Education was on the Opportunity Austin Economic Development Council Meeting Agenda for October. Dr. Anthony Mays from Austin ISD joined the meeting to discuss the district's future, the upcoming bond election, and some of the most pressing issues facing Austin ISD.
Dr. Mays shared his three priorities, safety and stability, culture and climate, and improved student outcomes for all while stabilizing the finances of the district and approving a balanced budget.
A critical component to improving student outcomes is preparing them for in-demand careers that are available now and in the future in Central Texas. This is where Austin ISD's Career and Technical Education Department comes in. Students have the opportunity to obtain Industry based certifications in a variety of fields. This happens while they engage in coursework from 9-12th grade coupled with work-based learning opportunities that allow them to get hands-on experience. As Opportunity Austin Chair Gary Farmer mentioned during the meeting, talent has been a key ingredient in the economic development success of Austin.
There is a sustained need for talent in Central Texas. Despite the rapid population growth, there is still a need for people to fill roles in a variety of industries. We rely on Austin ISD, Austin Community College, other Central Texas school districts, and our partners to ensure the business community has the workforce it needs to grow its business.
This is why programs like the Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) program are so important. This is an open-enrollment program that provides students with work-based education. P-TECH offers college coursework for students to earn an Associate degree and/or industry certifications.
Dr. Mays shared details of what the bond, on the ballot in November, will go towards. He noted that 25 campuses in Austin ISD will see significant upgrades if the bonds are passed. To find out more about the Austin ISD bonds, you can visit their website.