AUSTIN (KXAN) – The Austin Independent School District plans to finance at least four posts that were previously funded by parent-teacher associations.

It comes after Austin ISD banned APTs from funding full-time and part-time positions, saying the practice created inequalities in the district. AISD said PTAs at 11 elementary schools had previously funded 31 positions, including library clerks, tutors and a Spanish teacher.

Many of these PTA-funded roles were in schools located in wealthier areas of the city, with large PTA budgets and strong parent involvement.

“We have started to work to intentionally and transparently pursue equity in education by ensuring an equitable distribution of district resources, including staffing,” wrote Head of Schools Anthony Mays, Head of School from Human Capital Leslie Stephens and Equity Officer Stephanie Hawley in a May 3 letter.

In a May 21 update, the district said it was “analyzing the data to identify the need for teachers and staff on each campus,” with fairness in mind. As a result, four positions were chosen by the district that were previously funded by the PTA:

  • Mathews (Project Lead-the-Way): for technology / innovation coach
  • Davis (Innovation): for technology coach
  • Baranoff (STEAM): for the STEAM Makerspace laboratory / technology coordinator
  • Summitt and Davis to receive support for dyslexia

Going forward, AISD said anyone in one of these PTA-funded positions “will go into the district priority pool for selection and may apply for other vacancies.”

“We are a public institution. We exist to serve the public. As soon as we become catalysts of inequity, we cease to be a public institution and become private, ”said Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde, responding to groups who disagreed with the district’s decision.

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