KEYE-TV - Search Results
Students, Parents Sound Off on Austin ISD IDEA Expansion Vote
On Monday evening, Austin Independent School District board members are expected to vote on whether or not to put off expanding the IDEA charter into Southeast Austin’s only high school. The nonprofit IDEA is not without controversy, known for changing curriculum and altering courses in schools it has run.
"I have been out here since 6 p.m. yesterday," said Brandon Nobles, a junior at Eastside Memorial High School, as he waited outside AISD headquarters, along with around 30 other parents, students, teachers, and community members, before sunrise early Monday morning. Some had been there since 2 p.m. Sunday.
All for a chance to sign up for Citizens Communication at Monday night’s AISD board meeting and speak out on the issue of IDEA expansion into Eastside Memorial.
"We're hoping that it's gonna turn out the way we want it,” said Nobles. “IDEA shut down."
Nobles, several Eastside Memorial students, and parent Marina Herrera said they were there to save their school, save it from a move they feel takes AISD out of the equation and alters what students will be exposed to.
"It's more than just a high school, they're a family," said Herrera. "They've campaigned together, they've protested together, they've marched together, they have tried to make an entire city listen to them and hear what they have to say, and unfortunately last year it fell on deaf ears."
IDEA took over Allan Elementary during the 2012-13 school year after a vote in December 2011.
"We want this opportunity to be extended to as many Austin kids as possible," said Alfie Iglehart, an IDEA Allan parent. Iglehart says the charter school is a huge improvement and wants expansion into Eastside to go on as planned, not be put on hold.
"I have constant communication with the teachers, the administration,” said Iglehart. “They always, when I come in, they know who I am, they know who my child is, they’re quick to let me know where her progress is. Everyone has a genuine care."
Even those without kids in the schools say the faster the charter gets to Eastside, the better.
"The problems we're seeing in some overcrowded elementary schools in North Central Austin, that would be happening there at Allan," said Larry Amaro, who is part of the Johnston Eastside Memorial Ex-Student Association.
Now that future is in the hands of a new school board.
"I think it's (the vote is) gonna set the tone for this district for the next couple years to come," said Ken Zarifis, Education Austin President.
If approved, IDEA would expand to Eastside during the 2014-15 school year instead of 2013-14.
By Adam Bennett