On August 24th Austin ISD will welcome 85,000 students back to its 129 campuses. Many of those students are soaking in the last little bit of summer but Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz is working behind the scenes to get ready.
"We're really excited about having our kids and our families come back," said Cruz
During the summer, Cruz started to make some changes students may not notice. "At central office I want to be lean and mean. I want to make sure we're focused on student outcome and learning," said Cruz.
He is consolidating 11 positions into five new ones. The move is expected, over time, to save around $800,000. Some of the savings are going back into the classroom. Starting this year all elementary schools will have a full time reading specialist.
As for challenges school finance and the budget continue to at the top of the list. "Resources are important and that's something that's always been at the forefront that our teachers and students have the support," said Cruz.
Included in the proposed budget for the next year is a three percent raise across the board for teachers and staff. The school board will consider the budget in August.
Other changes this year include expanding pre-K three-year-old programs and the early college high school program.
"I want to make sure all of our students know to be ready for the first day of school because we're ready for them and we're excited to open up our doors," added Cruz.
Elementary school registration starts August 10th.
High School Registration starts August 11th followed by pre-k registration on the 12th and middle school registration.
AISD's Back to School Bash will take place on August 15th from 9 a.m. to noon at the Palmer Events Center.