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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 schools outpace urban peers, but nearly 1/3 unacceptable
 Schools in the Austin district still outpace their urban peers, with most scoring A’s and B’s, but 29 percent continue to lag behind in academic performance, according to the latest ratings by Houston-based nonprofit Children at Risk, which annually ranks campuses in the state’s largest urban areas. “Austin is one...

Posted: a day ago

Schools in the Austin district still outpace their urban peers, with most scoring A’s and B’s, but 29 percent continue to lag behind in academic performance, according to the latest ratings by Houston-based nonprofit Children at Risk, which annually ranks campuses in the state’s largest urban areas. “Austin is one...
LOOK UP YOUR CAMPUS: Austin schools outpace urban peers, but nearly 1/3 unacceptable
 Schools in the Austin district still outpace their urban peers, with most scoring A’s and B’s, but 29 percent continue to lag behind in academic performance, according to the latest ratings by Houston-based nonprofit Children at Risk, which annually ranks campuses in the state’s largest urban areas. “Austin is one...

Posted: a day ago

Schools in the Austin district still outpace their urban peers, with most scoring A’s and B’s, but 29 percent continue to lag behind in academic performance, according to the latest ratings by Houston-based nonprofit Children at Risk, which annually ranks campuses in the state’s largest urban areas. “Austin is one...
Texas school grades: Nonprofit gives Austin-area campuses high marks
 Schools in the Austin district still outpace their urban peers, with most scoring A’s and B’s, but 29 percent continue to lag behind in academic performance, according to the latest ratings by Houston-based nonprofit Children at Risk, which annually ranks campuses in the state’s largest urban areas. “Austin is one...

Posted: a day ago

Schools in the Austin district still outpace their urban peers, with most scoring A’s and B’s, but 29 percent continue to lag behind in academic performance, according to the latest ratings by Houston-based nonprofit Children at Risk, which annually ranks campuses in the state’s largest urban areas. “Austin is one...
Austin student, 11, hacks smart toy, wows security experts in Europe
 Austin fifth-grader Reuben Paul this week gave cyber security experts an important lesson: any connected smart toy can be weaponized. The 11-year-old Harmony School of Science Austin student on Tuesday hacked into his smart toy teddy bear and first turned on and off the LED, then proceeded to stealthily flip on the microphone of the teddy...

Posted: 3 days ago

Austin fifth-grader Reuben Paul this week gave cyber security experts an important lesson: any connected smart toy can be weaponized. The 11-year-old Harmony School of Science Austin student on Tuesday hacked into his smart toy teddy bear and first turned on and off the LED, then proceeded to stealthily flip on the microphone of the teddy...
AISD letter: No proof of sex assault at Boone Elementary
 The Austin school district sent a letter home to Boone Elementary School parents Tuesday afternoon informing them of the Travis County District Attorney’s office decision that there is “insufficient evidence to support the allegation of sexual assault” of a 4-year-old student. On Friday, the American-Statesman reported that...

Posted: 6 days ago

The Austin school district sent a letter home to Boone Elementary School parents Tuesday afternoon informing them of the Travis County District Attorney’s office decision that there is “insufficient evidence to support the allegation of sexual assault” of a 4-year-old student. On Friday, the American-Statesman reported that...
Three candidates seek Austin district board seat vacated by Saldaña
 Three candidates are seeking appointment to the Austin school board seat vacated midterm by Paul Saldaña. Saldaña’s departure last month left the nine-member board without a Latino representative and with one minority trustee, Ted Gordon, who is black. Nearly 60 percent of the district’s more than 83,000 students...

Posted: 10 days ago

Three candidates are seeking appointment to the Austin school board seat vacated midterm by Paul Saldaña. Saldaña’s departure last month left the nine-member board without a Latino representative and with one minority trustee, Ted Gordon, who is black. Nearly 60 percent of the district’s more than 83,000 students...
Hays school superintendent departing after parents call for his ouster
 Hays school district Superintendent Michael McKie will resign at the end of the school year after four years in the top post. The move comes as tensions have been evident between McKie and some trustees during meetings in recent months, with a closed-door session to resolve conflict between McKie and at least one board member in March...

Posted: 12 days ago

Hays school district Superintendent Michael McKie will resign at the end of the school year after four years in the top post. The move comes as tensions have been evident between McKie and some trustees during meetings in recent months, with a closed-door session to resolve conflict between McKie and at least one board member in March...
As AISD trustees eye $900 million bond election, recent failures loom
 As Austin school district trustees weigh how to put together a November bond package that voters will find palatable, they have two recent failures on their minds: $572 million in school bonds that voters in the neighboring Round Rock district rejected just days ago and a 2013 election in which half of Austin’s $892 million bond package...

Posted: 13 days ago

As Austin school district trustees weigh how to put together a November bond package that voters will find palatable, they have two recent failures on their minds: $572 million in school bonds that voters in the neighboring Round Rock district rejected just days ago and a 2013 election in which half of Austin’s $892 million bond package...
Austin district weighs $1.2 billion in proposed bond projects
 An Austin school district advisory committee has presented the school board with $1.2 billion in proposed projects that could make their way onto the November ballot. The $1.2 billion is the combined cost of priority projects recommended for the first six years of a comprehensive facilities master plan adopted by the board last month. Such...

Posted: 14 days ago

An Austin school district advisory committee has presented the school board with $1.2 billion in proposed projects that could make their way onto the November ballot. The $1.2 billion is the combined cost of priority projects recommended for the first six years of a comprehensive facilities master plan adopted by the board last month. Such...
Austin district weighs $1.2 billion in proposed school bond projects
 An Austin district advisory committee Monday night will present to the school board $1.2 billion in proposed projects that could make their way onto the November ballot. The $1.2 billion is the combined cost of priority projects recommended for the first six years of a comprehensive facilities master plan adopted by the board last month....

Posted: 14 days ago

An Austin district advisory committee Monday night will present to the school board $1.2 billion in proposed projects that could make their way onto the November ballot. The $1.2 billion is the combined cost of priority projects recommended for the first six years of a comprehensive facilities master plan adopted by the board last month....
Voters in fast-growing Hays County approve two school bond packages
 Hays County residents approved several hundred million dollars in school upgrades with two bond packages in Saturday’s election. Both the Hays and San Marcos school districts sought bonds to pay for facilities to accommodate their rapid growth. Taxpayers handily passed both bond packages, neither of which is expected to increase property...

Posted: 15 days ago

Hays County residents approved several hundred million dollars in school upgrades with two bond packages in Saturday’s election. Both the Hays and San Marcos school districts sought bonds to pay for facilities to accommodate their rapid growth. Taxpayers handily passed both bond packages, neither of which is expected to increase property...