Melissa B. Taboada, Austin American-Statesman

Melissa B. Taboada

Austin American-Statesman

Austin, TX, United States

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Past articles by Melissa:

Public education is our No. 9 issue of the 2021 legislative session

Advocates will press to continue funding levels made under House Bill 3, which directed an additional $6.5 billion to public education. → Read More

Stony Point High School shutters due to increase in coronavirus cases

Round Rock school district leaders have closed Stony Point High School effective immediately due to the number of positive COVID-19 cases and exposures to → Read More

After first round of COVID-19 testing, Austin High School appears slated to reopen

More than 250 Austin High School students, teachers and staff who are learning and teaching in person on campus showed up Monday to get a COVID-19 rapid → Read More

Austin ISD’s Casis Elementary principal reinstated just days after being placed on leave

An Austin elementary school principal who abruptly was placed on administrative leave last Friday will return to his job effective Thursday.A two-sentence → Read More

Austin ISD’s Casis Elementary principal placed on leave

An Austin district principal was abruptly placed on administrative leave, leaving some parents to question the district’s decision and others to rally to save his job.In an email to Casis Elementary School families sent late Friday afternoon, Associate Superintendent Gilbert Hicks said Principal Samuel Tinnon had been placed on administrative leave, effective that day. Hicks gave no explanation… → Read More

Coronavirus cases in Texas schools remain low, but trend points upward

BUDA — New weekly state data on the spread of the coronavirus in Texas school districts show 2,425 new confirmed COVID-19 cases among students, a continuation of an upward trend in infections since campuses returned to in-person learning.The number of students confirmed positive for the coronavirus steadily has risen each week since schools reopened their doors, with cases jumping 57% since late… → Read More

Texas launches funding initiative for students with disabilities

State leaders are launching an initiative to help students with severe disabilities get special education services outside the classroom.Since the coronavirus pandemic abruptly shuttered schools in March, many special education students were left without needed services, contributing to learning gaps.Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Education Agency officials on Wednesday announced the creation of the… → Read More

Student enrollment in Austin area drops amid pandemic

Thousands of Austin-area students have opted out of public school this year, particularly those in prekindergarten and kindergarten, as parents grapple → Read More

Austin ISD reopens for first time since coronavirus closed schools in March

Parents walked their childrenThe parents and students greeted administrators with waves and squeals on the steps of Doss Elementary’ newly built campus as the children returned to campus for the first time since the coronavirus abruptly shuttered the Austin district in March. Some parents said they were thrilled to have their children back at school to bring back a routine to their days as… → Read More

3 seek Austin school board District 2 seat

Three candidates are contending for the Austin school board’s District 2 seat, which represents parts of East and Southeast Austin.The seat is one of four that will be filled by a newcomer, as none of the incumbents up for reelection is seeking another term.Those elected will be faced with tackling the district’s shrinking enrollment and the widening achievement gaps and budget woes caused by… → Read More

4 vie for at-large Austin school board seat

Four candidates are competing to represent one of two districtwide seats on the Austin school board. The other three seats on the nine-member board that → Read More

Texas school coronavirus cases rising, new data show

The number of Texas students testing positive for the coronavirus has risen every week since the start of classes, as more districts reopen schoolhouse → Read More

Central Texas schools launch amid a pandemic. Here's how education has changed.

Oak Hill Elementary School teacher Beth Thornton is purchasing disposable cameras for her third grade students.It will be weeks before she meets the children in person, and she hopes they will document their lives, their favorite things and what they see as important and different in the world right now."A lot of the first few weeks will be about building that community," Thornton said, saying… → Read More

Austin school district inks deal with new superintendent Stephanie Elizalde

Austin school board members Tuesday night officially hired the district’s newest superintendent Stephanie Elizalde, but they did not release the terms of the contract.Elizalde, who most recently has served as the chief of school leadership for the Dallas district, is the first Latina to be appointed to the position of superintendent."I’m very excited to serve the community of Austin ISD,"… → Read More

Amid pandemic, Austin ISD board moves school start date to Sept. 8

Austin school district students now will begin school after Labor Day.The Austin school board in the early hours of Friday morning voted to push back the → Read More

Residency of Austin ISD board candidate questioned, putting run in jeopardy

Austin school district officials are questioning the validity of a school board candidate’s residency listed on his application, which could → Read More

Austin ISD weighs delaying first day of school

The Austin school board on Thursday night will weigh pushing back the first day of school to Sept. 8.School was supposed to launch Aug. 18, a date that → Read More

Abbott: local health authorities can’t shutter schools to prevent covid spread

Dispelling confusion over who has the authority to order schools closed amid the coronavirus panemic, Gov. Greg Abbott weighed in Friday, saying local → Read More

Texas students still face STAAR amid coronavirus, but state softens penalties

Texas students must still take their annual state-mandated tests amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020-21, but it will be less of a high-stakes exam as → Read More

Austin ISD names Dallas’ Stephanie Elizalde as superintendent lone finalist

The Austin school board late Tuesday tapped Stephanie Elizalde, the current chief of school leadership for Dallas schools, as the district's next → Read More