Kiah Collier Reporter

Kiah Collier reports on the environment and public education for the Tribune, where she began working in July 2015. Since graduating from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 with degrees in philosophy and multimedia journalism, Kiah has reported on government and politics for publications across the state, including the Austin-American Statesman and the Houston Chronicle. A Central Texas native, Kiah began her career at the San Angelo Standard-Times in West Texas, where she covered the city council and 83rd Legislature and won awards for her reporting on the oil-and-gas boom and prolific drought. When she is not reporting the news, Kiah enjoys consuming the news, cooking, exercising and belly laughing with friends and family. She also enjoys spending time with her calico cat, Carol.

Recent Contributions

Legislature to Blame for Mexican-American Studies Textbook, Ed Board Members Say

Hispanic activists, advocates and elected officials protested a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook on Tuesday ahead of the Texas Board of Education's first public hearing on the text. Scholars who have reviewed it say it is riddled with factual errors and offensive ethnic stereotypes.
Hispanic activists, advocates and elected officials protested a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook on Tuesday ahead of the Texas Board of Education's first public hearing on the text. Scholars who have reviewed it say it is riddled with factual errors and offensive ethnic stereotypes.

Hispanic advocates, activists and elected officials from across the state on Tuesday called on the Texas Board of Education to reject a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook they blasted as racist.

Fort Worth Judge Blocks Obama Transgender Guidelines

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spoke at a May 25, 2016, news conference announcing a lawsuit filed against the federal government over rules for transgender bathrooms in public schools.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton spoke at a May 25, 2016, news conference announcing a lawsuit filed against the federal government over rules for transgender bathrooms in public schools.

A federal judge in Fort Worth has blocked Obama administration guidelines directing the nation’s public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and other facilities that align with their gender identity.

How a South Texas School District Spurred a Massive Turnaround

Premont High School cheerleader Stacy Morales, 17, and student basketball player Ernesto Gonzalez leave the gym after a game in 2012 — the year before the long-struggling school district opted to suspend its sports program to ward off closure.
Premont High School cheerleader Stacy Morales, 17, and student basketball player Ernesto Gonzalez leave the gym after a game in 2012 — the year before the long-struggling school district opted to suspend its sports program to ward off closure.

After five years of landing on the state’s list of low-performing schools, a tiny South Texas district that drew national headlines for cutting its sports program to ward off closure is now meeting state academic standards.

 

Failing Texas Schools Facing Tougher State Intervention

State Education Commissioner Mike Morath testifies Tuesday Aug 16, 2016 before the Senate Education Committee at the Texas Capitol.
State Education Commissioner Mike Morath testifies Tuesday Aug 16, 2016 before the Senate Education Committee at the Texas Capitol.

Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Tuesday outlined plans to crack down harder on chronically low-performing schools, saying he wants to cut in half the number of them that end up on the state’s failing list over the next five years.

School Finance Dividing Lines Emerge at Hearing

Sen. Larry Taylor R-Friendswood and Sen. Eddie Lucio D-Brownsville during an Aug 3, 2016 Senate Education Committee hearing
Sen. Larry Taylor R-Friendswood and Sen. Eddie Lucio D-Brownsville during an Aug 3, 2016 Senate Education Committee hearing

The fault lines that will define efforts to improve the state's system of funding education came into sharp focus Wednesday as a Senate panel began studying how to improve the "efficiency" of public schools in Texas.