By Avani Chhaya
It’s hardly a surprise that Austin, Texas is a growing and fast-changing city. Austin ISD, the primary school district serving Central Texas, serves students in 130 schools. With population changes impacting this quirky, Southern city, here is a look at five of the biggest facets of Austin ISD: enrollment, attendance, demographic, dual enrollment, and graduation trends.
We have compared five years’ worth of Texas Academic Performance Reports from the Texas Education Agency to show trends over time.
For this school year, there was a decline in the number of students who enrolled in Austin ISD. According to the Austin Monitor, numbers indicate that the school district faces a loss of 1.56 percent of their student population from 82,766 in the 2016-2017 school year to 81,939 students in 2017-2018. An Austin Independent School District 2015 Family Leaver Survey, presents a slow and steady declining student population over several years. The reasons for leaving Austin ISD included student or family moves, academics and the social environment at school.
Over the past five years, the average attendance rate in Austin ISD is 95.26 percent. School districts are expected to follow the 90 percent attendance rule, mandated by the state of Texas. This attendance rule impacts students who are 6- to 19-years-old, stating that they must attend school at least 90 percent of the time. According to Austin ISD, one missed school day results in a loss of $45 of school funding, missed instruction time and a harder time catching up with the academic workload.
|Data takeaways over the last five years, comparing 2012-2013 and 2016-2017 school years:
|• African American student population declined from 8.7 percent in 2012-2013 to 7.6 percent by 2016-2017.
|• Hispanic student population decreased by 2.4 percent.
|• White student population increased from 24.8 to 27.3 percent.
|• American Indian student population was steady with 0.2 percent but decreased to 0.1 percent this past school year.
|• Asian student population increased by 0.6 percent.
|• Pacific Islander student population remained constant with 0.1 percent.
|• Two or More Races in the student population increased from 2.4 to 2.9 percent.
|• The Texas Education Agency defines economically disadvantaged as the number of students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch. This number in Austin ISD decreased by 9.7 percent.
|• English Language Learners in the school district grew from 27.4 to 28.2 percent in the student population.
In 2015-2016, 39.3 percent of 9-12th grade students in Austin ISD completed a dual enrollment program. Dual enrollment provides students the opportunity to get both high school and college credit for coursework. According to Community Impact, three early college high schools were added to Austin ISD. Here are the six high schools that offer a pathway for students to earn an associate degree through Austin Community College:
- Eastside Memorial
*Starting in the 2014-2015 Texas Academic Performance Report, the data specifies grades 9-12th in any subject.
The class of 2016 had the highest graduation rate in Austin ISD with 90.7 percent of students graduating from high school. There has been a steady increase in students graduating high school since the class of 2012 with their graduation rate at 82.5 percent. According to the 2016-2017 Texas Academic Performance Report, the graduation rate for African American and Hispanic students is still lagging behind their White student counterparts.
Graduation Rates for African American, Hispanic, White and English Language Learner Student Groups in Austin ISD
Source: Texas Education Agency, 2012-2017 Texas Academic Performance Report
||African American Students
||English Language Learners
|Class of 2016
|Class of 2015
|Class of 2014
|Class of 2013
|Class of 2012
- Enrollment has declined by 1.56 percent from the previous school year.
- Attendance has remained steady with an average attendance of 95.26 percent.
- Students who identify as African American, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged declined in number, while English Language Learners, White and Asian students increased over time.
- The number of students who have enrolled in a dual enrollment program in 9-12th grade has increased.
- Since the class of 2012, Austin ISD’s graduation rate has increased to 90.7 percent with increases across all subgroups, including greater increases for Hispanic students and English Language Learners.