Claycomb Associates, Architects

Austin ISD parents say superintendent search shouldn’t happen during a pandemic

posted on May 27 - 08:41 AM
By Joe -

A group of parents and community activists has sent a letter to the Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees, asking members to reconsider the process for hiring a new superintendent. The letter, signed by hundreds of people, criticizes the district for still trying to hire someone by August. 


“Our most vulnerable families are focused on basic needs like food, safety, healthcare, and education, and even more advantaged families may find it difficult to give this issue the attention it deserves in the current circumstances,” the letter says. 

Superintendent searches do include community engagement, but the pandemic is preventing the district from hosting traditional meetings or talking in person with parents, teachers and students. The consulting firm doing the hire has sent out online surveys and conducted Zoom calls with the community. 

AISD parent Cuitlahuac Tonatiuh Guerra-Mojarro said during a virtual news conference Tuesday that this kind of digital outreach leaves out many families without access to WiFi. 

“For the community to feel engaged during a pandemic seems like an impossible task. Just the fact that we're doing this press conference over Zoom is indicative of that right now," he said. "It’s hard to engage the community." 

Other speakers said the district could have current Superintendent Paul Cruz, who resigned to take a job at the University of Texas, stay until the end of his contract next year, hire an interim superintendent or lengthen the search timeline.  - from KUT News