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AUSTIN EDITION NOTEBOOK The Austin School Board set a budget to begin planning for an integration program for students.

A budget of $28,688 was approved to pay for planning work between the district and Southland Public Schools to develop an Integration plan for the 2007-08 school year.

In May, the district was informed that it qualifies as "a racially isolated district" and would receive funds to integrate its students.

A racially isolated district is one in which the percentage points of "protected students" in the district is at least 20 points higher than in than in an adjoining district. The state defines "protected students" as "African/Black Americans, Asian/Pacific Americans, Chicano/Latino Americans, American Indian/Alaskan Native or multiracial students having origins in more than one of these categories or one of these categories plus Caucasian."

Austin was reported to have a larger "protected class" by 20 percentage points than the Southland school district.

The Austin school district will receive more than $600,000 to offer more opportunities to its minority and lower income students.

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Austin and Southland districts will work together to help with the integration of the protected group.

Annual district auction

Community members can put their bids in during the school district's annual auction on July 27.

The auction will start at 9 a.m. Items on to be auctioned include: chairs and desks, pianos, kilns, microwaves, round tables, a snow blower, wicker sofa and chairs, electric and manual typewriters and copy machines.

Truth in Taxation hearings

The district doesn't know whether it will be required to have a Truth in Taxation hearing this year, but it has scheduled one for 5 p.m. Dec. 4 in the district's conference room at Austin High School. A hearing for the 2006-07 levy adoption is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 in the Austin City Council Chamber, 500 Fourth Ave. N.E.

Community donations

Sumner Elementary School received $450 from the VFW and Kiwanis Early Risers Club for the purchase of gym mats.

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Austin Transportation donated $1,200 to the district office for the distribution of the annual school calendar.

-- By Roxana Orellana

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