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.

Clockwise from top left, Ruby, Daniela, Kaisa, Hattie, Anderson, John, Eddie and Kate share what it's been like at home and out of school.
Courtesy photos

Schools in Central Texas are closed for at least three weeks to avoid spreading the coronavirus. With so many kids stuck at home (without the library, Thinkery or playdates to entertain them), we wanted to see how they are holding up.

The Austin Independent School District
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District announced Monday it will close schools through April 3 out of concern over COVID-19. Classes are expected to resume April 6.

Rosa Montalvo, a cafeteria employee, delivers food to parents parked outside Dawson Elementary school.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Independent School District is preparing meals to hand out to students while school is closed amid COVID-19 concerns. 

UT Austin President Greg Fenves
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

UT Austin President Greg Fenves' wife, Carmel, has tested positive for COVID-19, he said in a letter sent to the UT community Friday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin Independent School District is canceling large gatherings and other events through April 3 in response to COVID-19, Superintendent Paul Cruz announced Thursday.

A student uses hand sanitizer on UT Austin campus
Julia Reihs / KUT

UT Austin said Monday it's preparing to move all classes online if COVID-19 cases are confirmed in the Austin area. The university is also advising students on how to avoid spreading the disease and how to travel safely over spring break. 

A sign tells visitors at St. David's Medical Center to alert staff if they've traveled to a region with cases of COVID-19 and have certain respiratory symptoms.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Texas State University is keeping an eye on 10 people who recently traveled to countries where the coronavirus is actively spreading, a spokesperson confirmed to KUT on Tuesday. The individuals –nine students and a faculty member – are self-quarantining at their homes off campus.

A Healthy Horns sign on preventing the spread of germs
Julia Reihs / KUT

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Austin, but if it happens, the University of Texas wants to be ready.

Rice University
Rice University Police Department

Rice University canceled all in-person classes and undergraduate labs this week in an attempt to avoid spread of the new coronavirus after an employee tested positive, university officials announced Sunday.

Austin ISD students walk up the stairs of Kealing Middle School.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

There are more Hispanic and black students attending Austin Independent School District’s magnet programs this school year than in past ones, according to data the school board reviewed this week. Getting more students of color into magnet programs, which are academically tougher and require students to apply to get in, has been a goal of the superintendent and the school board.

Former UT Coach Michael Center Sentenced To 6 Months In Connection With Admissions Scandal

Feb 24, 2020
Michael Center exits the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Austin on March 12, 2019.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Former University of Texas at Austin tennis coach Michael Center was sentenced Monday to six months in prison in a Boston federal court for his involvement in the nationwide admissions scandal that implicated more than 50 people, including celebrities Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

Save Pease signs
Julia Reihs / KUT

Parents of students at Pease Elementary, one of four schools the district voted in November to close, say they are dismayed the Austin Independent School District has revoked previously approved transfer requests.

Downtown Round Rock
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Round Rock Independent School District's Board of Trustees approved boundary changes Thursday for six schools. The changes will affect students at Caraway, Elsa England, Herrington, Joe Lee Johnson and Teravista elementary schools and at C.D. Fulkes Middle School. 

State Board of Education candidate Robert Morrow is known for wearing a jester's hat.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

With his history of sexist, racist rhetoric and incomprehensible, conspiracy-laden rants, Robert Morrow has become one of the most unifying political figures in Texas.

Austin Independent School District Superintendent Paul Cruz
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Even though Superintendent Paul Cruz said he's leaving the Austin Independent School District, the process of school closures that started under his watch likely will not end. But where it goes from here is unknown.

Paul Cruz is resigning from his position as superintendent of Austin Independent School District.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Paul Cruz, superintendent of the Austin Independent School District, announced Wednesday he is resigning to take a position at UT Austin.

Students eat lunch in the cafeteria of Highland Park Elementary. A sole person walks in an empty hallway.
Julia Reihs / KUT

About 4,500 fewer students are expected to be enrolled in the Austin Independent School District over the next five years, a new demographic report predicts.  

The Texas School for the Deaf
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Texas School for the Deaf is launching two apps to help implement a new state law aimed at preventing school violence and promoting school safety.

The Austin Independent School District
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Some special education teachers in the Austin Independent School District could see increased pay and stipends as soon as March, the district announced Tuesday.

UT Austin campus
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is donating $100 million to UT Austin to support students from lower-income families.

The money, which will be granted over 10 years, is the largest donation the university has ever received that will go directly to students.

The tower at the University of Texas Austin
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Incoming UT Austin students will need to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against measles starting this fall, according to University Health Services.

The new requirement does not apply to students currently in classes or those enrolling this spring or summer. 

UT Austin students raise signs signifying their opposition to leadership answers during a town hall forum on faculty sexual misconduct at the university on Monday.
Julia Reihs / KUT

UT Austin students urged university leadership to admit the school has failed them, during a town hall meeting Monday on faculty sexual misconduct.

A locker in the Austin Independent School District
Julia Reihs / KUT

A local nonprofit wants to start a school in Austin that serves young adults with neurological conditions like autism.

Easterseals of Central Texas is seeking to start the school within the Austin Independent School District. The school would help students older than 18 who have autism or other conditions learn important life and workplace skills. Students would attend the school after completing high school graduation requirements. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Click here to read this story in English.

Cuando el Distrito Escolar Independiente de Austin anunció que era necesario cerrar y consolidar escuelas en febrero, también publicó una oferta laboral para el primer director de equidad del distrito.

The tower at the University of Texas Austin campus.
Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Seventeen employees at the University of Texas at Austin, including three faculty members and one research fellow, were found to have violated the flagship's sexual misconduct policies between Nov. 2017 and Dec. 2019, according to a university document released Thursday.

Five Bertha Sadler Means students
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District put off a decision last fall on whether to close eight schools as part of its districtwide overhaul. Since then, students, staff and parents at those schools have been waiting in a sort of limbo, and it could be months before they learn their schools' fates. 

Stephanie Hawley, chief equity officer for AISD, at a school board meeting.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Para leer una versión de este artículo en Español haga click aqui.

When the Austin Independent School District announced it needed to close and consolidate schools back in February, it also posted a job for its first-ever chief equity officer.

As Dr. Ed Burger prepares to leave Southwestern University to become President and Chief Executive Officer of St. David’s Foundation in Austin, Texas, he and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the art of letting go, as they wrap up the KUT podcast "Higher Ed."

Austin ISD Cief Equity Officer Stephanie Hawley, at a school board meeting Aug. 26.
Julia Reihs / KUT

School closures and consolidations are not "equity strategies," the Austin Independent School District's chief equity officer says in a report released Monday.

Children and community members hold signs asking that Pease Elementary not be closed.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin Independent School District’s board of trustees discussed transition plans for the four schools it voted to close at last month’s meeting at a work session Monday night.

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