AUSTIN — The Austin Independent School District is proposing to close 12 schools to save money.
According to a draft that was presented at a school board meeting Dec. 10, this is one of 91 measures the school district is proposing to save between $55 to $60 million.
The closures would happen over the next three years and save $12 million.
Superintendent, Dr. Paul Cruz, said they will identify the 12 schools by the end of the year.
"There are campuses that are under enrolled but that's something we will be working with our board and of course with our community," said Dr. Cruz.
Some of the other possible cuts include increasing high school class size and cutting 150 to 200 jobs.
The district is going through this budget crisis the same time its recapture payment, or the money it sends to the state that goes to other schools, is increasing. This year, AISD's payment is nearly $670 million, a $123 million increase from last year.
The district is also facing an enrollment issue as more families move out of the district to more affordable areas.
Fewer dollars coming from the state also contributed to the budget shortfall.
Cruz knows these cuts are painful, but said parents and teachers need to focus on the big picture.
"We're focused on three specific priorities. One is about making sure all of our schools are moving to an exemplary level, higher level of performance. A second one is we have all students read on grade level by third grade and a third one is about paying teachers more," said Dr. Cruz.
A school district representative said, "these are drafted options as part of our budget process, which will be complete in June 2019."
These 91 draft ideas are not set in stone and are expected to change.
Nothing is final until the budget is approved in June.