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

Fed Up With Low Pay, Oklahoma Teachers Prepare to Walk Out
Few educators here say they want a statewide teacher strike to happen. And yet there’s overwhelming agreement from educators that it’s the only way forward. Union leaders have given the Oklahoma state legislature an April 1 deadline to pass a funding package that includes a $10,000 pay raise over three years for teachers and a $200 million boost to public schools. If that doesn’t happen, teachers across the state will walk out of their classrooms, and will not return until they get what they’re asking for, union officials pledge. (Education Week)

Most immigrants outpace Americans when it comes to education — with one big exception
In 2004, the late Harvard political science professor Sam Huntington made the argument that recent immigrants, particularly Hispanics, weren’t assimilating well into American society. He worried that the descendants of present-day immigrants wouldn’t follow the same upwardly mobile trajectory as the descendants of earlier arrivals from Europe. Fears like these often stoke anti-immigrant sentiments, especially during a time when the percentage of immigrants approaches 14 percent of the U.S. population, according to the most recent data. But a new study indicates that the majority of present-day immigrants and their children may be making real progress toward achieving their American dreams. (The Hechinger Report)

‘Disciplinarians first and teachers second’: black male teachers say they face an extra burden
As a first-year teacher, Pierce Bond took on a remarkable responsibility: helping other teachers by disciplining or counseling misbehaving students. That left him to make tough choices, like whether to disrupt his own class mid-lesson to handle problems in the school’s detention room. “Sometimes you have to make that decision,” he told an interviewer. “Do I stop whatever I’m doing now to go deal with this situation?” (Chalkbeat)

Unique plan pursued to save a struggling First State charter school
Having won approval Thursday for its survival plan, the Delaware Academy of Public Safety and Security now begins the real work of overcoming the biggest obstacle to its survival: recruiting 31 new students for the coming school year before a May 1 deadline. On Thursday, the State Board of Education assented to Secretary of Education Susan Bunting’s decision to let the troubled New Castle-area charter high school remain in operation for another year, provided it meets four conditions specified by the Department of Education’s Charter School Accountability Committee following a review of the school’s performance and several new conditions added by Bunting. (Delaware Public Radio)

Charter Schools Are Public Schools, Should Be State-Funded, Louisiana Supreme Court Rules in Case That Threatened 18,000 Students
Louisiana’s highest state court has affirmed that charter schools are public schools and deserving of funding through the state formula, ending a lawsuit that threatened the existence of 34 charter schools serving more than 18,000 students. In a 5–2 decision, the justices closed a case that dates back to 2014, with a suit by one of the state’s two major teachers unions, the Louisiana Association of Educators, and a suit by a local school board that had a charter school approved for its district. At issue was whether Type 2 charter schools, which are authorized by a statewide body instead of a local school board, fit the state’s definition of public schools, and whether they could receive funding as part of the state’s formula. (The 74)

‘Sick Out’ organized for Monday after Prince George’s Co. teachers learn of secret pay raises
Teachers in Prince George’s County are calling for a “Sick-Out” on Monday, after new details of a secret pay raise scandal continue to come to light. According to a post on Facebook, teachers want to start a “grassroots protest against the alleged misuse of funds.”Some teachers told WUSA9 instead of attending school on Monday, they plan on attending the “Fix the Fund” rally in Annapolis. Teachers said buses from Prince George’s County are being organized to help transport teachers. No word yet on how many teachers are participating and if it will affect classes on Monday. (WUSA)

New York
National school walkout: Overturn discipline for students who walked out, Andrew Cuomo says
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the state’s top education official to overturn any disciplinary action against students who walked out of school Wednesday as part of the National School Walkout, a protest against gun violence. Cuomo, a Democrat who has long pushed for stronger gun-control measures, sent an open letter Thursday to state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, arguing schools that handed out detention or other discipline sent a “terrible message to New York’s children” and violated their free speech. (Democrat & Chronicle)

North Carolina
NC could face lawsuits if large school districts are allowed to break up
Any efforts to break up North Carolina school districts would likely lead to lawsuits and challenges such as higher costs and fewer school choices, state education officials warned Tuesday. State legislators who are studying how to divide school districts say they’re not targeting any specific district this year but want to learn more about what issues would be involved in breaking them up. On Tuesday, representatives from the state Department of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education laid out a list of constitutional, budgeting, facilities, transportation, nutrition, legal and other challenges. (The News & Observer)

Report shows more suburban Pa. students choosing charter schools
Though commonly associated with urban education, charter schools have grown steadily in the suburbs outside Philadelphia, a new report shows. For 15 consecutive years, the number of children attending charter schools in the four counties surrounding Philadelphia has increased, according to “Uncharted Territory,” an analysis by the advocacy group Public Citizens for Children in Youth known as PCCY. (WHYY)

Timeline extended to turn over student data to ASD for Nashville and Memphis school districts
The Nashville school board will have more time to decide whether it wants to continue a fight against the state’s Achievement School District over the contact information of students zoned to failing schools. A Nashville judge ruled from the bench in January against the Metro Nashville Schools board. The ruling said the district must turn over student contact information to the ASD by March 16 at noon. A final order was not entered until March 8, however, and the ruling will not be effective until 30 days after it is issued, according to Sara Gast, Tennessee Department of Education spokeswoman. (Tennessean)

How education bills fared this Virginia General Assembly session
The Virginia General Assembly will reconvene next month to carve out a budget, an act that will have major impact on education in the state. The House of Delegates version of the budget, which includes Medicaid expansion, allocates more state funding per student than the Senate’s, with a salary increase taking effect July 1, 2019. Teachers in Virginia continue to make below the national average of teacher salaries. (Richmond-Times Dispatch)

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


Recent Posts

More posts from Today in Education

See All Posts