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 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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A 15-year-old student is in custody and faces a felony charge following a report that a person had a gun on campus at Lanier High School, Austin ISD Police Chief Ashley Gonzalez said.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt and former state Sen. Wendy Davis announced the creation of a Sexual Assault Prevention and Healing Work Group today in response to concerns about how sexual assaults are handled in Travis County.

The group will focus on collecting data about sexual assaults to better advocate for survivors.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A groundbreaking ceremony was held Saturday on the new site of Eastside Memorial High School in East Austin. The high school will be located in the former L.C. Anderson High School, which closed in 1971 after a judge desegregated Austin schools. 

Priska Neely / KPCC

Public school teachers in Los Angeles, the second-largest school district in the country, went on strike Monday to demand smaller class sizes and more money for support staff. As we saw in early 2018 with the teachers strike in West Virginia, strikes can inspire teachers in other states to walk out of the classroom.

Although many people in Austin often (and begrudgingly) compare the city to L.A., Texas law prevents teachers here from following suit.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The conversation got heated at times Monday as the Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees discussed a new report that recommends ending magnet programs, closing schools and redrawing boundaries as ways to cut spending and increase revenue.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

State lawmakers filed dozens of bills about educating kids ahead of Tuesday's start to the legislative session. The most interesting discussion at the Capitol will likely be around school funding.

It’s something the Legislature brings up every session, but bills aren't always passed. Lawmakers typically pass school funding bills only when they're forced to act because of a lawsuit.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin parents unsatisfied with their neighborhood schools can now apply for their children to be transferred to another school within the Austin Independent School District.

AISD has an open transfer policy, so families don't have to send their students to their assigned neighborhood school.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted Monday to rename Fulmore Middle School after a longtime social studies teacher, Sarah Beth Lively.

The move comes after more than a yearlong discussion about changing the names of district buildings honoring Confederate figures. The school's original namesake, Zachary Taylor Fulmore, was a private in the Confederate Army.

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

Let's talk about sex.

As the Austin Independent School District rewrites its sex ed curriculum for third- through eighth-graders, it asked for input from the community. AISD asked people in a November online survey what they thought should be taught to students – and when – in addition to hosting community meetings to discuss the standards. Those results are in.

Martin do Nascimento for KUT

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted Monday night to rename the Allan Center, named for Confederate Army officer John T. Allan, after Anita Coy, a former Austin ISD principal and administrator.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

It's time for the Austin Independent School District to do something drastic to improve its financial situation, a member of a task force studying its budget says.  

On the table: closing schools and changing boundaries.

Hazel O'Neil for KUT

Jim Shead is a lawyer in Austin and the father of twin boys in pre-K. Even though his kids can barely read, he’s already thinking about how he’ll teach them about puberty and sex. Right now, he’s using his own experience as a guide for what he doesn’t want to happen.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is seeking parent input as it prepares to rewrite its human sexuality curriculum. 

The district hasn't revised its elementary and middle school curriculum in 12 years. Parents received an online survey Wednesday asking at what grade level various lessons should be taught. For example, when students should learn about gender identity.

Austin Community College will not include Pflugerville in its boundaries after voters rejected annexation Tuesday. Fifty-four percent of Pflugerville voters voted against the ballot proposition. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

There will be three new members of the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees after Tuesday’s election, including incumbent Ted Gordon's challenger.

LaTisha Anderson beat Gordon for the District 1 seat, which covers most of East Austin. She won with 61 percent of the vote.

KUT

Five seats on the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees are on the ballot. The role of the school board is to oversee the AISD superintendent and district administration. Members serve four-year terms.

District 1 | District 4 | District 6 | District 7 | District 9

Children walk down a hallway at a school.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Five seats on the Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees will be on the ballot Nov. 6. 

The role of the school board is to oversee the AISD superintendent and district administration. The board votes on district policy and budgets, and sets tax rates. Members serve four-year terms. You can see which district you live in here.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Despite momentum earlier this year to rid Austin Independent School District properties of links to the Confederacy, the district's Board of Trustees is facing pushback over proposed new names.

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 Annie E. Casey Foundation, 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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