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. 

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KUT News

The number of households with children in Austin is decreasing—especially in the city’s urban core. That means there are more people eligible to vote for Austin ISD School Board trustees who don’t have any children in their neighborhood schools. Here are a few reasons why you should still care about these school board elections, even if you don’t have kids.

KUT News

Four of the nine Austin Community College board seats are on the ballot this election. These positions are numbered—but all of the positions are at-large, which means the trustees represent the entire ACC community, rather than specific parts of the 7,000-square-mile district.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

On Election Day four years ago, more than half of the Austin School Board of trustees were replaced. The school board had just approved a contract with IDEA public schools to run Allan Elementary. And community members were angry about the decision. They showed it at the ballot box—voting for Trustees Gina Hinojosa, Jayme Mathias and Ann Teich. Those trustees were elected on the promise of restoring community trust in the district—and improving community engagement. Has that happened? Ken...

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Ambres Kearney’s muscle memory flares up every time he drives back to his East Austin alma mater, Anderson High School. As he pulls into the U-shaped parking lot, he instinctively tries to park his car in the same spot where he parked his 1963 burnt orange Chevrolet 45 years ago as a high school senior. “My wife said ‘Where are you going?’ But it was so natural to drive up,” Kearney says. Instead, he parks in the street and sits on the stoop at the front entrance. Parts of the concrete steps underneath him are crumbling.

Nathan Bernier, KUT News

It’s no secret Austin ISD is strapped for cash. So to help make ends meet – the district put ten of its properties up for possible sale. Many of the properties are plots of land, but the list also includes the district headquarters on Sixth Street and the Allan Elementary campus in East Austin – and that has some people excited.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Four Austin ISD School Board candidates faced questions Thursday from a group that might be their most important constituents: students.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Gretchen Nagy needs something – anything. She's standing in front of two Austin ISD students and a district employee, who are about to go live on television, covering the district’s mock presidential election. The only problem: They have no results.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

At least four Central Texas school districts are exploring a new state law that allows them to become a " district of innovation ." That designation means they can be exempt from various state regulations – just as open enrollment charter schools are. That can give schools more flexibility when it comes to hiring, class sizes and the school year start date, but not everyone is happy with the idea.

Jon Shapley for KUT News

Public school districts in Texas are required to follow a lot of state rules, but a new state law allows those districts to receive exemptions from various regulations. It’s called a district of innovation plan and at least four Central Texas school districts are developing plans.

Mengwen Cao for KUT

This summer, it was reported that all elementary schools in the Austin Independent School District would be required to provide half an hour of recess every day. But, the policy isn’t in place just yet.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

For many middle and high school students, this year’s presidential election is their introduction to American politics and it’s an unusual election to start with. At Kealing Middle School, about a dozen students are taking an elective called Presidential Politics. They study the current presidential election — and local races, too.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

It’s the end of the school day at the Not Your Ordinary School in North Austin and students in Melissa Hefner’s fourth grade class are sitting in a circle.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

The State Board of Education is hearing public comment today about a controversial Mexican American studies textbook. It was the only Mexican American studies textbook submitted for review to the board this year.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

It was a muggy morning on the Long Center Terrance in downtown Austin. Central Texas school superintendents and their staffs fanned themselves as they listened to a local student mariachi band play. But these education leaders weren’t there to just hear the music. They were there to address a major issue in Central Texas schools: student attendance.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Jonathan Hernandez started attending Austin public schools when he was ten. He didn't speak any English when he started fifth grade at Andrews Elementary, but with the help of teachers in his bilingual classes, he was able to learn the language.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Austin School Board Vice President Paul Saldaña says people describe Austin ISD as really two districts, split into east and west by I-35 – a wealthy western district and a poorer one east of it.

Jon Shapley for KUT

For many students trying to earn college credit in high school, choosing to take an Advanced Placement course or a dual credit course often comes down to personal preference.

Audrey McGlinchy / KUT

At some schools in Austin ISD, most students who take Advanced Placement tests fail those exams. But students at the same schools are passing dual credit classes, college courses taught through Austin Community College.

Lisseth Lopez for KUT News

Central Market’s annual Hatch chile festival, Hatch-A-Palooza, is over for the year. But you can still get Hatch chiles pretty much in every Austin grocery store. Did you ever wonder why grocery stores get so excited about Hatch chiles?

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

LBJ Early College High School and the Liberal Arts and Science Academy share the same building in the Austin Independent School District. But the schools have different philosophies when it comes to how their students should pursue college credits in high school.

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