Austin ISD Board votes to extend interim superintendent's contract through June 2024

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to extend the contract with Interim Superintendent Matias Segura through June 2024 while they search for the next superintendent. 

The board says this would give them time to meet student needs and time for systems to take root, having interrupted leadership would help. 

"We are at a critical time in this district, and we want to ensure we are doing what is necessary to address early literacy for historically marginalized students, special education, staff morale, and lifting our struggling schools," Board President Arati Singh said during the meeting. 

"That's really shifted our thinking to what is the best way we can put the district in a good position, so that when we do hire the permanent superintendent, we're able to hand over a district that's ready for that person to lead," District 7 Trustee David Kauffman said before the meeting. 

The majority of public commenters were in support of slowing the process, and praised Segura. 

"We need the right people in the right positions to start rectifying the past issues first. I'm speaking this evening in support of slowing down the superintendent search process and extending the interim superintendent's contract," one said.

Others say they weren't so sure about the process, and there was criticism about Segura's lack of educational experience. 

"There are some things he is lacking, because he does not have that experience," one public commenter said.

"Everyone has a role in education, and I think that the skills that I bring to this organization will help move education especially for our most marginalized student groups," Segura said after the meeting when asked about the criticism.

The original tentative superintendent search schedule said a finalist would've been named by May 2023. 

At this point, there isn't actually a pool of applicants yet. The revised timeline would still have to be discussed. 

After the meeting, FOX 7 asked Singh if the original timeline was too ambitious. 

"You learn things, you recalibrate, and you have to make tough decisions, sometimes to deviate from what you were planning to do," she said. 

When Segura was asked if he's considering being the permanent superintendent, he said he's focused on what the work is right now.