NOTE: Much of the information on this site is now out of date as we wait to hear the new proposals from the school board. Our schools remain open this year – but we don’t know what the future holds.
Academic ratings prove that small schools work in Austin.
Yet the Austin Independent School District is considering closure of successful, small public schools throughout our city in response to the current district and state budget crisis—a sad irony for a city built around a top-tier university. Closing and consolidating neighborhood schools will have immeasurable, long-term costs, and we believe there is a better way to trim the budget while putting academic excellence first. Every citizen benefits from preserving neighborhood schools and providing quality education.
Please join us in the fight to save Austin’s successful, small schools!
Top five reasons successful neighborhood schools in Austin should not be closed:
- Closing successful schools is in direct opposition to AISD’s own goals and to the City of Austin long-term planning initiatives and goals for growth. “As the city continues to work to reduce expensive suburban sprawl and facilitate sustainable growth in Austin’s urban core, the prospect of closing successful central city schools clearly runs counter to our community’s long-term planning goals.” — Mayor Lee Leffingwell
- The “negative costs” of implementing school closures is larger than the benefits. These include recent bond money spent on upgrades to schools; costs of upgrading/modifying schools that would receive an enormous influx of students; transportation, safety and parking costs; loss of property tax revenue as neighborhoods that lose their schools experience declines in property values; loss of students to private education, charter schools and other school districts; and the uncertain fate of hundreds of transfer students. We need to hold AISD accountable for ALL costs, especially when our children’s education is at stake!
- Academic performance stops being the focus. Even when immediate cost-cutting measures are a focus, we cannot ignore the fact that degrading quality of education has bigger, long-term costs. Impact on academic quality should always be a top consideration for any AISD decision, yet the proposed plans to close schools completely disregard it. Many of the schools who have been previously targeted for closure are model schools. Allowing AISD to close these schools sets a dangerous precedent that impacts every Austin resident.
- There are other ways to cut costs besides closing schools. Current economic conditions are temporary. We should be developing a long-term vision for AISD’s budget shortfall, not a short-sighted, reactionary step that would lead to overcrowded schools and more expenditures within five years. Closing schools is a permanent decision with long-term implications. AISD should be taking action to pursue other cost-cutting measures, including the viable option of selling or leasing its underutilized prime real estate in downtown Austin. The administrative headquarters on W. Sixth Street has an estimated market value of $29 million.
- Small, neighborhood schools are vital to communities and produce better education results, as proven by countless research studies AND in practice right here in our city. These are vibrant schools with strong administrators, great teachers, and excellent academics at the heart of active communities. Visit our research page for a list of sites, articles, and research about the benefits of small schools.