Austin Chamber statement on Austin ISD School Changes plan

Posted on 09/06/2019

The Austin Chamber Vice Chair, Education, Nikki Graham released the following statement regarding Austin Independent School District's announcement regarding proposed school closures:

"For decades, the Austin Chamber has been a strong, purposeful partner of the Austin Independent School District (AISD). In 2008 we urged AISD, because it was the largest landowner in Austin, to create its first master facility plan. The purpose of this was to align its real estate footprint with student enrollment and free-up funds to further improve student learning. In 2012, we supported the Austin school board as it adopted a framework for a master facility plan and commended the school board when they finalized in 2016. We were proud to support and help finance the campaign which resulted in a record $1 billion taxpayer investment to enact the first stage of the master facility plan.

"We continue to be supportive of Superintendent Cruz and the trustees as they begin making challenging decisions over the next several months. We believe that these decisions will end AISD’s structural deficit, improve efficiency of taxpayer investment, and ensure AISD can put more resources into quality programming to prepare all students for the future.

"AISD is in a position of strength and currently is experiencing record levels of college/career readiness and high school graduation. Austin has the greatest performance among American urban school districts but there is still work to be done. Our rapidly evolving economy requires AISD to move quickly to free up resources to ensure all students district-wide are learning and being prepared for the workforce of the future. We believe that AISD making these tough decisions will help do exactly that."