Andrea Ball

Investigative reporter

Andrea Ball has worked for the Statesman since 1999, focusing on issues including mental health, poverty and nonprofits. Before that, she worked at newspapers in New York and North Carolina.

Latest from Andrea Ball

Texas cancels no-bid contract for special education analysis
 The Texas Education Agency has canceled its contract with a technology company charged with analyzing special education programs. The TEA had contracted with SPEDx, a Georgia-based company, to look for trends and patterns in special education records. But the $4.4 million project incurred the ire of advocacy groups and parents, who said they...

Posted: 2 days ago

The Texas Education Agency has canceled its contract with a technology company charged with analyzing special education programs. The TEA had contracted with SPEDx, a Georgia-based company, to look for trends and patterns in special education records. But the $4.4 million project incurred the ire of advocacy groups and parents, who said they...
TEA cancels controversial project

Posted: 2 days ago

The Texas Education Agency has cancelled its contract with a technology company charged with analyzing special education records. TEA had contracted with SPEDx, a Georgia-based company that was to look for trends and patterns in special education records. But the $4.4 million project incurred the ire of advocacy groups and parents, who said...
Suspect with prior child indecency arrest was overlooked in Greg Kelley case
 Attorneys seeking to overturn Greg Kelley’s child sex assault conviction on Thursday filed court records that provide details about a third suspect in the case. That man, whose name has not been released by law enforcement, had a prior arrest on a charge of indecency with a child and had also lived in the Cedar Park home where the abuse...

Posted: 3 days ago

Attorneys seeking to overturn Greg Kelley’s child sex assault conviction on Thursday filed court records that provide details about a third suspect in the case. That man, whose name has not been released by law enforcement, had a prior arrest on a charge of indecency with a child and had also lived in the Cedar Park home where the abuse...
Suspect with prior child indecency arrest was overlooked in Greg Kelley case
 Attorneys seeking to overturn Greg Kelley’s child sex assault conviction on Thursday filed court records that provide details about a third suspect in the case. That man, whose name has not been released by law enforcement, had a prior arrest on a charge of indecency with a child and had also lived in the Cedar Park home where the abuse...

Posted: 3 days ago

Attorneys seeking to overturn Greg Kelley’s child sex assault conviction on Thursday filed court records that provide details about a third suspect in the case. That man, whose name has not been released by law enforcement, had a prior arrest on a charge of indecency with a child and had also lived in the Cedar Park home where the abuse...
Eanes school district pulls out of special education analysis project
 Eanes Independent School District is hitting the pause button on its participation in a state project to data mine special education records, saying they want time to rethink the project. “Given the concerns raised by various stakeholder groups, Eanes ISD feels it is in the district’s best interest to stop and take the time to...

Posted: 4 days ago

Eanes Independent School District is hitting the pause button on its participation in a state project to data mine special education records, saying they want time to rethink the project. “Given the concerns raised by various stakeholder groups, Eanes ISD feels it is in the district’s best interest to stop and take the time to...
Texts raise questions about Texas special education director’s firing
 Newly released text messages are raising questions about why the Texas Education Agency fired its special education director after less than four months on the job. Laurie Kash was fired in late November, one week after a lawsuit accused her of trying to cover up the sexual abuse of a 6-year-old girl while working at a small...

Posted: 5 days ago

Newly released text messages are raising questions about why the Texas Education Agency fired its special education director after less than four months on the job. Laurie Kash was fired in late November, one week after a lawsuit accused her of trying to cover up the sexual abuse of a 6-year-old girl while working at a small...
Surprise snowstorm in Austin brings havoc and joy
 Ashley Gaytan was working at Big Rob’s Burger in Kyle when her husband called Thursday. “Are you seeing this?” he asked. “I don’t know,” she answered. “What am I supposed to be seeing?” Snow. Big, fat, white snowflakes. Gaytan, who moved with her family from New Mexico to Austin earlier this...

Posted: 9 days ago

Ashley Gaytan was working at Big Rob’s Burger in Kyle when her husband called Thursday. “Are you seeing this?” he asked. “I don’t know,” she answered. “What am I supposed to be seeing?” Snow. Big, fat, white snowflakes. Gaytan, who moved with her family from New Mexico to Austin earlier this...
Groups call for pause on student special education data project
 Two statewide groups are calling on the Texas Education Agency to temporarily suspend a $4.4 million, no-bid contract with a company hired to do data mining of confidential special education records, saying the project needs further scrutiny in light of recent complaints. Disability Rights Texas — a federally created group that advocates...

Posted: 11 days ago

Two statewide groups are calling on the Texas Education Agency to temporarily suspend a $4.4 million, no-bid contract with a company hired to do data mining of confidential special education records, saying the project needs further scrutiny in light of recent complaints. Disability Rights Texas — a federally created group that advocates...
Groups call for pause on student special education data project
 Two statewide education groups are calling on the Texas Education Agency to suspend its efforts to datamine special education plans for students across Texas, saying parents have been cut out of the process and that privacy questions need to be answered. Disability Rights Texas — a federally-created group that advocates for people with...

Posted: 11 days ago

Two statewide education groups are calling on the Texas Education Agency to suspend its efforts to datamine special education plans for students across Texas, saying parents have been cut out of the process and that privacy questions need to be answered. Disability Rights Texas — a federally-created group that advocates for people with...
Texas special education chief fired after questioning no-bid contract
 The state’s new director of special education was fired Wednesday, one day after she filed a federal complaint claiming the Texas Education Agency wrongly entered into a $4.4 million, no-bid contract with a Georgia company to analyze private records for children with disabilities. Laurie Kash asked the U.S. Department of Education&rsquo...

Posted: 25 days ago

The state’s new director of special education was fired Wednesday, one day after she filed a federal complaint claiming the Texas Education Agency wrongly entered into a $4.4 million, no-bid contract with a Georgia company to analyze private records for children with disabilities. Laurie Kash asked the U.S. Department of Education&rsquo...
Texas fires special education director, citing civil suit in Oregon
 The Texas Education Agency has fired its special education director. Laurie Kash, who started work in August, was recently accused in a lawsuit of trying to cover up child abuse allegations while she worked as a special education director at Rainier School District in Oregon. The $1.85 million suit claims that Kash ordered several employees...

Posted: 25 days ago

The Texas Education Agency has fired its special education director. Laurie Kash, who started work in August, was recently accused in a lawsuit of trying to cover up child abuse allegations while she worked as a special education director at Rainier School District in Oregon. The $1.85 million suit claims that Kash ordered several employees...