Updated 11/06/2012 11:42 AM
With potentially 4 new trustees, AISD board faces change
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The race for the White House is getting a lot of attention this election cycle, but there are also four seats in the Austin Independent School District up for grabs on Tuesday.
The current AISD board recently voted to give Meria Carstarphen a contract extension, giving the superintendent an extra 12 months of work through June of 2015.
However, with the possibility of four new trustees taking seats on the Austin school board after Tuesday, a shift in the balance of power is possible.
In District 8, an at-large seat is getting the most attention in the way of heavy campaign contributions. Gina Hinojosa is backed by the out-going trustee, Annette LoVoi, who is giving up her seat and voted against Carstarphen's new contact.
Her opponent, Mary Ellen Pietruszynski, has publicly praised the superintendent’s fiscal management.
Trustee Sam Guzman is trying to hold on to a seat he has held since 2007. Guzman has backed the superintendent's ideas, like closing down low-performing East Austin schools and creating in-district charter schools.
His challenger, Reverend Jayme Mathias, is gaining steam and is out-raising Guzman.
District 3 incumbent Christine Brister has pulled out of the race for health reasons, but remains on the ballot. Her opponent, Ann Teich, offers 27 years of teaching experience and tons of political endorsements.
School Board President Mark Williams is retiring from the District 5 seat, but remains politically active and has endorsed district-wide PTA volunteer Amber Elenz.
Technology consultant Charlie Jackson brings the backing of teacher unions to the race
and is a critic of Carstarphen's initiatives.
Once all nine trustee seats are filled, the new board hits the ground running. Carstarphen is expected to propose two new all-boys middle schools.
The superintendent also wants to spend money on aging athletic facilities.