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

News and Analysis
As Trump pushes school choice, Heritage wants to let 800K military kids use public dollars for private education
The conservative Heritage Foundation is pushing to allow 800,000 military children to use federal tax dollars for private education, a proposal that comes as President Trump seeks to make good on his promise to dramatically expand school choice nationwide. Under the Heritage proposal, military children would be able to elect to leave their public schools and instead receive a lump sum — an “education savings account” — that they could put toward private school tuition, tutoring or online school. (The Washington Post)

Betsy DeVos Visits Science Fair, Refuses To Talk About Climate Science
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos offered glowing praise Friday for President Donald Trump’s pledge to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, but was noticeably tight-lipped regarding her own beliefs on climate change. During a visit to a student science fair at Eagle Academy Public Charter School in Washington, DeVos struggled to answer questions about her personal views on one of the planet’s most pressing problems. (Huffington Post)

Several States Moving to Expand Age Kids Must Be in School
A dozen states are trying to keep children in school longer, from making kindergarten mandatory to raising the legal drop-out age. But it’s not an easy sell. Nevada is among the states this year that have or are considering proposals to stretch the compulsory attendance age. A bill that would require children in Nevada to start school at age 5 was met with such resistance that it was amended to age 6. Current state law sets the age at 7. The proposal is likely to go nowhere, as the Nevada legislature is set to adjourn Monday. (Education Week)

How Education-Funding Formulas Target Poor Kids
Districts serving many low-income children in New Jersey receive nearly $5,000 more per pupil from the state government than districts with a fewer poor students. If that same district was located in Montana, it would only receive an extra $18 per student from the state. Despite the fact that the majority of states have education funding formulas meant to target low-income students, the effectiveness of this targeting varies widely around the country. (The Atlantic)

Amid Baltimore school layoffs, tears and disbelief
Shelly Higgins was leading the seniors at Excel Academy through graduation rehearsals Thursday when she was summoned by the principal. Higgins figured there was a question about the graduation plans. Instead, she learned she was being laid off. (The Baltimore Sun)

New Mexico
They live in Mexico and go to school in the US
Fifth grader JoAnna Rodriguez is on her way to the school bus when she realizes she’s forgotten something important. It’s not homework or lunch. She pulls out a cell phone and calls home while rummaging through her horse-themed backpack. “Mom, I forgot my passport,” she says. (CNN)

New York
Coming soon: a new mega-study on community schools and an award for NYC
New York City will receive an award Monday for its efforts to expand community schools, at the same time that a new study assessing the strategy is released. The study from the Learning Policy Institute will summarize 125 other pieces of research about the approach, which floods schools with resources to meet their students’ personal needs, according to Linda Darling-Hammond, the think tank’s president and CEO. (Chalkbeat)

Washington D.C.
DeVos Cites District of Columbia in Defending Trump’s Push for School Choice
To illustrate why the Trump administration wants to expand school choice through its budget proposal, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is pointing to the experience of the nation’s capital. During DeVos’ visit to the Eagle Academy Public Charter School to highlight the launch of a new special education website here on Friday, we asked the secretary what she would say to skeptics of President Donald Trump’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget (including conservative critics) who don’t want Washington directing school choice expansion efforts. (Education Week)

Mimi Woldeyohannes is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at 50CAN. She lives in Maryland.


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