Southwest Austin Dripping Springs Edition | January 2023


Top education stories to watch in 2023


DSISD to address growth with second bond attempt in May

Austin ISD interim Superintendent Matias Segura talks plans for district


PROJECTED STUDENT ENROLLMENT Dripping Springs ISD is planning on using bond dollars to add or expand campuses and will add portables to address growth. A $481.13 million bond failed in November, but the district plans on asking voters for another bond in May.

Austin ISD superintendent search moves forward On Jan. 26, Austin ISD trustees will select a search rm to conduct the superintendent hiring process for the district. Trustees began taking steps toward nding a full-time superintendent in December, after new members elected in November were sworn in. They also discussed their desire to have an open search— meaning the candidates’ names would be available to the public. In Texas, districts typically only name a nalist. Once a search rm is chosen, the board will set dates for public engagement regarding the superintendent search. The board plans to hire a new superintendent by the summer. Hiring a new leader Austin ISD will conduct its third superintendent search in ve years. May 2022 Stephanie Elizalde resigns


passed, he said the district has “more levers that we can pull to make creating a competitive compensation package a reality.” Segura said the district is already working on increasing wages for all sta, not just teachers. Segura plans to advocate for increased student allotments during the Texas Legislative session. “Texas ranks at the bottom when it comes to per-pupil spending,” he said. “We also know that student allotment impacts every other school district around the state, and they will all benet by an increase. So, fundamentally, that will be [legis- lative] priority [No.] 1 to increase student allotment.” Segura said that work could mean testifying at the Legislature or work- ing with partner organizations. Stability is another point Segura said he knows the district needs improvement on in the coming months and years. He said he plans to do that by being visible.


AUSTIN ISD Interim Superinten- dent Matias Segura sat down with Community Impact to discuss his plans going forward before he took over Jan. 3. Segura said his main focus will be on support and stability for everyone in the district. “One of the things that we’ve been talking about for quite some time now is how we need to support our educators and our sta,” Segura said. “We’ve had challenges over the last couple of years, and we know that. We’re not where we want to be regarding teacher stang.” He said sta retention is a major goal of his while he is interim superintendent. “We also know that it is very expensive to live in Austin, so for us as an organization, the priority has to be moving forward with a budget that produces a competitive compensa- tion package,” Segura said. Now that the $2.44 billion bond has

District capacity

District enrollment


Interim Superintendent Matias Segura shared some of his priorities with Community Impact before assuming the role on Jan. 3. support and stability for families and sta sta retention using bond dollars to free up other funds for raises advocating for increased student allotments during the Texas legislative session


16,000 12,000 14,000 10,000 // 6,000 8,000

bonds; however, state law requires bonds to include language stating it is a tax increase. DSISD is a fast-growing district with three campuses at capacity in 2022-2023 and eight expected in 10 years, Morris-Kuentz said. Following the bond failure, DSISD is considering rezoning for elemen- tary and middle schools, examining class sizes, purchasing portables; and planning for the future bond, Morris-Kuentz said. The board aims to include a new bond in the May election. During a Dec. 12 board meeting, speakers expressed a mix of sup- port and concern for the potential construction of new schools. “As a teacher, I worry very much about the class sizes that are going to come from our growth,” said Kristin Quick, a fth-grade teacher at Sycamore Springs Elementary School,

Capacity will increase if proposed bond projects are completed by 2030

DRIPPING SPRINGS ISD District ocials are planning a bond for May with a focus on handling the district’s growth after the November initiative narrowly failed, Dripping Springs ISD Superintendent Holly Morris-Kuentz said on Dec. 12. The November bond consisted of three propositions totaling $481.13 million to construct another elemen- tary school and high school, expand Sycamore Springs Elementary, and plan for future projects. According to a third-party survey ordered by the district, the main reason the bond failed was concern over a potential tax increase. Because of already increased property values from area growth, DSISD expected to nance all three propositions without increasing the total tax rate, which is set at the necessary level to make annual debt payments on all voter-approved



“I have relationships with cam- puses, and I intend to be even more visible. I also plan to make sure our central leadership team remains intact. We are all committed to seeing this through, and that’s one big step in the right direction,” he said. “Austin ISD is home, and I’m going to be here for everyone in our district.” Segura will serve as interim superintendent until July 31 or until a permanent superintendent is hired.


at the Dec. 12 meeting. “Increasing class sizes means we cannot oer an excellent education to Dripping Springs students.” Portable classrooms are projected to be needed on many campuses within ve years. Dripping Springs Elementary School already has two, and Sycamore Springs Middle School has three. DSISD Communications

Specialist Blake Barington said some additional portables for campuses have been purchased for the 2023-24 school year. DSISD began discussing the bond Dec. 14 and had a second workshop Jan. 4. The board is expected to hold more workshops, which will be open to the public. DSISD must nalize the plans for the bond by Feb. 17.

as superintendent Board will name search rm Board will name new superintendent

Jan. 26 2023


BRODIE LANE 4970 Hwy 290 W (512) 366-8260 BEE CAVE 13015 Shops Pkwy (512) 263-9981

SOUTHPARK MEADOWS 9900 IH-35 Service Rd S (512) 280-7400

DRIPPING SPRINGS 166 Hargraves (512) 432-0186

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