REALTORS®, are you paying attention? For the last two months, the Austin Independent School District (AISD) has been meeting with Austin residents and families (and hopefully, REALTORS® like you) to gather public feedback on proposed changes to AISD schools (AustinISD.org/SchoolChanges). Next month, the AISD Board of Trustees will meet to decide which of the proposed options will move forward and take effect in the 2020-2021 school year.
These proposed changes are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to embrace equity across the district, including expanding access to educational and multicultural programs for all AISD students. They also tackle head-on the district’s budget shortfalls, declining enrollment, and aging infrastructure, ensuring that AISD is maximizing our local tax dollars while facing the reality of families and students moving out of the city and into surrounding districts.
The quality of area schools is consistently one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a new home, and as a REALTOR®, it’s important that you’re up-to-date on the proposed changes so that you can help clients understand how local schools measure up and point them in the right direction. I encourage you to read through our AISD School Changes Member Kit (ABoR.com/AISD) for a summary of the changes, FAQs, and next steps that you can share with your neighbors, colleagues and clients.
Here’s also a brief synopsis of the top five things you need to know about the proposed changes
- What AISD released is NOT A FINAL PLAN.
You can think of it as a menu of options. AISD Staff put together a list of choices, and now it will be up to the AISD Board of Trustees to pick and choose from the options to see what they want to advance forward. The trustees are expected to make their final decisions in November.
2. AISD is losing money and kids.
Because of Austin’s affordability crisis, many families are moving out of the city and into surrounding school districts, which means enrollment is down and budget dollars are short. AISD is currently operating on reserves. This is why the District was forced to put together their proposed changes.
3. Thousands of parents, teachers, kids and more have been involved in this process.
Starting in early 2019, AISD hosted Community Workshops, Online Thought Exchange, Community Visioning Sessions, and Think Tank Meetings. From September 23 through October 10, AISD held 19 community conversations throughout the city for residents to weigh-in on the options.
4. This is about equity.
AISD has long faced economic and racial segregation in Austin, and this process represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to work through that history and expand programming district-wide. By consolidating schools, the district can repurpose those dollars into meaningful educational, cultural, and family-focused curriculum, and opportunities.
5. You can get involved!
Share your feedback on the proposed changes with your local AISD Board Trustee. You can find contact information for the AISD Board of Trustees in the AISD Changes Member Kit at ABoR.com/AISD. Also, join the ABoR Advocacy Team for an upcoming AISD School Tour this fall! Dates and details will be announced soon.
October 31: 2019 ABoR Annual Meeting & Domain Economic Development Panel
Join me at the Archer Hotel on Thursday, October 31 at 11:30 a.m. for our 2019 ABoR Annual Meeting. This FREE event for ABoR members will include our annual State of the Association address as well as a BIG announcement you’ll want to hear in person!
But there’s more…show up at 9:30 a.m. for Up and Onward: The Economic Impact of the Domain. This limited-access, ticketed event includes a panel discussion showcasing the Domain's ever-growing impact on our local economy, demographics, and housing trends, and what they mean for Austin today and tomorrow. Breakfast and coffee will be served.
Get tickets for one or both events at ABoR.com/AnnualMeeting. I hope to see you there!