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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

AISD for All, a group of parents and community members advocating for equity in the school district, is hosting a series of forums with candidates for the four open school board positions that will be on the ballot in November.

UT students move into off-campus housing in West Campus on Aug. 1.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

UT Austin enrolled almost 300 more students of color in its freshman class this semester than in fall of 2019, UT President Jay Hartzell said.

Students draw self-portraits in a kindergarten class on the first day of in-person classes at Highland Village Elementary.
Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

More than 2,300 of Texas public school students who have returned to school in person since the beginning of this academic year — about 0.21% — have reported testing positive for COVID-19, according to a dashboard the state released Thursday in a first effort to publicly track the way the pandemic is impacting public schools.

The Leander Independent School District's administrative building.
Michael Minasi / KUT

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Leander ISD officials publicly denounced the actions of students caught on video over the summer removing Black Lives Matter yard signs and yelling a racist remark.

Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees seal
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

AISD for All, a group of parents and community members advocating for equity in the school district, is hosting a series of forums with candidates for the four open school board positions that will be on the ballot in November.

Crockett High School in South Austin during the coronavirus pandemic. Austin ISD is planning to bring some students back to school buildings in October.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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When the Austin Independent School District begins phasing students back into school buildings Oct. 5, it will prioritize special education and lower grade levels within each school as the first to return.

Shelby Tauber / The Texas Tribune

The Texas State Board of Education gave preliminary approval this week to a sex education policy that includes teaching middle schoolers about birth control beyond abstinence — its first attempt to revise that policy since 1997.

Michael Minasi / KUT

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Alex Bell knew senior year at Southwestern University was going to look like no other, but the anthropology major wanted to be back on campus.

Austin Independent School District Board of Trustees seal
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

AISD for All, a group of parents and community members advocating for equity in the school district, is hosting a series of forums with candidates for the four open school board positions that will be on the ballot in November.

Students sit outside the Peter T. Flawn Academic Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
Allie Goulding for The Texas Tribune

As Texas college towns see rising COVID-19 cases with the return of hundreds of thousands of students to campus, a small but increasing number of universities are disciplining students who attend or host house parties or Greek rush events.

Nearly 2,000 books line the shelves of a makeshift library in East Travis County.
Michael Minasi / KUT

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When she’s not logging online to teach her class of third-graders reading and writing, Jennifer Martin has been doubling as a local librarian, offering some 2,000 books to neighborhood kids and teens — all from the garage of her East Travis County home.

UT professors Ayelet Haimson Lushkov and her husband, Pramit Chaudhuri, have not felt comfortable bringing their young children back to day care during the pandemic.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Part four of a four-part series.

There's a lot of caregiving in Ayelet Haimson Lushkov's life. She's the mother of a 3-  and 1-year-old,  and she also teaches undergraduate and graduate classes at UT. 

Heman Sweatt was admitted to UT Austin's law school in 1950 after winning a court case challenging the "separate but equal" concept.
Neal Douglass photograph courtesy Austin History Center

Numbers from UT Austin show that only 5.1% of its students are Black. While the university says the number of Black undergraduates on campus has risen over the past few years, the percentage is still small.

A masked UT employee indicates where a driver should go.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Four students sat at the corners of a picnic table on the UT Austin campus Wednesday, looking down at their open laptops, masks on their faces and backpacks open at their feet.

Many new rules are in place on campus as UT Austin tries to operate safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The school's "Protect Texas Together" plan outlines campus health and safety efforts such as social distancing.
Michael Minasi / KUT

Protect Texas Together” is UT Austin’s comprehensive plan to operate safely while the coronavirus pandemic continues. But after seeing other universities open for the fall and then shut down because of coronavirus cases, some students say they don't feel very protected.

The hallway is empty at Galindo Elementary School in South Austin in July.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Parents, teachers and advocates worry online-only lesson plans could widen the digital divide and exacerbate educational equity issues in Austin Independent School District. To try to prevent that, the district, which has roughly 81,000 students, is distributing Wi-Fi hotspots, laptops and tablets.

Sam Houston State University
SHSU

The July memo was blunt. Students at Sam Houston State University had been promised “direct contact” with faculty, and even in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, the Huntsville school needed to deliver, Provost Richard Eglsaer told the faculty.

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.

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