not driving students away, according to the news story.

For the last two years, the Austin school board approved deficit spending plans, including this year’s deficit of $29 million. Now the board is facing a forecast that the district’s reserve funds will be gone within three years, according to the news story.

AISD’s enrollment is about 80,000 students according to information on its website.

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