Austin ISD, the University of Texas, Austin Community College, Texas A&M University, charter schools, legislative issues, and anything else related to K-12, public education, higher education and workforce development in Central Texas, Travis County, and Austin.

Joe Dan Lee
Image courtesy Georgetown ISD

Georgetown Independent School District has a new superintendent. GISD's Board of Trustees elected Joe Dan Lee to serve as the district's top administrator. Lee was already acting-superintendent since the departure of Abbe Boring in July.

Childhood obesity is one of those extremely complicated issues that is affected by many interrelated factors like family income, where you live, and your level of education.  An annual study that looks at obesity rates across America says Texas has the 7th highest rate of childhood obesity in the country. 

As we've reported in the past, the southeast Austin neighborhood of Dove Springs has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the city.


The Austin teachers' association Education Austin is planning to stage a rally tonight outside Austin Independent School District headquarters. The local group, representing about 4,000 teachers and school staff, wants the Austin ISD school board to maintain full-day pre-kindergarten and not reduce planning time for high school teachers.

KUT’s Ben Philpott spoke with Rae Nwosu, co-president of Education Austin.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Office-dwellers at UT today let out a collective groan as plans to cut back on custodial services were announced. Laurie Lentz, the communications coordinator for UT Facility Services, explained that the changes will predominantly affect offices.

“Where you’re really going to see the change is in the individual offices. For those offices we are going to gradually phase in a monthly cleaning as opposed to a weekly cleaning schedule” said Lentz.

ACC Riverbat
Image courtesy Austin Community College

Austin Community College unveiled its new mascot today, the Riverbat! They emailed us these photos this afternoon. Click on the image for a slideshow. 

Details on the event on their Facebook page

Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Meria Carstarphen
Photo by KUT News

The Austin Independent School District is making great strides academically but must better equip students to cope with future technology.  That's the assessment Superintendent Meria Carstarphen gave in her "State of the District" speech on the University of Texas campus this morning.  While noting that AISD schools have improved in meeting TAKS standards, the superintendent also said the problems are mounting for students and teachers.

Sally Ride
Image courtesy Sally Ride Science

The first American woman to travel in space was in Austin today. Dr. Sally Ride gave the keynote address at an annual luncheon for GirlStart, a local non-profit devoted to getting girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math.

Ride spoke by cellphone with KUT before catching a trip home to San Diego.

Close up of dollar bill
Image courtesy Paul Sepiano

An AP investigation published in several papers this morning found that dozens of "property-wealthy" school districts held on to money they were supposed to send to the state under the so-called Robin Hood law.

The Austin Independent School District will officially dedicate its newest elementary school on Sunday at 2 p.m. Ross F. Baldwin Elementary was constructed over the course of a year at 12200 Meridian Park Blvd.

Ask someone with a University of Texas email account to speak honestly about the service, and they might struggle to contain their frustration. While major web-based email services like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail have quickly advanced their features and storage capacity, the University of Texas and its Microsoft Exchange service has fallen behind.

Undergrads, for example, get only 150 MB of storage, which means they often have to delete old emails to send new ones. The features offered by UT's web-based email are also limited.

DREAM Act rally at University of Texas at Austin
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Undocumented immigrant students attending the University of Texas at Austin took the risky step of coming out before news cameras today to announce their status and call for swift passage of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act).

The DREAM Act would provide a six-year conditional path to citizenship for young people who qualify. They would need to complete a college degree or perform two years of military service.

AISD Carruth Administration Center
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

When the Austin Independent School District constructs a school, it doesn't always know how many children that building will have to serve in ten, twenty, or thirty years' time.

Eanes ISD logo
Logo courtesy of the Eanes Independent School District

Last night voters in the Eanes Independent School District said no to three bond proposals totaling about $150 million.  Wednesday morning Eanes ISD Board President Paul Stone told KUT News that another, smaller bond proposal could be in the works for early next year.

Armed Austin police officer
Image by Caleb Bryant Miller for KUT News

Our friends at Reporting Texas, an internet news site edited by journalism graduate students at the University of Texas, just put together this interactive Google Map of college shootings across America.  It seems particularly timely, given that it's been a little over a month since 19-year-old Colton Tooley brought his AK-47 to the UT-Austin campus.

Hallway at Eastside Memorial High School
Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Austin School Trustees are holding a special meeting tonight to discuss a personnel matter that pits some teachers at Eastside Global Tech High against the school's principal.

Artist's rendering of Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex
Image courtesy University of Texas

Students and faculty in UT's computer science program are currently spread across seven different buildings. That will all change in 18 to 24 months when the new Bill and Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex opens.

A scare at Texas A&M University this afternoon after a bus driver called police and reported what he thought was a gunman carrying an AK-47-like weapon.

A&M campus police issued an alert and instructed students to "shelter in place". Uncertainty swirled for about an hour, as police searched for the reported 'gunman'. Adding to the concern was the scheduled ribbon cutting involving Fmr. President Bush Sr., his wife and daughter-in-law.

Bastrop ISD logo
Image courtesy Bastrop ISD website

A Bastrop man is planning a rally and prayer service this Saturday to bring attention to what he says is "potential discriminatory hiring and unethical employment standards" at Bastrop ISD.

The latest documentary by the guy who made "An Inconvenient Truth" has been in theaters almost a month, but it is still sending reverberations throughout the local education community. The reaction has been most defensive among proponents of traditional public schools, which the filmmaker skewers.

"Waiting for Superman" follows several children, mostly in urban school districts, who are not getting the education they need and are trying to enroll in charter schools.

The Statesman's front page story this morning made quite a splash by contributing to a recurring narrative in Austin life: People on the East Side lack not only equality of condition, but equality of opportunity as well.