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Houston Public Media | Beat Reporter Submission 2023

Dominic Anthony Walsh, Education & Families Reporter

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Dominic Anthony Walsh’s approach to the education and families beat is people-focused, systems-oriented.

He foregrounds the voices of people most impacted by the shifting sociopolitical landscape around education, then peels back layers of policy and history to reveal the “how and why” at the heart of every story.

Covering censorship of students in Katy ISD, he focused on the concerns of LGBTQIA+ students before examining the tension between the district’s stated policy and its actions. When Houston ISD announced plans to shutter a popular program for kids with profound disabilities, he elevated the voices of frustrated parents while digging up public records and secretly recorded audio to understand how the decision was actually made. When a wave of “anti-CRT” candidates swept out incumbents in school board races and primaries for the State Board of Education, he focused on three longstanding trustees who lost reelection in one of the largest school districts in the state, then examined two decades of campaign finance reports as well as Meta’s archive of Facebook political advertisements to understand the forces behind the swing to the right.

His approach centers the people at the heart of the story and traces the power structures that are reshaping the education landscape in Texas and across the country.

Three stories submitted:

T.H. Rogers School profoundly disabled kids may be relocated, Texas State Board of Education and local school board races flush with PAC money, and Katy ISD internet filters