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.


Texas News
4:14 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

At D/FW Airport, Wildlife Biologist Strikes -- Before Birds Can

D/FW Wildlife Biologist Cathy Boyles fires sound cartridges from her pyrotechnic launcher to disperse birds that could damage planes at D/FW International Airport.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Round the clock, D/FW International Airport employees are scouring the grounds looking for dangerous intruders. Not human terrorists. Those with feathers.

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Texas News
10:05 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Dallas County Makes Plans To Welcome 2,000 Immigrant Children

Gil Kerlikowske, U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, spoke at a press conference Wednesday in McAllen. Dallas County is making plans to shelter 2,000 immigrant children who are staying in detention centers along the border.
Doualy Xaykaothao KERA News

Dallas County plans to soon welcome 2,000 of the 52,000 children who’ve entered the country illegally in recent months. They’re coming from Central America and crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Many are trying to escape violence and drug cartels.

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Texas News
3:30 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

'A Humanitarian Crisis:' Dallas County Makes Plans To Shelter 2,000 Immigrant Children

Hundreds of minors are currently housed at the Hackney Training Complex at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. Texas has seen a dramatic increase in minors crossing across the U.S. border.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera Texas Tribune

Community meetings could begin by the end of the week to discuss the thousands of immigrant children who will soon be cared for in Dallas County.

On Saturday, at the Democratic state convention, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced plans to open facilities that will house at least 2,000 of the 52,000 children who’ve entered the country illegally in recent months.

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3:04 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Wendy Davis To Women: 'We Don't Iron The Pants ... We Wear Them'

Leticia Van de Putte, left, and Wendy Davis, greeted the crowds at the Texas Democratic Convention in Dallas over the weekend.
Alyssa Banta Texas Tribune

The candidates at the top of the Texas Democratic ticket are back on the campaign trail Monday after pumping up party members at their state convention in Dallas over the weekend.

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12:07 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

In Texas, Democratic Gun Owners Say Their Party Isn't Against Guns

A group of gun owners met at the Texas Democratic Convention in Dallas on Friday.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

In Texas, it’s generally assumed Republicans get the gun vote. But there’s a group of Democrats who are hoping to turn that around at the state convention in Dallas this weekend. Gun owners want to make sure the Democrats’ state platform doesn’t shoot the party in the foot.

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11:45 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Women Leading Ticket Pump Up Texas Democratic Convention

Lead in text: 
Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Wendy Davis, and the party's candidate for lieutenant governor, Leticia Van De Putte, pumped up party faithful at their state convention. It's the first time Texas has had two women leading a political ticket, and the invitation to female voters rang out loud and clear in their Friday night speeches.
DALLAS - Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte shared the spotlight at the Texas Democratic Party convention on Friday night, promising to change the direction of the state, ripping their Republican opponents and imploring Democrats to break the GOP's two-decade grip on state government.
10:57 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Teachers Hear From Davis And Abbott On Better Pay, School Choice And Testing

Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott face off in the race for governor in November.
Bob Daemmrich/Laura Buckman The Texas Tribune

Democrats will hit high gear at their convention Friday night with speeches by Wendy Davis, their candidate for governor, and Leticia Van de Putte, their nominee for lieutenant governor.

On Thursday, both candidates talked about their vision for education at the Texas Classroom Teachers Association conference in Fort Worth.  Davis’ Republican opponent, Greg Abbott, also spoke. 

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4:57 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Democratic Party Chair Says Texas Convention Will Highlight Women, Immigration Reform

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, nominee for lieutenant governor, and State Sen. Wendy Davis, nominee for governor, are at the top of Texas' Democratic ticket.
Callie Richmond Texas Tribune

Texas Democrats will shine a spotlight on their top-of-the-ticket female candidates as they begin their three-day convention in Dallas Thursday.

In an interview with KERA, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said his party will also contrast its beliefs with those Republicans enshrined in their state platform earlier this month.

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12:22 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Dallas And Cleveland Remain In Running To Host 2016 GOP Convention

GOP officials visited Dallas earlier this month to scope out American Airlines Center, which would host the 2016 convention if Dallas is chosen.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

And then there were two.

Dallas and Cleveland have been named the two remaining finalists to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.

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Texas News
4:08 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Big Week For Big D: Recapping New Cities Summit And Mayors Conference

Dallas has gotten a lot of attention in recent days after hosting two big events -- the New Cities Summit and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Credit Katherine Welles /

Dallas hosted two big events in recent days -- the New Cities Summit, which attracted hundreds of scholars and planners, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which brought in more than 200 mayors from around the country.

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