Claire McInerny

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Sixty-five percent of children born to young parents in Texas are living in poverty, according to a new report.

The report, released Tuesday by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, found that 450,000 children were born to young parents in Texas from 2015 to 2017. It defined young parents as people between 18 and 24.

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees will vote in a little over a week on how to consolidate three elementary schools in East Austin. Students at Metz, Zavala and Sanchez Elementary schools will combine into once school, which the district will completely renovate using money from the 2017 bond, but parents, staff and students are still unsure what lies ahead.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A group of education advocates has released what it is calling a manifesto, demanding the Austin Independent School District immediately address inequities for schools in East Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Five Austin Independent School District schools named for Confederate figures will get renamed this semester.

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees voted in February to rename the John T. Allan Facility, Zachary Taylor Fulmore Middle School, Sidney Lanier Early College High School, John H. Reagan Early College High School and Eastside Memorial Early College High School at the Johnston Campus (named for Albert Sidney Johnston).

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The Round Rock Independent School District is providing families free, full-day prekindergarten for the first time this school year.

The district previously offered only a half-day program, paid for by the state.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The Austin Independent School District received a grade of "B" under the state's new A-F grading system. The Texas Education Agency released the preliminary grades for the first time Wednesday.

Austin Price for KUT

As the new school year approaches, the Austin Independent School District is preparing for more immigrant families to rely on it for resources outside of education.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The number of students in Texas accused of making terroristic threats or exhibiting a firearm increased significantly in the first five months of 2018 compared with last year, according to a new report from Texas Appleseed.

The report's co-author, Morgan Craven, director of the nonprofit's School-to-Prison Pipeline Project, said there was a large spike in February after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. While some of those threats were real, she said, legal action in other cases was too extreme.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

As a taxpayer, this is a big year for Amanda Braziel.

The Austin Independent School District librarian has owned a home in Central Austin for 15 years. This year, the property tax bill for her house, which is appraised at around $363,757, was $4,336. That's a lot for a public school librarian whose gross monthly income is about $4,192.

“I’m essentially paying more in property taxes than I bring home from one month working in AISD,” she says.

Does all the money collected in recapture stay in education or is it used for other state-funded programs? Yes, all recapture money is put into the education fund.

Which school districts receive recapture dollars? The state doesn’t track where each recapture dollar goes. Because the money is put into the general education fund, it gets mixed in with sales taxes, money from the lottery and other funding streams.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

When students at Mendez Middle School return to school next month, there will be new curriculum – and a new principal.

After Mendez failed state standards four years in a row, the district agreed to let an outside group run the school, and that group hired a new principal this summer, Joanna Carrillo-Rowley from Midland.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hundreds of Episcopal Church leaders from around the country protested the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy outside a detention center in Taylor on Sunday.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Twelve percent of teenagers in Texas said they attempted suicide in 2017, according to a report released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's higher than the national average of 7 percent.

Seventeen percent of ninth- through 12th-graders surveyed in Texas said they seriously considered suicide last year, and 14 percent said they had made a plan for how to do it.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

It’s a typical summer day at Emily Herrington’s house in Northeast Austin. Her two daughters, Penly, 7, and Laurel, 3, are playing with their kittens and reading books in the living room.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The most basic thing to understand about school funding is that every student in the state of Texas has a dollar figure hanging over his or her head. But not every kid is worth the same amount of money in the eyes of state.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

As Austin’s property taxes continue to rise, so does the amount on the check AISD writes to the state.

The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved a budget Monday night that sends more than half of its local tax revenue away from the district. Texas law requires wealthier districts to send a portion of their property taxes back to the state to help out smaller, poorer districts in a program known as “recapture.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A group of law enforcement officers told Texas senators today that they don't think the governor's plan to “harden” schools is the best way to keep students safe.

“Give us more campus officers,” Joe Curiel, police chief for San Antonio Independent School District Police Department, told the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas’ system for paying for schools is complicated, and for most of you with jobs, kids and lives, it's hard to find time to learn the ins and outs of it.

So, we’re starting a project called Filling in the Blanks to demystify the process and answer your questions – big and small – about how the state pays for schools and why it got that way.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School district is hosting a picnic Saturday to introduce the Norman and Sims elementary school communities to one another before they combine as one school in August.

Students from Norman will go to school in the Sims building next yer, while Norman gets a major renovation. The merger came out of the bond voters passed in November.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Grace Johnson, a senior at Santa Fe High School, said she was in the band room when the fire alarm went off last Friday. She got up to evacuate.

“When I walk out into the hallway, I see a kid get shot,” she told Gov. Greg Abbott and others gathered at the Capitol on Thursday for the third in a series of roundtable discussions on school safety. “And he falls. In Santa Fe, we know what guns sounds like ... but you never think it’s going to be in the school.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The main focus of a roundtable discussion at the Capitol on Wednesday was finding ways for schools to identify violent students before they commit mass murder.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Education Austin, the union for Austin ISD's employees, called for the resignation of School Board President Kendall Pace after inflammatory texts she sent to another board member surfaced.

The texts to Julie Cowan include name calling and harsh language toward others in Austin's education community, which was one reason the union called for her resignation. But there's a lot in the texts that require context to understand.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

When you've lived for 112 years, there's not a lot someone can give you for your birthday that you haven't already received. That's why Richard Overton, America's oldest World War II veteran, is thinking big. 

"I want a million dollars if you're going to give it to me," he said Thursday from the front porch of his East Austin home.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As teachers around the country strike for better pay, teachers in Austin – who don't have the option of striking – are taking a different approach for better working conditions.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hundreds of high school students in Austin are planning to walk out of school tomorrow and rally outside the Capitol as part of a nationwide walkout to call for more gun control and better school safety.

Austin Price for KUT

Two organizations presented plans last night to parents, teachers and community members about how they would help Mendez Middle School improve.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District formally approved a plan last night to spend $25 million to renovate Norman Elementary School. During that two-year renovation, students from Norman will relocate to Sims Elementary about a mile away.

The vote could also mean a consolidation of the two under-enrolled schools at the renovated campus if enrollment doesn’t improve in the next two years – an option some say wasn't clear in the run-up to the board's final decision.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

On the corner of Fourth and Trinity, right outside the Austin Convention Center, Khari Youngblood is trying to get pedestrians to stop and talk to him. It’s the last day of the SXSW Interactive festival, and participants with badges crowd the sidewalk. He compliments their clothes, yells jokes and puns, and when someone ignores him, he moves on to someone else.

Courtesy of Austin Soundwaves

Draylen Mason was known as an accomplished musician who was heading to college, but he could also make you laugh before he even opened his mouth.

"You just expect to laugh with him. That boy was hilarious," said Sharrel Prince, who has known him since pre-K. "What made Draylen funny is that he says the things everyone else is scared to say."

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

After the Columbine school shooting in 1999, the Texas Legislature created the School Safety Center, a research center at Texas State University that helps schools prepare for different kinds of disasters.

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