Apr 8, 2022 - News

AISD proposes cutting more than 600 jobs

Illustration of a red apple with a hundred dollar bill for a leaf. 

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Austin Independent School District may see a sizable number of jobs slashed in the near future.

Driving the news: The school district's chief financial officer is floating 632 job cuts, according to a draft budget document obtained by Axios.

  • By eliminating 375 full-time central office positions and 257 full-time roles from campuses, the district should save $51.9 million, per the document.

Yes, but: Teachers and other AISD staffers could see pay increases that total $20.8 million — if the school board approves the proposal in June.

  • Teacher base pay could jump by $1,000 next year and teacher salaries by 2%.
  • Minimum wage for bus drivers could rise to $21 per hour from $17 per hour.

Flashback: The budget scramble comes as AISD forked over more than $710 million to the state last year as part of the "Robin Hood" program.

  • Originally intended as an equity measure to send money from wealthy districts to poorer ones, we reported that money is increasingly siphoned away from schools for other state purposes.
  • Of note: AISD's tax rate has actually been in decline in recent years.
  • Still: A reduction in the tax rate does not mean a decrease in your tax bill. Taxes have been going up as property values skyrocket.

What they're saying: "Will campuses and even the community feel some of these reductions?" AISD chief financial officer Eduardo Ramos told the American-Statesman, which was first to report on the budget document. "For the most part, no, but there are some areas that yes, campuses are going to have less services."

  • The cuts on campuses were completed in the fall by consolidating classes and not filling vacancies after seeing lower-than-expected enrollment, per the Statesman.
  • AISD spokesman Jason Stanford tells Axios this is AISD's first balanced budget in more than a decade — and will put the district on stronger financial footing.
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