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Superintendent Carstarphen's KUT Interview Scrutinized By PolitiFact

AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen in 2009, shortly before she was hired by the school board.
Photo by Nathan Bernier
AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen in 2009, shortly before she was hired by the school board.

Austin Independent School District Superintendent Meria Carstarphen sat down with KUT for a rare one-on-one interview this month covering a broad range of topics facing the school district as it grapples with a projected $94 million deficit. One statement Dr. Carstarphen made about Pease Elementary School caught the attention of eagle-eyed journalists at PolitiFact Texas.

Carstarphen told KUT reporter Nathan Bernier that Pease "is a school that was created as part of the Texas Constitution." According to audio of the 30-minute interview posted online, Carstarphen also recapped her reaction to the possibility of Pease being closed: "I’m one of the people who was like, really, Pease? It’s in the constitution. How do we do that?"

PolitiFact dug into the claim and reported that while Pease is historically significant, its origins were not in the Texas Constitution. PolitiFact's Truth-O-Meter rated the claim False.

Dr. Carstarphen responded to the PolitiFact inquiry on her official blog, arguing that "while Pease is not literally and specifically mentioned in the 1876 Constitution, its origins are tied directly to the origins of the State of Texas."

You can hear the entire 30-minute interview with Dr. Carstarphen by clicking the player below, or right-click on the player and save to a mobile device.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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