Melissa B. Taboada

K-12 education reporter

Melissa B. Taboada writes about K-12 public education for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the newspaper since 1999, previously covering suburban and county government, child welfare issues and the housing market, as well as writing a family life column for several years. Melissa studied journalism at the University of North Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Cedar Park with her husband and their two sons.

Latest from Melissa B. Taboada

Austin school board to vote on renaming schools with Confederate ties
 After months of debate, the majority of the Austin school board has agreed to vote Feb. 26 on whether to change the names of five schools that have ties to the Confederacy. The trustees Monday night debated issues regarding policy changes, financial costs and community input surrounding renaming schools but ultimately decided it was time...

Posted: 4 days ago

After months of debate, the majority of the Austin school board has agreed to vote Feb. 26 on whether to change the names of five schools that have ties to the Confederacy. The trustees Monday night debated issues regarding policy changes, financial costs and community input surrounding renaming schools but ultimately decided it was time...
Dripping Springs school district puts $132 million bond on May ballots
 Dripping Springs voters in May will decide on a $132 million school bond package, the largest in the district’s history. The bond projects are aimed at addressing growth in the 6,464-student district, which is projected to continue growing by about 6 percent annually. The bond would fund construction of an 850-student elementary school...

Posted: 4 days ago

Dripping Springs voters in May will decide on a $132 million school bond package, the largest in the district’s history. The bond projects are aimed at addressing growth in the 6,464-student district, which is projected to continue growing by about 6 percent annually. The bond would fund construction of an 850-student elementary school...
Dripping Springs school board calls for $132 million bond election
 The Dripping Springs school board Monday night approved putting a $132 million bond before voters in May. The bond package is aimed at addressing district growth. The bond would fund a fifth elementary school, an expansion of Dripping Springs High School, construction of a new Walnut Springs Elementary School and conversion of the current...

Posted: 5 days ago

The Dripping Springs school board Monday night approved putting a $132 million bond before voters in May. The bond package is aimed at addressing district growth. The bond would fund a fifth elementary school, an expansion of Dripping Springs High School, construction of a new Walnut Springs Elementary School and conversion of the current...
Austin ISD board will vote on Confederate school name changes
 9:30 p.m. UPDATE: After months of debate, the majority of the Austin school board is in consensus to vote Feb. 26 on whether to change the names of five schools that have ties to the Confederacy. The trustees Monday night debated issues regarding policy changes, financial costs and community input surrounding renaming schools but ultimately...

Posted: 5 days ago

9:30 p.m. UPDATE: After months of debate, the majority of the Austin school board is in consensus to vote Feb. 26 on whether to change the names of five schools that have ties to the Confederacy. The trustees Monday night debated issues regarding policy changes, financial costs and community input surrounding renaming schools but ultimately...
Austin district to renew debate over Confederate school names Monday
 The Austin school district on Monday will revive discussions to remove the names of Confederate figures from a handful of schools, a topic that has sparked division on the board in recent weeks. The school board will consider whether to rename five campuses — three of which bear the names of people who served in leadership roles in...

Posted: 7 days ago

The Austin school district on Monday will revive discussions to remove the names of Confederate figures from a handful of schools, a topic that has sparked division on the board in recent weeks. The school board will consider whether to rename five campuses — three of which bear the names of people who served in leadership roles in...
Austin ISD fails to find partner to save Mendez Middle School
 Time is running out for Mendez Middle School after the Austin school district didn’t receive any response to its request for proposals to help turn around the chronically failing campus. District administrators last month sought to partner with an outside entity, such as a nonprofit or university, to save Mendez from closure by the...

Posted: 8 days ago

Time is running out for Mendez Middle School after the Austin school district didn’t receive any response to its request for proposals to help turn around the chronically failing campus. District administrators last month sought to partner with an outside entity, such as a nonprofit or university, to save Mendez from closure by the...
Austin ISD fails to find partner to help save Mendez Middle School
 Time is running out for Mendez Middle School after the Austin school district didn’t receive any response to its request for proposals to help turn around the chronically failing campus. District administrators last month sought to partner with an outside entity, such as a nonprofit or university, as a way to save Mendez from state...

Posted: 9 days ago

Time is running out for Mendez Middle School after the Austin school district didn’t receive any response to its request for proposals to help turn around the chronically failing campus. District administrators last month sought to partner with an outside entity, such as a nonprofit or university, as a way to save Mendez from state...
2018 deficit means another lean year for Austin teachers making $50K
 Elementary school teacher Caroline Sweet can feel the pinch. Sweet, a 13-year teacher veteran with a master’s degree and bilingual certification who teaches fourth grade, has seen rising health insurance costs in the Austin district, and despite recent annual raises, earns $50,130, still $2,400 a year less than the average...

Posted: 16 days ago

Elementary school teacher Caroline Sweet can feel the pinch. Sweet, a 13-year teacher veteran with a master’s degree and bilingual certification who teaches fourth grade, has seen rising health insurance costs in the Austin district, and despite recent annual raises, earns $50,130, still $2,400 a year less than the average...
Austin charter schools hit 25,000 students as Texas gives them a boost
 Austin-area charter school enrollment has reached an all-time high of 25,400 students, eight times more than a decade ago. Local charter schools now educate about 12 percent of Travis County public school students. Statewide charter school enrollment has nearly hit 273,000 students, about 5 percent of the students in Texas. New charter-friendly...

Posted: 22 days ago

Austin-area charter school enrollment has reached an all-time high of 25,400 students, eight times more than a decade ago. Local charter schools now educate about 12 percent of Travis County public school students. Statewide charter school enrollment has nearly hit 273,000 students, about 5 percent of the students in Texas. New charter-friendly...
East Austin group emerges to help change Confederate school names
 Days after the only black member of the Austin school board was criticized for publicly calling out his peers for delaying a vote on changing school names with ties to the Confederacy, more than a dozen parents, educators, lawyers and community leaders have formed a work group to push the changes forward. The group of 15, formed by the East...

Posted: 25 days ago

Days after the only black member of the Austin school board was criticized for publicly calling out his peers for delaying a vote on changing school names with ties to the Confederacy, more than a dozen parents, educators, lawyers and community leaders have formed a work group to push the changes forward. The group of 15, formed by the East...
AISD makes this surprise announcement benefiting Garcia boys school
 The Austin school district soon will offer transportation to any middle school student who wants to attend Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy, giving more access to students who want to attend the single-sex campus. The move could boost student enrollment for the school of 400, which is well below capacity. Principal Sterlin McGruder...

Posted: 25 days ago

The Austin school district soon will offer transportation to any middle school student who wants to attend Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy, giving more access to students who want to attend the single-sex campus. The move could boost student enrollment for the school of 400, which is well below capacity. Principal Sterlin McGruder...