Kate McGee

Education Reporter

Kate is the education reporter at KUT, covering the Austin Independent School District, public, and higher education in Texas. She got her public radio start at Fordham University's WFUV. Her voice has been heard on the East and West coasts as a reporter and producer for WNYC and KUNR in Reno, Nevada. She has also appeared on NPR's Morning Edition,  All Things Considered, The Takeaway  and more. In her spare time, Kate enjoys discovering new music, traveling and trying local beers. 

Ways to Connect

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

The Austin School Board is expected to vote this month on a proposed ban on some classroom removals and suspensions for pre-K through second-grade students. The board discussed the proposal this week, but some board members raised questions about the idea.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

"Good morning, everybody. How we doing?" Manor Independent School District Superintendent Royce Avery asks a room full of staff members about to participate in a training session early one October morning.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

There’s a pile up of students on the twisting slide of the Ortega Elementary School jungle gym, a traffic jam on the monkey bars and it’s bumper-to-bumper on the jungle gym drawbridge.

“Incoming!” yells one student as he rams into the pile of kids at the bottom of the slide.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Austin Independent School District is projected to lose more than 4,000 students over the next 10 years. That's mostly because of lower birth rates, private and charter schools and the increasingly lack of affordable housing in Austin, but districts just outside Austin are dealing with the opposite problem.

Miguel Gutierrez, Jr/KUT

Many Central Texas school districts received mediocre grades from the state under a new accountability system, according to a report of preliminary grades obtained by KUT.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

This legislative session, Texas lawmakers have some tough discussions ahead of them about how Texas funds its public schools, but some are asking how lawmakers can have those conversations without an updated look at how much it actually costs to educate kids.  

KUT News

Texas lawmakers are about to spend a lot of time talking about how the state funds its public schools. The question is: Will they make any changes during the legislative session that starts in January? If they don’t, there’s a part of the system that’s set to expire next year. That could be a problem for some school districts across the state.

Sam Ortega for KUT News

The Texas Cultural Trust has a new website that tracks arts education programs at school districts across the state. The map is one way the trust is encouraging parents and students to push for more art education in their local schools. There you can see programs broken down by elementary, middle and high schools in each school district. It looks at how many arts credits were earned by students, the number of art courses offered and the number of students per arts teacher. 

Janine, flickr.com

For more than 15 years, the City of Austin and Austin ISD have partnered to provide services for teen parents in Austin public schools. The program helps at least 150 students with children at Eastside Memorial, Lanier, Reagan and Travis high schools throughout the school year and includes academic support, along with child care, parent education workshops and other social services. 

Jorge Sanhueza Lyon / KUT

More than 100 of parents and teachers from across the state came to Austin Thursday night to share their struggles getting services for their special needs children. It was the last stop in the U.S. Department of Education’s statewide special education services listening tour, sparked by a Houston Chronicle report that the state was excluding students eligible for special education services on purpose—capping the services for 8.5 percent of students. 

Robert W. Hart / Texas Tribune

The Texas Education Agency wants lawmakers to double the money they approved to expand pre-K programs last legislative session, but some worry that might be a difficult ask.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Austin ISD is considering a possible relocation of its best school, the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), as it determines the future of its campuses. The district has started a months-long process to decide which schools to renovate or close, as well as where to possibly build new campuses.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Last week, Austin ISD released a proposal that suggests building an elementary school on a 10-acre tract in the Mueller neighborhood. That surprised a lot of people involved in the discussion, which has been going on for the past year, and last week’s conversations show just how delicate this situation is.

Cherrywood resident Jennifer Potter-Miller has a child in first grade at Maplewood Elementary. She has another child about to enter kindergarten and she wants to send her kid to public school. But, she has no idea where her kids will go once they get to middle school.

Photo by KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is starting to think about what its schools will look like, and where they’ll be located, two decades from now. On Wednesday, it released a set of possible options for its 120 campuses this week, including when and where to potentially renovate schools, build new ones and close others. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Austin School Board members bid farewell Monday night to former school board Trustee Gina Hinojosa who was elected to the Texas House of Representatives on Election Day. The start of Monday night's Board meeting was bittersweet. As Hinojosa said goodbye to other board members, she encouraged the board to continue to advocate for students across the city.

KUT News

The divide over how Texas should educate its 5.3 million public school students will become clear during the 2017 legislative session. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Textbook publisher Cynthia Dunbar was defending her company’s Mexican-American Heritage book in front of the State Board of Education last week when she made an interesting argument. Historians raised issues with some of the book's content, but Dunbar said that didn’t matter because the school board didn't specify what type of content it wanted.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Next week, the Austin School Board will swear-in Cindy Anderson to replace Trustee Gina Hinojosa, who was elected to the Texas House this year. The new board will have the fewest number of minority trustees in at least 20 years, and the remaining trustees of color say that's a problem.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez, KUT News

Gov. Greg Abbott and members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus dedicated a monument at the Capitol Saturday morning honoring the contributions of African-Americans.

The monument on the Capitol's south lawn highlights the African-American experience in Texas from the 1500s to slavery and emancipation to more modern achievements in the arts and sciences.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

After months of protests from historians, teachers and lawmakers, the Texas State Board of Education this morning unanimously rejected a controversial Mexican-American studies textbook that would have been used in public schools.

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