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

School Spending Per Pupil Increased by 3.2 Percent, U.S. Census Bureau Reports
The amount spent per pupil for public elementary-secondary education for all 50 states and the District of Columbia increased by 3.2 percent to $11,762 during the 2016 fiscal year, according to new tables released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase in spending in 2016 was due in part to the increase in revenue across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2016, public elementary-secondary education revenue, from all sources, amounted to $670.9 billion, up 4.6 percent from the prior year. This is the largest increase since 2007. (U.S. Census Bureau)

Democrats Want To Boost School Funding To Address Teacher Walkouts
As more and more teachers protest their states’ funding cuts, Democrats in Congress say they have a plan to restore school spending and boost teacher pay. On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, party leaders joined teachers’ union officials to promote a slate of policies aimed at addressing the growing number of teacher walkouts that have shaken up statehouses across the country. The measure would steer $100 billion in federal funds toward schools and ensure that teachers could bargain collectively on salaries, benefits and working conditions. (Huff Post)

Is STEM Oversold as a Path to Better Jobs?
In report after report, government panels, business groups, and educators have sounded the alarm about the state of training in science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM, they conclude, serves as a gateway to higher-paying jobs and is an important linchpin to a growing economy, and therefore, K-12 education in those fields must be improved. In this vast echo chamber, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. So Education Week reviewed dozens of research studies and interviewed experts on the challenge. (Education Week)

Wilmington City Council wants fairer, more inclusive school system
Wilmington City Council adopted three resolutions last week that seek to support the city’s increasingly diverse school-aged population. One of the three resolutions sponsored by Council President Hanifa Shabazz encourages Wilmington-area school districts to adopt K-12 Ethnic Studies curriculums to help kids learn about the world through the lens of traditionally marginalized groups. The resolution argues more than half the students in districts serving the City of Wilmington are students of color, and that the dominance of Euro-American perspectives in school curriculums can lead some students to disengage from academic learning. (Delaware Public Media)

Georgia State study shows positive results from charter schools
Attending a Georgia start-up charter high school increases the likelihood of graduation, and those students are more likely to enroll and persist in college, according to a new study by Georgia State University. Researchers Peter Bluestone and Nicholas Warner from GSU’s Center for State and Local Finance used state-generated data to analyze whether there is a causal relationship between attending a Georgia start-up charter high school and achieving critical academic milestones linked to future labor market success. (Atlanta Business Chronicle)

Pittsburgh Obama students plan protest over canceled musical outside the Benedum Theatre
Instead of attending the Pittsburgh CLO’s annual Gene Kelly Awards ceremony at the Benedum Center on Saturday, students in the Pittsburgh Obama theater program plan to protest outside. Their production of “Dreamgirls” was abruptly canceled before its opening night in April, meaning no Obama students were nominated for the high school musical awards. “You can imagine that these are kids who have been in the process since the ninth grade,” said Maria Searcy, an Obama parent who is spearheading the planned demonstration. “So in their senior year, just the unfairness of it all, this gets taken away from them very abruptly and with no formal apology. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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


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