It’s not dead yet

The Austin School Board met last night to determine the fate of Becker Elementary. The result? A tie. The board voted on one of several plans last night. The tie vote was on the plan to close Becker and keep Oak Springs open. I’m not sure how they decided on which plan to vote for in the end. I’d check the meeting minutes, but they appear to be about three months behind on posting them.

The tie vote gives the Becker parents and the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood Association more time to plead their case to keep Becker open. According to the Statesman, there’ll be another vote, but it’s not clear when that will occur. Apparently, turning Becker into an in-district charter school has also been suggested.

We currently live in the neighborhood of an underperforming, overcrowded AISD elementary school and have spent the last few years trying out charter schools as an alternative with mixed results. We were in the process of examining several schools in AISD as transfer options, including Becker, when the announcement of the possible closings removed it from our short list of candidates for next year. My wife was very impressed with the principal. We think we’ve settled on a viable alternative, but it shouldn’t be this hard. We should be able to just send our kid to the local school and not have to worry about whether or not that school is substandard. How can we expect people to move into the center of the city if we’re not going to offer them an attractive option for educating their kids?

My parents sent me to private schools for elementary, middle and high school in Dallas and my wife is used to a much higher standard coming from Virginia public schools around the Washington DC area. Not paying any attention to all the school finance reform talk in the legislature? Well, maybe you should. This isn’t just an issue for those who currently have kids either. All you UT students who think Austin is a great place to live and might consider settling here? I’m you in 10 years. If you get started now, maybe it won’t suck so bad when your kid is ready to attend school.

Here’s a roundup of articles from the Chronicle, including the cover story from February:

Here’s an earlier posting from M.J.L Kellogg on the school shuffle.

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