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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Lyft via youtube

Molly is a 26-year-old who lives in Austin. She was laid off from her job in April of this year and given a severance package, but wanted something to do while she looked for a new job. So, she signed up to drive for both transportation network companies in Austin: Uber and Lyft.


Texas Tribune

This year, Austin Police have gotten at least seven reports of sexual assaults by drivers for transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber or Lyft.

That’s one reason some members of the Austin City Council are pushing for tougher regulations for these companies – including requiring drivers to have fingerprint background checks. Right now, the companies conduct background checks that aren’t verified by fingerprints.

A group asked to provide UT Austin President Greg Fenves with recommendations to implement the state's new campus carry law said UT Austin should not prohibit concealed handguns from classrooms, but should prohibit handguns from ticketed sporting events, laboratories and on-campus residence halls, with some exceptions. 


Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

The number of investigations involving teacher-student relationships has increased 53 percent in Texas over the past seven years—188 cases so far this year. The State Senate Education Committee met this week to discuss ways to reduce these relationships, but that may be tougher than they realized.


flickr user Bill Selak, / Creative Commons

Texas no longer requires students to take Algebra II to graduate, but new research from a local non-profit finds that when Central Texas students don’t take advanced math courses, they’re less likely to get a post-graduate degree within six years.

The data also show that Algebra II may not be enough.


Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Representatives at Austin’s Safe Place campus say they’re on track to conduct at least 600 sexual assault forensic exams this year. That's an increase from the past few years, when numbers averaged around 450 per year.

Safe Place credits its new clinic in East Austin as one reason for the increase.


Nathan Bernier, KUT News

Almost a year ago the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Austin school district to examine equity between its higher- and lower-income schools, or it would file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Now the district is finally expected to set a timeline to conduct that assessment at its Dec. 10 meeting.

Nathan Bernier/KUT

In a rare move, thehe State Board of Education preliminarily voted Wednesday against an amendment from the State Board of Educator Certification to change superintendent job requirements. Last month, the SBEC voted to loosen requirements so school boards can hire candidates who have no classroom experience. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Some public schools in South Austin are teaching students how to become business leaders. They’ve implemented an entrepreneurship program for kindergartners through high school seniors that’s the first of its kind in the U.S. The Austin Independent School District unveiled the program at Crockett High School yesterday. 

Courtesy of Travis County Courts

UPDATE Monday: Austin Police are saying a person of interest in the shooting of State District Judge Julie Kocurek has been arrested. Austin Police say in a statement released over social media that the person is being held on unrelated charges in Houston.

"We will not make any further comments at this time due to our ongoing investigation," the statement said

Image by Liang Shi for KUT News

Some students at UT-Austin are concerned about a new federal bill trying to address sexual assault on college campuses. They worry it will deter students from reporting assaults and UT Student Government recently passed a resolution against the bill.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Wake up, get dressed, pack your homework, maybe a lunch. That’s the typical morning routine for most students. But some students on the U.S.-Mexico border grab something else on their way out the door — their passports.

 

Nineteen-year-old Arlet Burciaga is one of those students.


YouTube/gabinchis

When Gene and Shirene McIntyre met with an attendance officer in the El Paso Independent School District in November 2006, their nine grandchildren had already been homeschooled for more than a year. But they were concerned the kids weren’t getting a proper education.

According to court documents, the children were always playing instruments and singing — nothing like traditional school. The children's uncle testified that one child said they did not have to do schoolwork because their parents, Laura and Michael, told them they were “going to be raptured.” 


Courtesy of AISD

In the Travis High School locker room, there is a basket of apples for students to grab a snack after practice. That basket is usually empty by 5:30 p.m., according to students, when the varsity and junior varsity football teams finish practice and head to the cafeteria for study hall. 

"I'm always hungry after practice," says Darrell Davis, a sophomore. "I'm always hungry, period."

Nathan Bernier/KUT News

This year, Texas public schools won’t measure instructional time by days, but they’ll do it by minutes. In the past, Texas public schools years were required to be provide 180 days of instruction. Now, a school year must provide a minimum of 75,600 minutes.


Paul Woodruff for KUT

The second weekend of Austin City Limits starts today.  There’s one difference from last week—Florence and the Machine is headlining Sunday night instead of The Strokes. And Modest Mouse is playing instead of Alabama Shakes. If you look at the line up overall, Florence Welch and Brittany Howard, the lead singer of Alabama Shakes, are the only female performers in the top ten performing slots. It’s a trend seen at music festivals across the country. 


Kate McGee/KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is targeting a new ally in the battle to boost student enrollment at some South Austin schools: real estate agents. The district opened the doors of three neighborhood schools to give real estate agents a better look at what's going on in the classrooms. 


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUTX

If you've ever attended Austin City Limits, you know the festival is pretty strict about what you can bring inside: two sealed water bottles, no food and no large umbrellas, among other things (no audio equipment, for example — so all of these interviews were done before people entered the park).

But that list of restrictions doesn’t keep people from trying to sneak things in. 


flickr/pitmanra

UT Austin is holding its first of two public forums tonight as it decides how to comply with the new law that allows concealed weapons on college campuses in Texas. Public universities must comply with the law, which goes into effect August 1, 2016, but private universities can opt out. Still, there is plenty of uncertainty for private institutions going through the opt-out process.


KUT News

About one in five female undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin experienced some type of sexual assault or misconduct while in college, according to a newly released survey by the Association of American Universities

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