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

Civil Rights Groups Are Pressing Betsy DeVos to Affirm a Supreme Court Decision That Protects Undocumented Students’ Education. Here’s the Backstory on Plyler v. Doe
Last week, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos asserted before a House committee that reporting undocumented students to authorities is “a school decision,” prompting impassioned retorts from civil rights groups, lawyers, and educators and a co-signed letter Tuesday from more than 170 organizations demanding clarification of her comments. The issue at hand is Plyler v. Doe, a 1982 Supreme Court case that established the precedent that all children — independent of legal status — have the right to a public education. (The 74)

When Strikes Happen, Teachers’ Aides Have the Most to Lose
The national spotlight on the strikes and walkouts this spring has been on the teachers themselves. But in the shadows was another group that’s just as critical for keeping schools running: support staff. Often overlooked in the broader public discourse, these workers, including instructional aides and paraprofessionals, sometimes had more at stake in the walkouts than full-time teachers. When schools were closed, many didn’t get paid. (Education Week)

Speaking kids’ home language in pre-k could provide a lifelong advantage
Bilingual children have been shown to be better communicators, do a better job paying attention, and even become stronger readers—in both languages. Yet most American children who speak a language other than English at home begin to lag behind in school by fourth grade. Given what is known about the brain science of language acquisition, early support for dual language learners in state preschool programs could turn that trend around. (The Hechinger Report)

Computer Science Programs to Increase in Hawaii Schools
The Hawaii Board of Education has adopted the national Computer Science Teachers Association’s K-12 Computer Science Standards, joining a growing national movement. The board, Legislature and the University of Hawaii have taken action to increase computer science programs in schools in response to positive feedback by students, The Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday. Legislators on May 1 passed a bill that provides $500,000 for teacher training in computer science and mandates every public high school to offer the subject by 2021. The bill awaits Gov. David Ige’s signature. (U.S. News & World Report)

North Carolina
Panel OKs Letting 4 N Carolina Towns Operate Charter Schools
Legislation allowing four communities close to North Carolina’s largest city to apply for and operate their own charter schools has cleared a General Assembly hurdle. A closely divided Senate Education Committee voted Wednesday to recommend the measure, which would apply only to the Charlotte-area towns of Matthews, Mint Hill, Huntersville and Cornelius. (U.S. News & World Report)

Memphis schools budget heads to county leaders for approval
A $1 billion budget for Shelby County Schools that includes a 3 percent raise for all teachers and raising the district’s minimum wage to $15 per hour is heading to county leaders for the next step in approval. School board members unanimously approved the 2018-19 general budget during their regular meeting Tuesday. District leaders are scheduled to present the budget to the Shelby County Commission on Wednesday morning. (Chalkbeat)

Washington D.C.
Too many absences? It might not be a problem for D.C. students after all.
Two D.C. Council members say repeated absences this school year should not prevent students from receiving diplomas — a proposal that could allow truant seniors to graduate as the city reels from a graduation scandal that engulfed last year’s seniors. Council members David Grosso (I-At Large) and Robert C. White Jr. (D-At Large) said they plan to introduce a measure next week to allow seniors who were chronically absent during the first three-quarters of the academic year to graduate if they meet other academic standards. (The Washington Post)

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


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