Drastic changes could be coming to Austin ISD School Board

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It is a challenging time for the Austin Independent School District. The district’s chief financial officer has said their financial future looks bleak.

Demographers also predict a decline in student enrollment, and they are in the middle of hiring a new superintendent.

That is all on top of a school board election that could drastically change the makeup of the district’s decision makers.

Five of the nine trustees’ terms are up. So far, school board president Vincent Torres, Lori Moya and Cheryl Bradley have all announced they will not run again. Tamala Barksdale has not made a decision yet.

Robert Schneider is the only one who says he wants to stay and go for a fourth term.

“It really came down to I’ve got some experience in things that are really gonna be challenging to the district particularly legislatively and financially,” said Schneider.

Come Election Day there is the potential for seven board members to have two years or less of experience.

“It is exciting to have new views, new faces, new personalities to deal with. It’s also a challenge though,” said Schneider. “You’re going to have to establish board leadership and an agenda for the board to work on.”

Part of the challenge can be getting people to run. That’s where Austin Kids First can help.

“We’ll sit down, we’ll meet with them, we’ll help them out if they need it,” said Stephen de Man.

The non-partisan group made up of parents and teachers is looking for high quality candidates, and then they will help them do the leg work.

“We can campaign for them, block walk for them, knock on doors,” said de Man.

Part of their mission is also getting people to the polls.

Visit the website for more information on Austin Kids First.

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