Education

Austin ISD, the University of Texas, Austin Community College, Texas A&M University, charter schools, legislative issues, and anything else related to K-12, public education, higher education and workforce development in Central Texas, Travis County, and Austin.

Courtesy of Austin Independent School District

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees voted to hire a new superintendent Tuesday night. Stephanie Elizalde comes to AISD from Dallas ISD, where she was the chief of schools. Elizalde started the new position immediately.

Joseph Frilot leads a group of educators marching in Austin demanding racial justice in education.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Joseph Frilot considers himself an introvert. He’s a sixth- and seventh-grade pre-AP social studies teacher in Austin, and he couldn’t imagine himself participating in a march for justice when the idea first came up. Then, he thought of his students and the example he wanted to set for them through his actions.

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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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 outside Crockett High School says the property is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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The Austin Independent School District Board has scheduled a vote Thursday night to delay the start of the school year from Aug. 18 to Sept. 8, because of COVID-19. The district says the delay would give employees time to adjust to new health and safety requirements for in-person instruction.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

In a statement Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott said local health authorities can shut down schools if there’s evidence of an outbreak after students have already returned to campus — but cannot shut them down weeks before schools open.

His statement backs a legal opinion released by the Texas attorney general issued on Tuesday.

UT Austin is offering in-person and hybrid classes this fall and welcoming students back to dorms.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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UT Austin is asking students to self-quarantine for 14 days before they arrive on campus this fall.

The request is the latest effort in the university’s attempts to prevent COVID-19 infections in the UT community. Since March, 456 people on campus – including students, faculty and staff – have tested positive for the coronavirus. UT topped a New York Times survey published Wednesday of American universities with the most reported cases of COVID-19.

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.

A classroom with chairs overturned on top of desks.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Local health officials do not have the authority to shut down all schools in their vicinity while COVID-19 cases rise, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in nonbinding guidance Tuesday that contradicts what the Texas Education Agency has told school officials.

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

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

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Read this story in English.

Después de décadas de representar a la Escuela Secundaria Hays en Buda, la mascota rebelde pasará a retiro.

El Concejo de Administración del Distrito Escolar Consolidado Independiente (CISD, en inglés) de Hays votó unánimemente este jueves para que deje de utilizarse. En una reunión especial, muchos miembros de la junta dijeron que era "imposible" separar a la mascota de su historia racista.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Facing growing backlash from teachers, parents and health officials, Texas education officials Friday relaxed a previous order that would have given public schools just three weeks from the start of the fall semester to reopen their classrooms for in-person instruction.

A water tower in Buda
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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After decades of representing Hays High School in Buda, the rebel mascot will retire.

The Hays Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to discontinue its use. At a special meeting, many board members said it was "impossible" to separate the mascot from its racist history.

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. 

UT Austin students pass by the main building on campus on their way to and from classes.
Tamir Kalifa for The Texas Tribune

On Tuesday, the Trump administration walked back recent guidance that would have deported international college and university students if they were enrolled exclusively in online classes this fall. The repeal follows outspoken criticism from universities, legal experts and higher education advocates, who deemed the rules unfairly punitive for foreign students.

After calls to address racism, UT Austin announced plans to rename some spaces on campus and improve efforts to recruit Black students, faculty and staff.
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

UT Austin says it plans to rename certain campus spaces, add monuments that honor civil rights advocates and work harder to recruit Black students, faculty and staff.

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. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics once again plunged into the growing debate over school reopening with a strong new statement Friday, making clear that while in-person school provides crucial benefits to children, "Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics." The statement also said that "science and community circumstances must guide decision-making."

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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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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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

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. 

Houston Independent School District

For 40 years, Robin Stauffer has taught high school English in seven different school districts in three different states. Most recently, Advanced Placement English in Katy, where she says working with kids has kept her young and lighthearted.

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.  

Students gather in an auditorium before class
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Texas public schools will be required to provide in-person instruction for students this fall, but state education officials have delayed releasing final public health guidelines for keeping them safe on campuses during the pandemic.

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.

A police officer walks through the hall of LBJ High School in 2016.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As the school board finalizes its FY2021 budget, racial justice advocates are calling on the Austin Independent School District to move money away from policing.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Texas students will be returning to public schools in person this fall, Gov. Greg Abbott told state lawmakers Thursday morning.

The state's top education officials confirmed the plans in a statement to The Texas Tribune.

Texas State University
Texas State University

Texas State University is moving forward with plans to have students back on campus for summer classes that start July 6. But as the number of COVID-19 cases in the county grows, many students are concerned about going back to school.

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.

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