As parents rush to form pandemic learning pods, some kids are left behind
AUSTIN, Texas — Kindergarten was supposed to be a big year for Presley Simpson, but the 5-year-old won’t be setting foot inside her kindergarten classroom.As Texas emerged as a coronavirus hot spot this summer, her mom, Cristen Simpson, came up with a different plan: Presley and a friend in her South Austin neighborhood will attend school online, with the help of a teaching facilitator, who also will guide the children through enrichment activities, such as art and physical activities.“I don’t want to send her where she has to sit in her desk all day, where she can’t hug her friends or see her...
Austin schools suspend Black students nearly 5 times as often as white students
AUSTIN, Texas — As the nation focuses on racism in police departments after the death of George Floyd and widespread protests, similar conversations are happening in local school districts, where Black students are more likely to be suspended, charged with crimes for misbehavior and expelled.Black students were suspended at nearly five times the rate of white students in the Austin school district in the 2018-19 school year, according to records obtained by the American-Statesman through the Texas Public Information Act. These statistics mirror regional and national numbers that have for years...