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

Montserrat Garibay via Twitter

About 20 men and women sat in the cafeteria with their children at Rodriguez Elementary in South Austin after school Friday, listening to Yunuen Alvarado with the local teacher's union, Education Austin.

“If an immigration officer goes to your door what you have to remember is you don’t open that door," Alvarado said in English and Spanish. “ICE can only enter your home if they have a warrant signed from a judge from a criminal court.”

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A committee tasked with imagining the future of Austin ISD’s 130 school buildings is taking its suggestions to the Austin School Board on Monday. The board is expected to question the Facility and Bond Planning Advisory Committee, or FABPAC, about its recommendations on school construction, renovations and closures.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

In between classes at Kealing Middle School the hallways are full of students, but in the library it's quiet. That's where Gabriel Russell and Joshua Morgan are sitting at a table, talking.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Some school districts in Texas with high property values could see more money this fiscal year after the Texas Education Agency decided in a sudden move to change how it interprets a complicated aspect of the state’s school finance system.

Qiling Wang for KUT

About 30 parents and students in neon green T-shirts gathered on the playground at Garrison Park in South Austin, gearing up to walk over to a community meeting at Crockett High School. The group planned to ask Austin ISD not to close their neighborhood school, Joslin Elementary. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

The State Board of Education starts to review a months-long process this week to simplify its science curriculum standards, including recommendations to remove some controversial requirements to teach alternate theories to evolution, including creationism.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

In the neighborhood around 12th and Chicon streets in East Austin, change seems to be the only constant. We've been bringing you the voices of people in that neighborhood over the past few months as part of our On My Block project. Today, we hear from Judy Mitchell, who owns the Ideal Soul Mart at the corner of Angelina Street and Rosewood Avenue.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

Bobby Mitchell walks across the parking lot on the corner of Rosewood Avenue and Angelina Street, pointing to the large, newly built homes across the street.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

In September, we visited Kealing Middle School’s Presidential Politics class to see what students were thinking about the 2016 presidential election. Most of the students wanted Hillary Clinton to win, and many said they didn’t take Donald Trump seriously.

We checked back in with some of the students to see how they are feeling ahead of Trump's inauguration. Here's what they said:

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.

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