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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Caution tape hangs from the door of Crockett High School in South Austin last month.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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La Junta Directiva del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin aprobó posponer el comienzo de las clases del año escolar hasta el 8 de septiembre. Las clases virtuales debían comenzar el 18 de agosto, pero la junta quiso dar más tiempo a los profesores para prepararse para el aprendizaje en línea. 

Caution tape hangs from the door of Crockett High School in South Austin last month.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees voted to delay the start of classes for the school year until Sept. 8. Virtual classes were supposed to begin Aug. 18, but the board wanted to give teachers more time to prepare for online learning. 

Stephanie Elizalde, chief of school leadership at Dallas ISD, is the lone finalist for Austin ISD's new superintendent.
Dallas ISD

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Los miembros de la comunidad del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin tuvieron la oportunidad de aprender más sobre la única finalista para ser la próxima superintendente durante una charla virtual el martes por la noche.

Stephanie Elizalde, chief of school leadership at Dallas ISD, is the lone finalist for Austin ISD's new superintendent.
Dallas ISD

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Members of the Austin Independent School District community had the opportunity to learn more about the lone finalist to be the next superintendent during a virtual discussion Tuesday night.

A sign at Crockett High Schools says the building is closed until further notice because of the coronavirus.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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La "existencia misma" del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin podría verse amenazada si no sigue las reglas establecidas por la Agencia de Educación de Texas, dijo este miércoles su directora académica.

A sign at Crockett High Schools says the building is closed until further notice because of the coronavirus.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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The Austin Independent School District's "very existence" could be threatened if it doesn't follow rules set out by the Texas Education Agency, the director of academics said Wednesday.

Stephanie Elizalde, jefa de liderazgo escolar del ISD de Dallas, es la única finalista para el puesto de nueva superintendente del ISD de Austin.
ISD de Dallas

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Stephanie Elizalde, administradora del Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD en inglés) de Dallas, ha sido elegida como la única finalista para el cargo del próximo superintendente del ISD de Austin.

Stephanie Elizalde, chief of school leadership at Dallas ISD, is the lone finalist for Austin ISD's new superintendent.
Dallas ISD

Lee esta historia en español.

Stephanie Elizalde, an administrator in the Dallas Independent School District, has been named the lone finalist for Austin ISD’s next superintendent.

A closed Travis High School in Austin on March 18.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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El Distrito Escolar Independiente (ISD, en inglés) de Austin no ofrecerá clases presenciales cuando empiece la escuela el 18 de agosto, anunció el distrito este martes. Todas las clases se llevarán a cabo virtualmente durante las primeras tres semanas del año escolar. 

The empty hallway at Dawson Elementary
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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The Austin Independent School District will not offer in-person classes when school starts Aug. 18, the district announced Tuesday. All classes will be held virtually for the first three weeks of the school year. 

Dawson Elementary School, along with other schools in Austin ISD, closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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El primer día de clases para los distritos escolares del centro de Texas está a un mes de distancia, pero muchos padres y maestros aún no saben cómo será. 

Los distritos dicen que el aprendizaje virtual será una opción, pero hay pocos detalles sobre cómo funcionará. 

Dawson Elementary School, along with other schools in Austin ISD, closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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The first day of classes for Central Texas school districts is about a month away, but many parents and teachers still don’t know what it will look like. 

Via the campaign website (Popp)/Miguel Guiierrez Jr./KUT

A long-time educator and a man who calls President Donald Trump a “child rapist” are competing for the Republican nomination for a State Board of Education seat.

A young person reads a sign posted on the door at Travis High School, after the building closed in March because of the pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Si los edificios escolares de Austin abren el 18 de agosto como está previsto, habrá infecciones el primer día de clases, dijo Lauren Ancel Meyers, epidemióloga matemática de la Universidad de Texas.

A young person reads a sign posted on the door at Travis High School, after the building closed in March because of the pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

If school buildings in Austin open on Aug. 18 as planned, there will be infections the first day of class, UT mathematical epidemiologist Lauren Ancel Meyers said.

Dawson Elementary School closes on Friday, March 13, following the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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El sindicato de empleados del Distrito Escolar Independiente de Austin (AISD, en inglés) pide al distrito y al estado que los empleados no regresen a los edificios escolares en agosto. Los miembros del sindicato dicen que es inseguro para los trabajadores y los niños estar juntos en clases.

Dawson Elementary School closes on Friday, March 13, following the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

The union for Austin Independent School District employees is asking the district and the state not to send employees back to school buildings in August. Union members say it is unsafe for employees and children to be in classes together.

Julia Reihs / KUT

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Valerie Sterne siempre supo por anécdotas que las escuelas de Austin están segregadas. Ella era maestra y administradora del Distrito Escolar Independiente de Austin (AISD, en inglés), y vio de primera mano que los estudiantes de color y los de bajos recursos asistían a las mismas escuelas. Cuando se marchó para obtener su doctorado en política educativa, decidió estudiar el tema y obtener datos duros. 

Julia Reihs / KUT

Valerie Sterne has always known anecdotally that schools in Austin are segregated. She used to be a teacher and an administrator with the Austin Independent School District, and saw firsthand that students of color and low-income students were all attending the same schools. When she left to get her PhD in education policy, she decided to study the issue and get hard numbers. 

A sign encouraging healthy habits to prevent the spread of disease is posted at UT's student union.
Julia Reihs / KUT

UT Austin students will have the choice of attending classes in person, taking them online or doing a combination when campus reopens in August, the university announced Monday. Residence halls, dining halls, student centers, the union and recreation centers will be open.  

Pritesh Gandhi and Mike Siegel, candidates for the Democratic nomination in Texas' 10th Congressional District.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

One of the congressional races being watched nationally is Texas’ 10th Congressional District. It’s being called a “battleground race," because Republican incumbent Michael McCaul – who has held the seat since 2004 – won it in 2018 by only 4 percentage points.   

Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees dias
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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El Consejo Directivo del Distrito Escolar Independiente de Austin (Austin ISD, en inglés) aprobó un presupuesto de $1,650 millones este martes temprano, tomando $47.6 millones de los fondos de reserva del distrito para compensar el déficit causado en parte por los gastos provocados por el COVID-19.

Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees dias
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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The Austin Independent School District’s Board of Trustees passed a $1.65 billion budget early Tuesday, taking $47.6 million from the district’s reserve funds to make up for a shortfall partly caused by COVID-19 expenses.

Joseph Frilot, a social studies teacher at IDEA Montopolis College Prep, leads a group of educators marching to demand racial justice in education.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Mackee Mason is the principal at Austin Achieve Public Schools. But at a protest led by teachers Friday, he shared a time when the police made him, a black man, feel like a criminal.

A protester holds a sign that says, "Defund the Police."
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

"Defund the police” has become a nationwide rallying cry for people protesting police violence against black people. Locally, the Austin Justice Coalition has asked the City Council to remove $100 million from police department's budget.

Austin police keep watch on protesters at a demonstration May 31.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council will consider multiple resolutions Thursday to direct money away from the police budget and toward the root causes of issues that lead to police interactions – including domestic violence, homelessness and addiction.

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz announces his resignation in February.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Hay mucho que no sabemos sobre el futuro de los estudiantes en Austin: ¿Los edificios escolares del Distrito Escolar Independiente de Austin (ISD, en inglés) estarán abiertos en agosto? ¿Seguirán las clases por Internet? ¿Habrá eventos deportivos o reuniones de cualquier tipo?

La comunidad del ISD de Austin tampoco sabe quién dirigirá el distrito cuando comience el próximo año escolar. 

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz announces his resignation in February.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

There’s a lot we don’t know about the future for Austin’s students: Will Austin ISD's school buildings be open in August? Will online learning still be happening? Will there be sporting events or gatherings of any kind?

The AISD community also doesn't know who will be leading the district when the next school year starts. 

Demonstrators protesting police brutality marched onto I-35 from Austin Police headquarters on Saturday.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hundreds of people protesting the police killings of George Floyd and Mike Ramos demonstrated outside Austin Police headquarters and on I-35 on Saturday, temporarily blocking all lanes of traffic.

Families drive past Pease Elementary School in downtown Austin on Thursday in a parade to say goodbye to the school.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Ever since the pandemic forced Austin to close businesses and ask employees to work from home, downtown has been eerily silent. 

But the block between Rio Grande and West Avenue at 11th Street was jubilant Thursday. 

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