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 needs to do more for low-income students, new study says
 Only 10 percent of black and Latino students in Austin are attending the school district’s highest rated schools, compared with one-third of white students and 50 percent of Asian students, a study being released Monday says. Likewise, Austin is doing a lackluster job in educating its low-income students, according to the most recent...

Posted: a day ago

Only 10 percent of black and Latino students in Austin are attending the school district’s highest rated schools, compared with one-third of white students and 50 percent of Asian students, a study being released Monday says. Likewise, Austin is doing a lackluster job in educating its low-income students, according to the most recent...
Expert: Fire alarm at Santa Fe High proves schools need more drills
 Early reports that a student or faculty member pulled a fire alarm to warn people about the shooter at Santa Fe High School drew a quick response on Friday from a national school security expert. It would have been better if the school had followed standard lockdown procedures, said Ken Trump, president of the Cleveland based National School...

Posted: 2 days ago

Early reports that a student or faculty member pulled a fire alarm to warn people about the shooter at Santa Fe High School drew a quick response on Friday from a national school security expert. It would have been better if the school had followed standard lockdown procedures, said Ken Trump, president of the Cleveland based National School...
Santa Fe student: Teacher pulled fire alarm to get students to safety during shooting
 A Santa Fe High School student told Houston TV reporters about how a teacher pulled a fire alarm as a warning to get students to safety Friday during a school shooting that officials said has left at least 8 and as many as 10 people dead.  Student Zack Lawford was in class “at least two doors down” from the sounds of...

Posted: 2 days ago

A Santa Fe High School student told Houston TV reporters about how a teacher pulled a fire alarm as a warning to get students to safety Friday during a school shooting that officials said has left at least 8 and as many as 10 people dead.  Student Zack Lawford was in class “at least two doors down” from the sounds of...
Prized Austin magnet schools are more diverse, but didn’t hit targets
 Principal Kenisha Coburn’s push to increase the diversity of students at the mostly white Kealing Middle School magnet program goes beyond adding black and Latino students to the attendance rolls. Coburn said she could go to the area’s high-tech companies to recruit employees’ children to increase the numbers. Instead, she...

Posted: 9 days ago

Principal Kenisha Coburn’s push to increase the diversity of students at the mostly white Kealing Middle School magnet program goes beyond adding black and Latino students to the attendance rolls. Coburn said she could go to the area’s high-tech companies to recruit employees’ children to increase the numbers. Instead, she...
Austin students show improvement on 2018 STAAR exams
 Austin school district students made gains in this year’s state math and reading assessments in grades 5 and 8, according to preliminary results from the annual STAAR tests. Statewide, students also improved in both fifth- and eighth-grade math, though results were mixed in reading scores. The results were from the first administration...

Posted: 10 days ago

Austin school district students made gains in this year’s state math and reading assessments in grades 5 and 8, according to preliminary results from the annual STAAR tests. Statewide, students also improved in both fifth- and eighth-grade math, though results were mixed in reading scores. The results were from the first administration...
Lake Travis school board incumbent, two newcomers win places
 Lake Travis school board incumbent Guy C. Clayton will keep his Place 1 seat, and two newcomers will join him on the board after winning elections Saturday. Clayton, a financial adviser, garnered 2,687 votes, 75 percent of the ballots cast in his race against David Lovelace. Nine candidates ran for two open seats on the board. Lauren White...

Posted: 10 days ago

Lake Travis school board incumbent Guy C. Clayton will keep his Place 1 seat, and two newcomers will join him on the board after winning elections Saturday. Clayton, a financial adviser, garnered 2,687 votes, 75 percent of the ballots cast in his race against David Lovelace. Nine candidates ran for two open seats on the board. Lauren White...
Austin’s 5th and 8th graders improve in this year’s STAAR tests
 Austin school district students made gains in this year’s state math and reading assessments in grades 5 and 8, according to preliminary STAAR results. Statewide, students also improved in both 5th and 8th grade math, though results were mixed in reading scores. The results, released by the Texas Education Agency, were from the first...

Posted: 10 days ago

Austin school district students made gains in this year’s state math and reading assessments in grades 5 and 8, according to preliminary STAAR results. Statewide, students also improved in both 5th and 8th grade math, though results were mixed in reading scores. The results, released by the Texas Education Agency, were from the first...
Voters narrowly approve $132 million bond for Dripping Springs schools
 A $132 million school bond package placed on the ballot by Dripping Springs trustees passed by just 31 votes in a narrow election. Voters cast 1,662 votes, or 50.5 percent, in favor of the bond, and cast 1,631 votes, or 49.5 percent, against according to unofficial results tallied Saturday night. In the school board races, three incumbents...

Posted: 15 days ago

A $132 million school bond package placed on the ballot by Dripping Springs trustees passed by just 31 votes in a narrow election. Voters cast 1,662 votes, or 50.5 percent, in favor of the bond, and cast 1,631 votes, or 49.5 percent, against according to unofficial results tallied Saturday night. In the school board races, three incumbents...
Dripping Springs ISD $132 million bond narrowly passes, incumbents win
 9:35 p.m. update: The Dripping Springs $132 million school bond package narrowly was approved, passing with 31 votes. Voters cast 1,662 votes, or 50.5 percent, in favor of the bond, and 1,631 votes, or 49.5 percent, were cast against. All three incumbents, Carrie Fontana Kroll, Mary Jane Hetrick and Shannon O’Connor, secured their at-large...

Posted: 15 days ago

9:35 p.m. update: The Dripping Springs $132 million school bond package narrowly was approved, passing with 31 votes. Voters cast 1,662 votes, or 50.5 percent, in favor of the bond, and 1,631 votes, or 49.5 percent, were cast against. All three incumbents, Carrie Fontana Kroll, Mary Jane Hetrick and Shannon O’Connor, secured their at-large...
Lake Travis ISD: Guy Clayton, Lauren White, Jessica Putonti win seats
 9:30 p.m. UPDATE: Unofficial final results show Lake Travis school board Place 1 incumbent Guy C. Clayton will keep his seat. Clayton garnered 2,687 votes, or 75 percent of the vote. David Lovelace, who has made five previous bids for school board, received 886 votes, or 25 percent. In Place 2, Lauren White won the seat with 1,725 votes,...

Posted: 15 days ago

9:30 p.m. UPDATE: Unofficial final results show Lake Travis school board Place 1 incumbent Guy C. Clayton will keep his seat. Clayton garnered 2,687 votes, or 75 percent of the vote. David Lovelace, who has made five previous bids for school board, received 886 votes, or 25 percent. In Place 2, Lauren White won the seat with 1,725 votes,...
Challenger wins Hutto ISD seat, and one incumbent narrowly beats other
 UPDATED 10:30 p.m. Unofficial final results show challenger Edgar Padilla won a seat on the Hutto school board with 286 votes, or 37 percent. The results show incumbent Phillip Boutwell will keep his seat, winning by six votes over fellow incumbent Byron McDaniel. Boutwell garnered 249 votes, or 32 percent, while McDaniel received 243 votes...

Posted: 15 days ago

UPDATED 10:30 p.m. Unofficial final results show challenger Edgar Padilla won a seat on the Hutto school board with 286 votes, or 37 percent. The results show incumbent Phillip Boutwell will keep his seat, winning by six votes over fellow incumbent Byron McDaniel. Boutwell garnered 249 votes, or 32 percent, while McDaniel received 243 votes...