Austin ISD Holds Meeting to Discuss Implementation of TEA’s Lone Star Governance
AUSTIN, Texas – The Austin Independent School District (AISD) conducted a meeting on Thursday night to deliberate on the timeline for the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) Lone Star Governance implementation within the district. The session aimed to provide information and recommendations on how the district can effectively utilize 50 percent of its time.
During the information session, Ashley Paz, a consultant from the Council of the Great City Schools, offered suggestions on how AISD can create favorable conditions to optimize the use of their time allocation. Paz emphasized that this pertains to any meetings authorized by the board or those where the board controls the agenda, excluding hearings or legally mandated sessions.
To comply with the TEA order, AISD must reach the 50 percent time use threshold by January. Paz shared that most school boards usually require over a year to consistently allocate 50 percent of their time to authorized meetings. Therefore, AISD faces the challenge of aligning their priorities and reaching this threshold within a shorter time frame.
Presently, AISD has identified 19 priorities to address in order to achieve compliance. One recommendation Paz made was to revise the student evaluation process to align with the Lone Star Governance standards and update the monitoring calendar accordingly. Paz emphasized that goals should focus on student outcomes, while constraints should outline specific operational actions or classes of actions that the superintendent should avoid.
Another recommendation put forward by Paz was to temporarily halt all existing committee work. However, this proposal raised concerns for trustee Candace Hunter, who argued that certain ongoing work, particularly the legislative committee’s activities during the special session, should continue uninterrupted. Hunter emphasized the importance of fulfilling promises made to the community.
In response, Paz reassured Hunter that the legislative committee can still advocate at the Capitol, emphasizing the significance of their ongoing efforts. Paz, drawing from her experience as a former school board member, encouraged the committee to persist in their work, regardless of their membership.
AISD has set a goal to clear its backlog of evaluations by the 2025-26 school year. As of May 20, approximately 3,500 evaluations were still pending, indicating the need for proactive measures to expedite this process.
In conclusion, AISD’s meeting provided crucial insights into the implementation of TEA’s Lone Star Governance framework. Recommendations were made to optimize time allocation, align student evaluations with standards, and address the backlog of evaluations. The district faces the challenge of reaching the 50 percent time use threshold within a shorter timeframe and must carefully consider the implications of pausing existing committee work. As AISD continues to navigate these complexities, their commitment to fulfilling promises and advocating for their community remains unwavering.