Claire McInerny, KUT

Education Reporter

Claire McInerny is the education reporter for KUT. Previously, she was a statewide education reporter for NPR member stations in Indiana. She won an Edward R. Murrow award for a series she did there about resources for English Language Learners in the state’s rural school districts. Claire is originally from Kansas, and got a journalism degree from the University of Kansas. Since moving to Texas, she’s never missed winter. 

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The Bent Tree via Flickr/CC by NC 2.0

When Gov. Greg Abbott signed HB 3 into law earlier this summer, in addition to increasing school funding and approving teacher raises, he also approved a requirement for all Texas high school seniors to fill out an application for federal or state financial aid for college.

Incoming UT freshman Cindy Munoz
Julia Reihs / KUT

Cindy Muñoz sits in an auditorium on the UT Austin campus, watching a presentation on how to enroll for classes she’ll take when she begins her freshman year next month. 

UT Austin tower
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The University of Texas System Board of Regents voted Tuesday to offer full tuition assistance to more UT Austin students, adding $160 million to an endowment to help cover costs.

Volunteers pack underwear for schools
Courtesy of Amy Weiss

Amy Weiss, a rabbi in Houston, started Undies for Everyone to help schools that face this situation every day: A student has an accident and is sent to the nurse to change their underwear.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is in the middle of a process to decide which schools to close and consolidate in the city. It announced in February the closures needed to happen to help the district’s financial situation; later that month, the board approved the move

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted Monday to approve a $1.6 billion budget, which includes across-the-board raises for school employees.

The board also voted to hire Stephanie Hawley as AISD's first chief equity officer and in favor of a new dress code.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District wants to give 7% raises to teachers with five or more years of experience and a 6% raise to all other staff, Superintendent Paul Cruz announced Thursday. Staff includes cafeteria workers and bus drivers, in addition to principals and administrative workers.

Julia Reihs / KUT

When it comes to local businesses, Austinites like to have ownership over the story: How it got started, drama between original business partners, the history and evolution of its roots.

And, of course, gossip.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A bill that aims to prevent violence in Texas schools – one of Greg Abbott's legislative priorities – is on the governor's desk.

Senate Bill 11 would require schools to teach lessons on mental health, substance abuse, coping mechanisms and suicide prevention. The bill is a compromise of House and Senate efforts to keep schools safe after 10 people were killed in a shooting last year at Santa Fe High School.  

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

More than 100 Austin ISD teachers and staff rallied before Monday’s school board meeting, demanding a 10 percent raise as the board prepares to pass its budget next month.

Gabriel C. Pérez

The Austin School Board approved its guidelines for closing and consolidating schools last night, but much of the discussion ahead of the vote just before midnight centered on increasing equity in Austin public schools.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Come Monday, the Austin Independent School District will be one step closer to closing or consolidating schools. Facing declining enrollment, a budget shortfall and aging schools, the district says the move will help it avoid bankruptcy and better utilize its property.

Still, it's a move that will require some tough decisions. So, Monday night, the school board will approve its rubric to decide which schools will stay open. So how did the district get to this point?

Real estate agents board a school bus
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Two dozen realtors sit in the bleachers of the Burger Athletic Center, eating pastries and sipping on coffee. They’re listening to administration from the Austin Independent School District preview the day ahead: a six-hour tour of schools in South Austin.

The point of the tour is to help families moving to or within Austin to better understand the district's schools – through their real estate agents.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin ISD announced in February its plan to close and consolidate schools, and now it has a clear plan for how to choose which ones.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Residents in two Central Texas school districts will decide whether to pass bonds in the May 4 election.

Eanes ISD is asking voters to approve an $80 million bond, and Hutto ISD is looking for $194 million. If approved, neither bond would increase the tax rate in those communities.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Last week, we published a story called Held Back, a look at the achievement gap in Austin ISD and how we educate students, especially those of color or from low-income homes.

It's an important issue to many in Austin, and we heard from a lot of readers and listeners who wanted to continue the conversation on ideas brought up in the story – and some that weren’t.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District has removed Andrews Elementary Principal Gabriela Soto after parents and teachers accused her of discriminating against immigrant parents. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

In most urban school districts, including the Austin Independent School District, black and Latino students don't perform as well on standardized tests as their white and Asian peers.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Independent School District would pay $194 million less in recapture in 2020 if House Bill 3, that chamber's $9 billion school finance plan, is passed.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees voted to rename Sidney Lanier High School Monday night. The school will now be called Juan Navarro High School.

The workout apparel retailer Lululemon "took over" Clive Bar on Rainey Street last week and turned it into a meditation spot for SXSW festivalgoers.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A week ago, Clive Bar on Rainey Street looked the way it always does: dark wood paneling and floors, a deck off the inside bar with tables for people to drink outside.

Friday afternoon, it was a different story.

Juan Figueroa for KUT

The Austin Youth Orchestra dedicated its annual spring concert Sunday to former member Draylen Mason, who was killed one year ago this month by a package bomb that exploded at his East Austin home.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

A Northeast Austin school named after the postmaster general of the Confederacy has been renamed Northeast Early College High School.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees voted unanimously Monday to move forward with a plan for closing and consolidating schools.

Gabriel C. Pérez

The Austin Independent School District held its first public meeting Tuesday night to hear from the community about proposed budget cuts, which include school closings or consolidations.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees is balking at the administration's plan to announce school closures by summer.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Facing a major budget shortfall and declining enrollment, the Austin Independent School District says it's working on a plan to close or consolidate schools that could be finalized as soon as this summer.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

This flu season is hitting schools in Central Texas extra hard. The Lago Vista Independent School District canceled classes for the rest of this week because of an outbreak, and McDade canceled classes last week for the same reason.

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