Austin ISD will lose thousands of students over next decade

People are moving to Austin, but what kind of people are moving here? 

“Although Austin continues to grow overall at a very rapid pace, we're not seeing as many families in that population increase,” said Beth Wilson, executive director of planning and assets management at AISD.

The district hired Templeton Demographics to construct a demographic report. Despite enrollment increasing by more than 700 students this school year, enrollment is projected to decrease by 10 percent over the next ten years. Wilson said families are being won over by charter schools, and Austin is simply getting too expensive for families to afford to live.

“The median value of a home is now over $370,000, and when you compare that to other home prices in the Travis County area you'll see that that's about $15,000 more than the surrounding districts. If the product that is selling currently is studio and one-bedroom condos, for us that doesn't yield very many students,” she said.

This information was presented to the board of trustees at a Feb. 10 meeting. District One Trustee Latisha Anderson who represents much of East Austin said recruiting is an important factor.

“I've said long before I got on this board, we are not in the day and age where we can sit back and students and families will come to us, we have to go to them,” said Anderson.

Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz said the district has to use their best marketing strategies, promote dual language programs, and win over families early.

“Those are just some of the things…whether it be a program, bringing new students in earlier, and part of what we’ve done is studying, why were students here with us one year and not the next?” said Cruz.

Wilson said the upcoming land development code vote will be something AISD families should watch

“We do work with the city on planning efforts. We've been working with them on the changes to the land development code, and talking more about densifying some of the development areas around the district,” said Wilson. 

The second reading of the new land development code is expected to be voted on, on Feb. 13. The code will not go into effect until a third reading is voted on. 

You can read the full demographic report from Templeton Demographics below: