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.

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Politics
8:51 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Davis Zeroes In On The Under-30 Vote With University Rallies

Davis zeroed in on the campus vote as she held rallies at five universities this week.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

This week Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis visited university campuses as they touted their plans for improving higher education.

But their styles couldn’t have been more different.

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Politics
7:44 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Voters Have Questions For Candidates Abbott And Davis

Liz Rick of Dallas says there is too much testing in schools. She wants to know whether candidates will change that for her eight-year old grandson Ben.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

On Sept. 30, the candidates for governor -- Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott -- will face off at KERA for a live, televised debate. 

We’re asking Texans to tweet their questions for the candidates using the hashtag #Texasdebates or send an email to debates@kera.org.

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Politics
2:11 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

What Would You Ask The Candidates For Governor?

Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis campaigns KERA

Later this month, KERA will host a debate between Texas governor candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis. What do you want to ask them?

We’re conducting a joint survey with The Dallas Morning News and KXAS-TV (NBC 5), our debate partners. Check out the survey here.

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Texas News
6:38 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Dallas' Inland Port Now Hoping For Second Place In Competition For Tesla Plant

An intermodal center in the Inland Port area serves as a transfer point for cargo being shipped across the country.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

North Texans trying to attract Tesla’s massive electric battery plant to south Dallas County will officially get the disappointing news Thursday.

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Politics
11:47 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Wendy Davis And Greg Abbott Agree To Governor's Debate At KERA

Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have both accepted KERA's invitation to a live, televised debate on Sept. 30.
Bob Daemmrich/Laura Buckman The Texas Tribune

Two candidates for Texas governor, Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott, have accepted KERA’s invitation to a live, televised debate at 8 p.m. on Sept. 30.

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Politics
12:10 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Gubernatorial Debate Flap Takes Center Stage As Abbott Unveils Higher Ed Plan

Republican Candidate for Governor Greg Abbott appeared with GOP lawmakers as he announced his plan for higher education.
Shelley Kofler KERA News

Attorney General Greg Abbott brought his campaign for governor to Dallas Tuesday to draw attention to his plan for higher education. But the hottest buzz surrounded debate jockeying between Abbott and his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis.

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Government
2:17 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Sen. Cornyn Calls For U.S. Arming Ukrainian Soldiers

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, in a 2011 picture at the Texas Tribune Festival.
Texas Tribune/Flickr

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told KERA Tuesday that the United States should help the Ukrainians repel Russian aggression by giving them weapons.

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Politics
6:02 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Greg Abbott Agrees To Governor's Debate On KERA-TV

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has accepted an invitation for a live, statewide television debate at KERA’s studios.
Bob Daemmrich/Laura Buckman The Texas Tribune

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has accepted an invitation for a live, statewide television debate at KERA’s studios.

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Government
8:40 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Schools Applaud Ruling That Texas Education Funding System Is Unconstitutional

State Judge John Dietz in February 2013 found the state school funding system unconstitutional and issued a written order declaring the same on Thursday.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera Texas Tribune

School districts throughout the state are applauding a court ruling that may eventually lead to an overhaul of the way Texas pays for schools.

On Thursday State District Judge John Dietz again declared the state’s school funding system unconstitutional.

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Government
7:23 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Key Lawmakers Campaign For November Passage Of Transportation Fund

Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, and Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, talk with KERA's Shelley Kofler about the transportation measure on the November ballot.
BJ Austin KERA News

Most of the attention for November elections has been on the governor’s race and battles between candidates.

But voters will also decide whether to use some of the oil and gas tax money that would go into the Rainy Day savings fund to pay for roads.

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