breaking news

Appeals court halts, for now, abortion for immigrant teen in Texas

Education

Amarillo school employees on leave after allegations of negative remarks about student with disabilities

Amarillo school employees on leave after allegations of negative remarks about student with disabilities

A Facebook post that went viral alleged five Amarillo Independent School District employees made disparaging remarks about a student with disabilities, and now the district has placed the employees in question on administrative leave pending an investigation. According to the Amarillo Globe-News, Angela Hartfelder came across the Facebook post Friday morning and said she recognized the people in the...
Students view augmented reality

Students view augmented reality

Fifth-grader Hana Daboub, third from right, and fellow St. Gabriel’s Catholic School students use special cameras to view placed 3D objects through Google’s Expeditions Augmented Reality program. Students can walk all around the objects, get in close to spot details and step back to see the full picture.
Nearly 30% of Travis County students overweight, study finds

Nearly 30% of Travis County students overweight, study finds

Nearly 30 percent of Travis County students would be considered overweight or obese, according to an analysis of recent school district data by the city of Austin. Health experts say childhood obesity puts children at risk for a variety of physical challenges, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, menstruation issues and respiratory and orthopedic problems. Austin Public Health, which analyzed data...
UPDATE: Package delivered to San Marcos school declared safe, officials say

UPDATE: Package delivered to San Marcos school declared safe, officials say

8:30 p.m. update: A suspicious package that was delivered to Goodnight Middle School in San Marcos has been deemed safe after students were evacuated and all activities were canceled, the San Marcos school district said Monday evening on Facebook. “We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow morning at our regular scheduled start time,” the school district wrote in an update. It was San...
Pro-AISD bond group raises $186,000 in campaign funds

Pro-AISD bond group raises $186,000 in campaign funds

A political action committee supporting the Austin district’s school bonds has raised $186,000 to lobby voters to approve the $1.1 billion bond measure, with substantial support from the city’s business community, especially those in the building trade. The Committee for Austin’s Children PAC has spent about $76,000 on flyers, direct mailers, yard signs and a poll that gauged public...
DPS steps up enforcement on drivers who pass school buses illegally

DPS steps up enforcement on drivers who pass school buses illegally

Texas state troopers are stepping up their efforts to catch drivers who pass school buses illegally as a part of National School Bus Safety Week, which runs through Friday. From January 2016 through mid-October of this year, the Department of Public Safety issued 1,100 citations for drivers who illegally passed a stopped school bus. WATCH: Austin students struck by vehicles The Austin school district...
Latinos had income gains, but not all the news is rosy

Latinos had income gains, but not all the news is rosy

Bladimira Martinez takes notes while her daughter and business associate, Yessenia Ramirez, conducts business in Pflugerville last month. Martinez recently started her own cleaning company after years of working for others at or near minimum wage. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN The headlines have been heartening lately for Latinos in Austin and across the country, at...
Viewpoints: Texas should keep promise to Harvey-hit school districts

Viewpoints: Texas should keep promise to Harvey-hit school districts

State officials have promised Hurricane Harvey-affected school districts – some of which have yet to reopen their doors – that Texas will be there to help them rebuild safe and healthy communities for students and educators. It’s imperative that state leaders deliver on their promise to those most affected by Harvey’s epic destruction. Texas can’t afford to cut corners...
Austin school Trustee Yasmin Wagner misused city resources, audit finds

Austin school Trustee Yasmin Wagner misused city resources, audit finds

A city of Austin investigation by the auditor’s office released Thursday found that Austin school board member Yasmin Wagner misused city resources to do work for the school board. Wagner is a manager in the city’s public information and communications office. The school board appointed her to a vacant spot on the board in September 2015 and she was elected to her first term in November...
Struggling after Harvey, Texas schools plead for relief from state

Struggling after Harvey, Texas schools plead for relief from state

Officials from more than a dozen school districts devastated by Hurricane Harvey pleaded with state lawmakers on Thursday for some relief as the districts slowly recover. Among the most common requests made to the Texas House Public Education Committee was for more money in anticipation of tax revenue loss; more money to help educate an increasing number of children without permanent homes; and more...
AUSTIN SCHOOL BOND FORUM: Questions of segregation, inequity addressed

AUSTIN SCHOOL BOND FORUM: Questions of segregation, inequity addressed

School and community leaders Wednesday night debated whether the Austin school district’s $1.1 billion bond measure would benefit students equally across the district, and raised issues such as the bond’s tax impact, segregation in the schools and how to address underenrolled schools. Trustee Ted Gordon said that while he has concerns with aspects of the bond, its failure would leave...
School, community leaders debate equity in $1.1B Austin district bond

School, community leaders debate equity in $1.1B Austin district bond

8:20 p.m. UPDATE: School and community leaders Wednesday night debated whether there is equity in the Austin school district’s $1.1 billion bond measure, and raised issues such as district segregation, the tax impact of the bond and school closures. Trustee Ted Gordon said that while he has concerns with aspects of the bond, its failure would leave the school district in a dire financial situation...
Ex-Council Member Zimmerman joins East Austin foes to oppose AISD bond

Ex-Council Member Zimmerman joins East Austin foes to oppose AISD bond

An unlikely alliance has formed to oppose the Austin school district’s $1.1 billion bond measure in November. The Save East Austin Schools political action committee, which says the bond proposal will worsen segregation and do little for the district’s neediest students, says one of the group’s stronger allies is the Travis County Taxpayers Union, led by former Austin City Council...
UT cancels torchlight portion of rally ahead of Oklahoma game

UT cancels torchlight portion of rally ahead of Oklahoma game

A traditional torchlight parade in advance of Saturday’s University of Texas football game against the University of Oklahoma has been canceled this year and for the foreseeable future as a result of violence in Charlottesville, Va. However, students, alumni and others will still walk to the Main Mall just south of the UT Tower, where a pep rally Wednesday evening will include remarks by coach...
Diverse group of opponents rally against Austin ISD’s $1.1 billion bond

Diverse group of opponents rally against Austin ISD’s $1.1 billion bond

A group of about 20 community leaders gathered outside LBJ High School Tuesday afternoon to voice their opposition to the Austin school district’s $1.1 billion bond measure. Some in the group have very different political views than others, but said they are unified in their desire to defeat the bond package that will go before Austin voters next month. “This is not an east side versus...
Developer sues Austin ISD over Alamo Drafthouse dealings

Developer sues Austin ISD over Alamo Drafthouse dealings

An Austin developer is suing the Austin school district over the Baker Center, a former school that is one of the surplus properties the district is considering selling or leasing. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, Colina West Limited, owned by developer David Kahn, alleges the district chose Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for a “significantly lower bid” than Colina West for the Hyde Park property...
In South Texas, students await return to hurricane-ravaged schools

In South Texas, students await return to hurricane-ravaged schools

Dylan Samora started his junior year at a new school. An athlete and straight-A student, he’s being challenged academically and has been invited to join the football team. But that doesn’t matter to the 16-year-old for one reason — he’s not in Aransas Pass High School. “The punch in the gut is not knowing when you can go back or if anything will be the same,” said...
Hays superintendent’s ouster linked to teacher investigation

Hays superintendent’s ouster linked to teacher investigation

A months-long Hays school district investigation into complaints of a hostile work environment at an elementary school played a role in the abrupt departure of Superintendent Michael McKie, documents obtained by the American-Statesman show. McKie, hired in May 2013, had two years left on his contract when he resigned May 9. He received a settlement of $236,929, according to a district separation agreement...
Hutto names Celina Estrada Thomas first Latina school superintendent

Hutto names Celina Estrada Thomas first Latina school superintendent

The Hutto school board has named Central Texas educator Celina Estrada Thomas as the lone finalist for superintendent to lead the 7,000-student district. Estrada Thomas would be the first female, as well as the first Hispanic, superintendent in Hutto. Deputy Superintendent Ed Ramos has served as interim in the district twice. “I am honored and thrilled beyond measure of the opportunity to lead...
Las Vegas shooting a reminder of 1966 UT Tower killings

Las Vegas shooting a reminder of 1966 UT Tower killings

The deadly rampage of a single gunman opening fire from high up in a Las Vegas hotel on Sunday night is reminiscent of a day 51 years ago when a University of Texas student opened fire from 27 stories above ground on the UT Tower. Charles Whitman, a former Marine, killed 12 people — two more would later die of their injuries — and wounded nearly three dozen others on Aug. 1, 1966. It was...

Hays district seeks ideas for names of new elementary, high school

The Hays school district will be opening _______ Elementary next year and _______ High School in 2019. Now’s your chance to fill in the blank. The Hays Consolidated Independent School District’s naming committee is seeking nominations from the public for the schools. According to the district, new schools may be named for: • Historical or geographical sites or communities. •...
Commentary: America values registered nurses. When will Austin ISD?

Commentary: America values registered nurses. When will Austin ISD?

Since the Gallup Poll began ranking “most-trusted professions” in 1999, nurses have placed No. 1 every year with the exception of 2001. People have depended on and trusted nurses through life’s most intimate moments: birth and dying and times in between of injury and sickness. Parents trust that nurses will be there when needed while their child is in school. Austin Independent School...
NAME THAT SCHOOL: Hays district seeks suggestions for names of new elementary, high school

NAME THAT SCHOOL: Hays district seeks suggestions for names of new elementary, high school

The Hays school district will be opening  __________ Elementary next year and ___________ High School in 2019. Now’s your chance to fill in the blank. The Hays Consolidated Independent School District’s naming committee is seeking nominations from the public to name a high school and an elementary school. According to the district, new schools can be named for: Historical or geographical...
Navy awards $458 million contract to UT’s Applied Research Laboratories

Navy awards $458 million contract to UT’s Applied Research Laboratories

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $458 million contract to the University of Texas’ Applied Research Laboratories for research and development aimed at advancing sonar, satellite navigation, cybersecurity and other technologies. Work for the Navy, particularly in acoustics, has for decades been a mainstay of the Applied Research Laboratories, located at UT’s J.J. Pickle Research Campus in North...
SantaCruz: It’s time Texas required schools to teach ethnic studies

SantaCruz: It’s time Texas required schools to teach ethnic studies

High school ethnic studies classes like Mexican-American studies have become increasingly popular in classrooms across the country, including some in Texas. Schools that teach these courses can expect to see improved grades in low-performing students, increased graduation rates and better social outcomes, according to several studies. Yet, ethnic studies are not part of the K-12 curriculum in Texas...
UT research lab wins $458 million Navy contract

UT research lab wins $458 million Navy contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded a $458 million, multiyear contract to the University of Texas’ Applied Research Laboratories for research and development work involving acoustics, navigation, command and control, and warfare systems, according to a Defense Department news release. Such work has been a mainstay of the Applied Research Laboratories, located at UT’s J.J. Pickle Research...
PHOTOS: Barton Springs University

PHOTOS: Barton Springs University

Barton Springs University, presented by the Save Our Springs Alliance, was a full day of learning about one of Austin’s most treasured spots for students and members of the public on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017.
Industrial meets very cool: UT’s $313.7M engineering building debuts

Industrial meets very cool: UT’s $313.7M engineering building debuts

University of Texas officials on Thursday will celebrate the grand opening of a project more than 10 years in the making: the Engineering Education and Research Center. Here are five things to know about the new building, which is west of San Jacinto Boulevard and east of Speedway. 1. The size. It’s big, bold and airy: two nine-story towers clad in limestone with seashell imprints, joined...
BREAKING: Lehman High students kept in classes after multiple fights break out, officials say

BREAKING: Lehman High students kept in classes after multiple fights break out, officials say

School officials told Lehman High School students in Hays County to stay in their classes between fifth and sixth periods after multiple fights broke out at different times Tuesday and Wednesday at the school, officials said. The “hold in place” began around 2 p.m. and was lifted before 3 p.m., Hays County school spokesman Tim Savoy said. Students are now allowed to move freely between...
Phillips: Austin City Council can return piece of history to community

Phillips: Austin City Council can return piece of history to community

When I first wrote about the former Montopolis Negro School a year ago, it faced almost certain demolition and redevelopment to make way for new housing units, offices and shops – despite its obvious historic value. Consider that the school is one of the last of 42 institutions that educated African-American children from 1935 to 1962, when Austin’s school system relegated black children...
Austin school district’s enrollment drops for 5th straight year

Austin school district’s enrollment drops for 5th straight year

Preliminary enrollment numbers show a more than 1,600-student drop in the Austin district, which would be the biggest loss of students in a single year since the district’s attendance peaked in 2012. Unofficial student enrollment numbers taken from the third week of school show enrollment at 81,427, down 1,640 students from last year, though when compared with the same day last school year,...
Teacher takes flight

Teacher takes flight

Caitlyn Koebler, a teacher at Reed Elementary in the Leander school district, flies using wind power in a vertical tunnel at iFly Austin. More than 100 educators and officials from school districts throughout the Austin area attended an open house this month for STEM educators. The indoor skydiving operator is aiming to encourage K-12 students and older to pursue careers in the fields of science and...
Austin ISD enrollment drops by 1,600 students, preliminary data shows

Austin ISD enrollment drops by 1,600 students, preliminary data shows

Preliminary enrollment numbers show more than a 1,600-student drop in the Austin district, which would be the biggest loss of students in a single year since the district’s attendance peaked in 2012. There is time for a rebound. Unofficial student enrollment numbers taken from the third week of school show enrollment at 81,427, down 1,640 students from last year. But enrollment from the same...
Austin getting $350,000 in ‘talent hub’ funding for degree completion

Austin getting $350,000 in ‘talent hub’ funding for degree completion

Austin’s got talent, and the potential to develop a lot more. Hence, it comes perhaps as no surprise that it was named Monday as one of 17 “talent hubs.” Each of those communities is getting $350,000 to help boost education and training beyond high school. Funding comes from the Indiana-based Lumina Foundation in partnership with the Michigan-based Kresge Foundation. A coalition...
As AISD superintendent delivers bond update, protesters rally outside

As AISD superintendent delivers bond update, protesters rally outside

7 p.m. UPDATE: About two dozen protesters rallied outside the Austin district’s headquarters, expressing their concerns about the district’s $1.1 billion bond measure. A handful spoke, including Susana Almanza, director of PODER, who called the bond plan racist and said the bond funds won’t be distributed equitably. The group concluded their rally, chanting, “Vote No!&rdquo...
Viewpoints: Young would-be voters should learn value of their ballots

Viewpoints: Young would-be voters should learn value of their ballots

When the time comes to teach kids about voting, Austin High School government teachers Rolando Duarte and Stephanie Harris provide students with a robust, engaging lesson plan that includes voter registration drives, schoolwide mock elections and daily conversations about current events and hot-button issues. Their approach, studies suggest, help build the foundation for a habit-voting citizen. Unfortunately...

Austin district: $1.1B would fuel revamp of LBJ, Eastside high schools

Austin school leaders plan to modernize the entire district and all 130 schools if voters approve a $1.1 billion November bond measure — with $106.3 million earmarked for lifting two high schools with histories of academic struggles and low enrollment. Bond plans call for Eastside Memorial High School, currently located at the former Johnston High campus in East Austin, to be built at the site...
Herman: Fame or shame for the guy who delivered Confederate mail?

Herman: Fame or shame for the guy who delivered Confederate mail?

Once again, and with unprecedented fervor, we’re wrestling with what to do about statues of and things named for Confederate leaders. That means we’re again talking about Texan John H. Reagan, who’s always identified as postmaster general of the Confederacy. It’s a perennial reference that often makes you say, “Wait a minute, the Confederacy had a postal service?&rdquo...
Austin ISD is banking on bond to boost enrollment, turn around schools

Austin ISD is banking on bond to boost enrollment, turn around schools

Natural lighting, movable furniture, state-of-the art technology, and open and collaborative learning spaces. That kind of learning environment is what Austin district leaders envision for their campuses of the future. The average Austin school building is 40 years old. Many of the classroom spaces still resemble industrial-era classrooms with their front-facing rows, a single wood door to enter and...
AISD LAND FOR SALE: Alamo Drafthouse eyes former school site for HQ

AISD LAND FOR SALE: Alamo Drafthouse eyes former school site for HQ

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is seeking to move its headquarters to the Baker Center, one of 40 bids and proposals for 10 of the Austin school district’s surplus properties that remain in negotiations. Baker, a former school built in 1911, had a minimum bid of $10.6 million. Alamo was among the six bidders, and one of three (including the city) that made separate proposals for the property...
Commentary: Let’s debunk falsehoods about school choice and special ed

Commentary: Let’s debunk falsehoods about school choice and special ed

As kids begin a new school year, it’s deeply unfortunate that some of the most disadvantaged students in Texas still lack access to a quality education. When the special session for the Texas Legislature abruptly ended, the move killed two bills that would have created a tax-credit scholarship program for students with special needs. This common-sense reform received bipartisan support and the...
UT’s 4-year graduation rate rises, but still falls short of 70% goal

UT’s 4-year graduation rate rises, but still falls short of 70% goal

The University of Texas has made considerable progress in raising its four-year graduation rate — especially among minority students, those from low-income families and students who are the first generation in their families to attend college — but nonetheless fell short of achieving its 70 percent goal this year. Among freshmen who enrolled in 2013, 65.7 percent graduated in 2017, according...
UT System regents commit up to $4.5M for a bid to run Los Alamos

UT System regents commit up to $4.5M for a bid to run Los Alamos

The University of Texas System Board of Regents on Monday authorized spending up to $4.5 million to prepare a bid to operate Los Alamos National Laboratory, a key part of the nation’s nuclear weapons complex. The UT System board also elected Regent Sara Martinez Tucker to chair the board, which oversees 14 academic and health campuses. She succeeds Paul Foster, who has led the board through...
Western Governors University names new Texas chancellor

Western Governors University names new Texas chancellor

Steven E. Johnson, a longtime executive of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, has been named chancellor of WGU Texas, effective Monday. He will oversee the Texas arm of Western Governors University, a school that occupies a somewhat unusual niche: It is private, nonprofit and mostly online, with a curriculum that lets students advance at their own pace. Johnson, 53, previously was senior...

UT regents a step closer to bidding to run Los Alamos

The University of Texas System Board of Regents on Monday authorized spending up to $4.5 million to prepare a bid to operate Los Alamos National Laboratory. The UT board also named Regent Sara Martinez Tucker to chair the board. She succeeds Paul Foster, who has led the board through a sometimes-fractious four years. The spending vote was not a surprise, as the board encouraged its staff last month...
More Stories