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.