Austin ISD board brings up “serious problems” at LASA during magnet school discussion

Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School in Austin. (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)
Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School in Austin. (KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — During a discussion about the possibilities for a new magnet program in south Austin, members of the Austin ISD school board brought up “serious problems” they cannot ignore with the Liberal Arts and Science Academy.

Trustee Dr. Edmund Gordon said the board needs to address the massive lack of seats at LASA which turns away hundreds of students each year, and figure out how to ease tension between LASA and LBJ Early College High School.

The two schools operate under one roof in east Austin. Dr. Gordon said the economic divide is not good, and the fact that LASA students meet on the top floor and LBJ students meet on the bottom floor only adds to the disparity issue.

Over the last couple of years, board members have expressed interest in opening a south Austin LASA.

Monday night, trustees said duplicating it in another part of town may not be a good idea. Some suggested moving the existing campus since the majority of LASA applicants live in central and south Austin.

Meanwhile, a special South Magnet Planning Committee developed proposals for five various magnet programs in south Austin:

  • Civics & Legal Magnet
  • Comprehensive Advanced Academics
  • Computer Science
  • Enterprise & Leadership
  • Health Sciences

The district and planning committee will present and solicit feedback for the proposals during community information sessions on Saturday, Apr. 16 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Covington Middle School and on Thursday, Apr. 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mendez Middle School.

Monday night, board members also looked over data for the Imagine Northeast Austin Project. It includes coming up with a plan for a possible school on a 10-acre site in the Mueller development. AISD has been gathering community feedback on the issue, but the board wants to see more input from Northeast Austin families, and study the potential impact to existing campuses in the area. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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