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

The GOP tax reform bill helps Betsy DeVos’s school choice agenda, but worries public education advocates
Parents would be able to use a tax-free savings account originally created for college expenses to put away money for private K-12 school tuition under a proposal in the GOP tax reform bill, a move that would largely aid families who can already afford private school tuition. (The Washington Post)

Education, Civil Rights Groups Band Together to Counter Trump Administration
More than two dozen major education organizations and civil rights groups are banding together to punch back at what they see as the Trump administration threatening the civil rights of students. The coalition – which brings together powerful groups such as the two national teachers unions, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Children’s Defense Fund and GLSEN, among others – pledged Thursday to take action against those violating students’ rights and to provide resources where needed. (U.S. News & World Report)

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Jumps Into Tech Training, and K-12 Curriculum
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has launched a company focused on giving people online training for technology jobs—a project that is meant to encourage K-12 students to enter the field, too. Called Woz U—a play on the inventor and entrepreneur’s nickname—the company will seek to provide workers with training and retraining through a variety of channels. (Education Week)

Our schools should challenge kids so they’re ready for college: Delaware Voice
My daughter spends a full day every Saturday on the campus of University of Delaware getting intensive academic and leadership preparation via the TeenSHARP program. During the week, her intellectual horizons are stretched and challenged as a student in the International Baccalaureate program at Mount Pleasant High school — one of three public high schools in Delaware to offer IB curriculum. (Delaware Online)

New Jersey
Teachers’ union battle against top Democrat is costing a fortune
TRENTON — The bitter war between New Jersey’s largest teachers union and most powerful elected Democrat has cost at least $16.6 million heading into the final days of the election — already more than doubling the previous record for the most expensive legislative race in state history, according to figures released Wednesday. (NJ Advance Media)

North Carolina
NC students who fail classes can still graduate. But is the online program being abused?
RALEIGH–An online program that has helped boost North Carolina’s high school graduation rate is drawing questions from state education leaders who wonder whether the results are too good to be true. Thousands of N.C. high school seniors annually pass online credit recovery courses, which allow them to retake parts of classes they failed to earn credits needed for graduation. But credit recovery is now being reviewed as State Board of Education members question what’s happening in these locally run classes around North Carolina. (The News & Observer)

Kenney announces timeline to take back Philly schools; no clear plan to fund them
Pitching local control of Philadelphia’s schools as the linchpin to the city’s future, Mayor Kenney on Thursday called for the School Reform Commission to disband itself in favor of a board whose members he will choose. Seizing back governance of the schools will come with a hefty price tag. Kenney and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said they would need to cover the Philadelphia School District’s looming deficit — $103 million next school year, $1 billion over five years — though they declined to say exactly how. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

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


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