Austin ISD considering closing schools, other cuts to solve budget deficit

Draft proposal calls for 12 unnamed school closings

December 12, 2018 - 9:12 am

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- Facing a budget deficit for the third year in a row, Austin ISD officials are trying to find cost savings in the neighborhood of $55 million.

A draft plan put in front of AISD trustees Monday night calls for 12 schools to be shut down over the next three years as one option, saving some $12 million in expenses. Other items called for in the draft plan include increasing student-teacher ratios, layoffs at smaller schools, and reducing special education offerings, among others.

Administrators emphasize that the document is strictly a draft and will change. No specific schools were identified for closing in the draft plan.

AISD continues to face shrinking enrollments and increasing recapture payments to the State of Texas, creating an ever-increasing budget challenge for the district. This year, AISD will send $669.6 million to the state, which is 23 percent higher than last year. Projections show the district's recapture payments will exceed the district's operating budget by the 2020-21 school year.

The board of trustees will adopt its 2019-20 budget in June.

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