Lisa Gibes is 50CAN’s vice president of strategy and external relations. She lives in San Francisco, CA.

Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

News and Analysis:
Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Strengthen School Board Authority

A new bill focused on asserting the autonomy of local school boards and regulating the actions of the federal education department was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday. The Local School Board Governance and Flexibility Act is, no surprise, supported by the National School Boards Association, or NSBA. (Education Week – District Dossier) 

Senate Republicans Push Federal Voucher Program in Budget Debate
Parents would be able to take their child’s Title I dollars to any school of their choice—including a private school—under a budget amendment written by two very high profile Republican senators: Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a tea party darling, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, the top GOP lawmaker on the Senate education committee. (Education Week – Politics K-12) 

Head Start Programs Gutted By Sequestration Cuts
Citing budget cuts caused by sequestration, a Head Start program near Fayetteville, Ark., has decided to take the dramatic step of closing its classrooms for the summer 13 days earlier than planned. (Huffington Post) 

CPS to close 61 buildings, affecting 30,000 kids
With Chicago Public Schools facing a financial meltdown, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration on Thursday targeted 61 school buildings for closing, unleashing a torrent of criticism from anxious parents, children and teachers as well as aldermen. (Chicago Tribune) 

KIPP’s Jason Botel to take helm of MarylandCAN

KIPP Baltimore founder and former teacher Jason Botel is taking over as executive director for MarylandCAN: The Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now. “Maryland’s policy climate makes it very hard to lead children from underserved communities to achieve at high levels,” Botel said. “As I have watched KIPP and other education reform efforts grow much more quickly in other regions due to more conducive political climates, I have decided that after 12 years with KIPP and 11 years leading KIPP Baltimore, I want to contribute to KIPP’s mission in a different way. As MarylandCAN’s executive director I will fight for the laws and policies necessary for all children in Maryland to receive an excellent education.” (Education Views) 

Education Advocacy Group Lauds 3 Schools In Region

One Elk County school and two Potter County schools have been highly ranked by an education reform advocacy organization, which released its top 10 lists for Pennsylvania’s elementary, middle and high schools. (The Bradford Era) 


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