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

Senate Appropriations Has No Funding for Betsy DeVos’ Private School Voucher Hopes
During his campaign for president, in September 2016, Donald Trump said that he planned to devote $20 billion toward an education block grant that would allow for unprecedented school choice; namely, portability of funding so that every student could choose to attend any school– traditional public, charter, or private.In May 2017, Trump proposed a budget that would have cut a net $9.2 billion from the federal education coffers. Moreover, by cutting other federally funded ed programs, Trump’s plan included devoting $1 billion in Title I funds to a private school voucher program that he planned to slyly graft into the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title I program. (Huffington Post)

Illinois funding reform: Transformative policy in an unlikely state
Last week, major education policy news came from an unlikely source—Illinois—as Governor Bruce Rauner signed significant school funding reform. For a state that has struggled for more than two years to pass a budget, this was especially noteworthy. It also serves as an object lesson in the importance of ongoing advocacy work. The package of reforms overhauls overall education funding for the first time in thirty years. The new law provides a fair funding system for children across the state—whether they live in Champaign, Collinsville, or Chicago—and, for the first time in state history, equitable funding to those who attend charter schools. (Fordham)

Children’s Trauma Lasts Long After Disasters, Studies Show
From Hurricane Katrina to the Joplin, Mo., tornado, the past dozen years have given education researchers unwelcome opportunities to study schools in the wake of disaster.Lessons learned from studying those disasters may help Texas and Louisiana educators pick up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and, potentially, Hurricane Irma as Florida braced for that storm late last week. Above all, this body of research finds that the full effects of disasters on children are far deeper and longer-lasting than expected. (Education Week)

Charter School Leader Going The Extra Mile
For some school leaders, back to school means fulfilling the dream to better educate underserved kids. Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Steve Hirakami, the founding leader of the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences, a public charter school in Pahoa in Hawaii County, to see how his school year was starting out. Since students returned from the summer, Steve has had to arrange with a temporary food vendor to supply school lunches, and his staff has to travel 60 miles round trip to Hilo twice each day to bring in meals for students because he believes healthy minds function better with healthy bodies. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

North Carolina
NC students improve on state exams, and more are graduating from high school
RALEIGH –More North Carolina students are passing state exams and graduating from high school, although large gaps still remain between racial groups and for schools with a lot of low-income students. The passing rates on the state’s standardized tests rose from 58.3 percent to 59.2 percent this past school year. The gain was fueled by increases in the passing rate at the state’s middle schools. (The News & Observer)

Does Philly’s new grading policy level the playing field or lower standards?
For the Philadelphia School District, a new term brings a controversial new grading policy — one that either levels the playing field for students or weakens academic standards, depending on whom you ask. In the past, students who earned a 64 or below flunked, and teachers had latitude to enter report-card grades as low as zero for students who did no work. Beginning with report cards issued in November, pupils who receive grades from 60 to 69 will pass with D’s, and no scores lower than a 50 will be permitted. (The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News)

Washington D.C.
D.C. public school teachers approve new contract
D.C. public school teachers have overwhelmingly approved a new contract, ending a labor impasse that had lasted for five years. The contract, ratified on Friday by union members, includes salary increases of 9 percent over three years. It does not apply to teachers who work in public charter schools. The contract must be approved by the D.C. Council. District Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), who is up for reelection next year, called on council members to quickly sign off on the agreement. (The Washington Post)

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