Stella M. Chávez

Stella Chávez is KERA’s education reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35. The award-winning entry was  “Yolanda’s Crossing,” a seven-part DMN series she co-wrote that reconstructs the 5,000-mile journey of a young Mexican sexual-abuse victim from a small Oaxacan village to Dallas. For the last two years, she worked for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was part of the agency’s outreach efforts on the Affordable Care Act and ran the regional office’s social media efforts.

Earlier this summer, KERA reported on a new law that allows certain community colleges in Texas to offer four-year degrees in areas like nursing and early childhood education. Supporters say this will help fill shortages in those fields. But not everyone’s happy about the effort.

Texas is facing shortages in the workforce in fields like nursing and education. One solution: Lawmakers passed a bill this session allowing community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in certain fields. Gov. Greg Abbot signed the bill into law last month.

Four people died, dozens were hurt and thousands of homes felt the impact of tornadoes that tore through East Texas Saturday night. The folks that bore the brunt of the storms were in and around the town of Canton, an hour east of Dallas.

A classroom used as a prayer room at Liberty High School in Frisco got the attention of the Texas attorney general’s office this month. The office sent a letter raising constitutional concerns about the room. The Frisco superintendent called the letter a "publicity stunt" and said the prayer room has been in use for several years without complaints. 

There’s room for improvement for Texas public school children according to Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. He was in Dallas on Wednesday talking about the state of education in Texas. Morath said the state needs to do more to better prepare students for the future.

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