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After Equity Officer Calls Austin’s School Closure Plan Racist, How Does The District Move Forward?

When the Austin Independent School District announced it needed to close and consolidate schools back in February, it also posted a job for its first-ever chief equity officer.

But Stephanie Hawley didn’t start in the position until August, when the first draft of the school closure plan was almost complete. And she had been on the job for only three months when the board voted to close four schools.

The role of the chief equity officer is to help AISD leaders make decisions with equity in mind – including decisions on consolidating schools.