Shelley Kofler

Managing Editor/Senior Reporter

Shelley Kofler is managing editor/senior reporter for KERA News. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who has served as KERA news director and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV. Her expertise on legislative policy issues includes school finance, foster care and transportation; and her stories on the overmedication of foster children captured the attention of state officials who strengthened laws for the use of psychotropic drugs.

Shelley also covered government issues for North Texas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV and worked with KERA on numerous public affairs projects including nationally broadcast programs. She has reported on statewide elections and presidential primaries since the late 1980s. She also founded and operated her own communications firm, Kofler Communications, in Dallas and Austin. She served as a communications strategist and media trainer for various companies, agencies and public officials.

Shelley and the KERA news team have received numerous journalism awards for their public radio and television work. In addition to all-staff honors she has been individually singled out with a first place Edward R. Murrow award for a series of reports on the Trinity toll road decision; first place honors for political reporting from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Houston Press Club’s Lone Star competition; a first place award for covering water issues and the battle over building the Marvin Nichols dam; and a first place Lone Star award for hosting a call-in show about employment entitled, “Getting Back to Work.”

As news director, Shelley organized and participated in KERA’s coverage of the 2010 Texas gubernatorial race. She moderated the statewide-televised primary debate among Republicans: Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and candidate Debra Medina. The debate aired in every TV and radio market in Texas.

Shelley joined the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas board in 2011. She’s a native “Hoosier” from Indiana but has lived in Texas for more than two decades. She’s happiest when she can slip on her hiking boots and explore a new trail.


4:00 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Texas Students Choose Career Paths In The Eighth Grade, And That's Creating Anxiety

Under a new law, Fort Worth eighth-grader Dorothy Isgur must choose a career track before entering high school.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

A new Texas law requires public school students to decide a career track in eighth grade. It’s a sea change with challenges for schools -- and some anxiety for kids.

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6:52 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Trailing In Polls, Wendy Davis Promises To 'Give It Everything I Have'

Shelley Kofler KERA News

On Tuesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis continued her assault on Republican opponent Greg Abbott’s pre-kindergarten plan, this time in Dallas.

But as she spoke at the annual conference for the Texas Retired Teachers Association, a new national poll was released, showing the state senator from Fort Worth has made little headway in chiseling down Abbott’s lead.

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6:54 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Seeking Photos Of Davis-Obama Meeting, Abbott Files FOIA Request With White House

Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, wants copies of any photos taken when his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, met Thursday with President Barack Obama. 

To get them, Abbott has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the White House.

Davis’ campaign says she had a private meeting with the president at the LBJ Library in Austin, where he helped commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

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6:00 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

UNT-Dallas President Hopes To Set His Urban University Apart

UNT Dallas' President Ronald Brown delivered his first inaugural speech Friday.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

The second president at the University of North Texas at Dallas says his priorities include keeping tuition low and forging a relationship with employers who will help train students for high-demand jobs.  

President Ronald Brown talked with KERA's Shelley Kofler prior to giving his inaugural speech on Friday.

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3:16 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Battle For Governor Shines A Light On Pre-K

Cherish Moore, who's 4, is learning to write her name in a Dallas pre-kindergarten class.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Dallas and Fort Worth school districts are ramping up efforts to enroll more eligible children in pre-kindergarten.  The push comes as gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis spar over who has a better plan for early education. 

Inside the pre-kindergarten class at Dallas’ Good Street Learning Center, it might seem like the 4-year-olds keeping time with rhythm sticks are just playing a game.

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5:42 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Candidate Patrick Wants Government Out Of Equal Pay Issue

Lead in text: 
In Fort Worth today, Sen. Dan Patrick, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, again said he supports equal pay for men and women but he doesn't think government should enforce it. Patrick and incumbent Lt. Governor Davis Dewhurst will face each other in a May 27 runoff for their party's nomination. Dewhurst, who presides over the Texas Senate, has said he would again allow an equal pay measure to be voted on if enough senators wanted that to happen. The legislature passed a bill last session allowing employees more time to file equal pay claims but Gov. Rick Perry vetoed it.
politics On the same day President Barack Obama pushed for equal pay for women, candidate for Lt. Gov. state Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) insisted new equal pay laws are not needed. Speaking after a fundraiser luncheon in Fort Worth Tuesday, Patrick told NBC 5 he opposes any new federal or state equal pay protections.
12:38 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Ray Hutchison Remembered As Powerful Force Behind North Texas Landmarks

Retired Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison following her husband Ray's funeral at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Former President George W. Bush and U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz were among the political elite who celebrated the life of Ray Hutchison Thursday.

The 81-year-old husband of former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison died Sunday of a heart problem, leaving behind a legacy that includes many of the biggest public projects in Dallas-Fort Worth.

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1:30 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Accusations Of Pay Discrimination In State Agencies Heats Up Texas Governor's Race

Democrats in the Texas Senate are asking the lieutenant governor to investigate pay discrimination for women in state agencies, including the attorney general’s office.

It’s the latest salvo being fired by supporters of Democrat Wendy Davis, who has made equal pay a key issue in her race for governor against Republican Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general.

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7:43 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Lawmakers Worry Schools Aren't Prepared For New, Confusing Graduation Requirements

Next year's freshmen face new requirements for graduation.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

State lawmakers reviewing new graduation requirements that go into effect in the fall say they’re confusing and districts may not be prepared to implement them.

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Texas News
6:58 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Dallas Sees Las Vegas, Kansas City, Denver As Main Competitors For GOP Convention

American Airlines Center would the primary location for a 2016 GOP National Convention in Dallas.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says Big D presented a competitive proposal Friday that should make the city a finalist for hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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