How would you address the issue of declining enrollment in Austin’s schools and bridge the achievement gap across AISD?

While the City of Austin has no direct role in AISD, there are a number of actions the City can take to help address declining enrollment and bridge the achievement gap. As a Council Member, I was a successful supporter of funds to assist AISD programs including after-school care, parental support specialists, and family resource centers in high needs areas. I also promoted the focus of City ARRA funds for housing during the Great Recession on reducing student mobility between schools. In addition, I led the initiative to partner with Reagan High School to create a PE program that certifies students as life guards, resulting now in jobs for hundreds of high school students.

As mayor, I will:

• Promote continued city support for after-school care, parent support specialists and family resource centers, which provide vital social services to low-income students and families. Stabilizing families is essential to fostering student academic achievement.

• Focus immediate attention on ways to maintain existing market affordable housing and minimize further displacement of families and students to combat declining enrollment.

• Ensure appropriate zoning to deter large-scale luxury development in neighborhoods at risk for gentrification to further stem displacements of families with school-age children.

• Ensure anti-displacement policies are a key part of growth planning.