Kate McGee, Texas Tribune

Kate McGee

Texas Tribune

Chicago, IL, United States

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Recent:
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Past:
  • Texas Tribune
  • Grist
  • The National Memo
  • WBEZ
  • NPR
  • KERA News
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Past articles by Kate:

Settlement with conservative free speech group forces University of Houston to keep amended anti-harassment policy

The conservative group Speech First argued that the anti-discrimination policy restricting “offensive speech about personal characteristics such race, ethnicity or gender” violates students’ First Amendment rights. The university agreed to keep its amended policy as part of a settlement. → Read More

Professors behind conservative-backed “Liberty Institute” say UT has strayed from plan

Emails obtained via an open records request show two professors who helped develop the new center believe UT-Austin President Jay Hartzell backed off a plan to bring “intellectual diversity” to campus. → Read More

Texas Republicans want to arm more school employees, but few districts are opting in

Since Texas launched the school marshal program in 2013, just 84 school districts out of more than 1,200 have armed school staff. Educators say the program’s lack of popularity shows that teachers don’t want to be the ones to defend schools from mass shootings. → Read More

Texas already “hardened” schools. It didn’t save Uvalde.

After the Uvalde mass shooting, GOP leaders are again pushing to boost school security. But similar legislation after a 2018 school shooting has fallen short of its goals, and experts said there’s no evidence such tactics work. → Read More

Confronted with mass shootings, Texas Republicans have repeatedly loosened gun laws

Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican leaders signaled an openness to some gun restrictions after recent mass shootings. But in the last several years, lawmakers have eased gun laws, most notably by passing a permitless carry bill last year. → Read More

The pandemic showed some Texas universities that they didn’t need the SAT. They might never go back.

Many Texas public universities have committed to accepting students who do not submit SAT or ACT standardized test scores, signaling that test-optional policies could be here to stay. → Read More

Federal judge rules UNT can’t charge out-of-state students more tuition than undocumented students

The lawsuit against the University of North Texas argues out-of-state American citizens shouldn’t pay more than undocumented Texans. A federal judge agreed. → Read More

UT Austin will allow students to live together on campus regardless of gender or sexual identity

The two-year pilot program comes after at least 15 years of students asking for the change. It will allow UT-Austin students to live together in certain residence halls with students of any gender or sexual identity. → Read More

UT-Austin can’t call its new think tank The Liberty Institute. Another group already owns the rights to the name.

First Liberty Institute, a Plano-based religious freedom legal group, has a registered trademark for the name and said it has alerted UT-Austin that it objects to them using it. → Read More

Historically Black college has a new twist on admissions: You can bring your family, too

Paul Quinn College hopes the new practice will better combat intergenerational poverty and remove the pressure on first-generation college students to financially lift up their entire families. → Read More

Texas A&M students protest after president ends print publication of 129-year-old Battalion newspaper

The student newspaper will continue as an online-only news organization after the spring semester. But the university’s unilateral decision to end the print edition without student input has students and faculty concerned about its editorial independence. → Read More

Omicron’s swift emergence tests Texas public schools as a new semester begins

Many schools are pushing through with plans for in-person classes despite a surge in COVID-19 cases as they try to reassure parents and students they are prepared to open safely this week. → Read More

UT-Austin professors criticize university for halting antiracism study with preschoolers

The decision to halt the study comes after a University of Michigan-Flint professor filed an Office for Civil Rights complaint against the study, arguing it discriminates against children of color. But professors said pausing the study sets a negative precedent that could impact academic freedom. → Read More

Enrollment at Texas’ public universities inches ahead of community colleges for the first time since 1990s

Preliminary data shows Texas college enrollment is down about 4% statewide since 2019, mostly due to an 11% drop in community college enrollment. → Read More

Federal government announces funding for emergency contraception for Texans impacted by near-total abortion ban

The Biden administration also issued memorandums detailing two federal statutes officials says they would enforce to provide protection for patients who may need an abortion and health care providers who assist pregnant patients in certain situations. → Read More

Texas NAACP, students file federal civil rights complaint over UT-Austin’s ‘Eyes of Texas’

The complaint signals a continued desire among some UT-Austin students and alumni to push administrators to discontinue using the song as the university’s alma mater, despite the university’s insistence that it will remain. → Read More

Texas lawmakers supported a statewide vaccine mandate a decade ago. Now they're resisting one for COVID-19.

Ten years ago, the state led in requiring meningitis vaccines for students under 22 enrolling in college. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, lawmakers are more skeptical of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. → Read More

UT-Austin working with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, conservative donors to create “limited government” think tank

Proposals obtained by The Texas Tribune indicate the institute would be “dedicated to the study and teaching of individual liberty, limited government, private enterprise and free markets.” → Read More

UT hired consultant for up to $1.1 million to revamp battered image of "Eyes of Texas" song

The consultant, Brad Deutser, is listed as a chair of the committee tasked with chronicling the full history of 'The Eyes.'" But some students who spoke with him said they felt he was trying to convince them to accept the school's position on the song. → Read More

Ken Paxton asks appeals court to toss whistleblower case brought by former top aides

In an 85-page brief filed Tuesday, the attorney general’s lawyers argue that under state law, a whistleblower must believe someone has broken the law, but the aides only reported that “they expected laws might be violated.” → Read More