Southwest Austin - Dripping Springs Edition - November 2021

HIGHLIGHTS AUSTIN ISD The school board unanimously approved a contract for Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde lasting through August 2024. Elizalde joined the district in Aug. 2020. AUSTIN ISD The district reported its official enrollment to the state as 74,727. That is 2,605 students below their goal, which translates to $15 million of lost state funding. The district said it is working to reach out to families who did not return to the district. The district is already working to stem its growing budget deficit, including canceling a plan to give teachers a 2% raise. Austin ISD Next meetings: Dec. 16 and Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m. 4000 S. I-35, Austin www.austinisd.org Dripping Springs ISD Next meetings: Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. and Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. 510 W. Mercer St., Dripping Springs www.dsisdtx.us Meetings are being held virtually and in person. MEETINGSWE COVER

TEAoffers grants for studentswith disabilities

Dripping Springs ISDhopes to speed up bus driver testing

WHO'S ELIGIBLE? The TEA is accepting applications from students who meeting the following criteria: • Enrolled in pre-k through 12th grade • In a Texas public school • Served by a special education program

BY MAGGIE QUINLAN

review, a report from the district’s human resources department showed one driver resigned in September, and the district did not hire any new drivers that month. As drivers go through the process of obtaining licenses to drive commercially, they have experienced lengthy delays setting up testing appointments with the Texas Department of Public Safety, according to documents provided by the district. The board voted unanimously to approve the agreement with North East ISD on consent. District officials hope the agreement will speed up licensing.

DRIPPING SPRINGS ISD Future bus drivers will now be tested by a San Antonio school

BY WILLIAM WADSACK

TEXAS Families of students in special education programs who have been affected by school closures due to COVID-19 can apply for a $1,500 grant from the Texas Education Agency. Senate Bill 1716, which was approved in June, expanded the eligibility criteria for the one-time funds from the state’s supplemental special education services program. That program has been in place since January, according to the TEA’s website. Due to the limited number of grants

district rather than directly by a state

agency to speed up the process of receiving their commercial driver’s licenses in light of recent bus driver shortages. Dripping Springs ISD has been dealing with staffing issues in custodial, food and transportation services, Board Member Stefani Reinold said during the Oct. 25 meeting of the Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees. While the district has not yet compiled data on these shortages for board members to

SOURCE: TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY/ COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

available, TEA is already accepting applications through its website. A webinar about the program posted to the TEA’s YouTube page stated the grant funds can be used to purchase goods and services, such as computers or therapy, that will help students learn. “This is not a debit card,” said the webinar’s presenter, who was not named.

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SOUTHWEST AUSTIN - DRIPPING SPRINGS EDITION • NOVEMBER 2021

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