Beth Milne is a past member of the 50CAN team. 

Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis 
A foundation run by the heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton said Thursday it will spend $1 billion over the next five years to improve public education by backing new charter schools and helping programs already up and running. (Associated Press)
More than 95 percent of states in the U.S. have been spending less on their public higher education systems than they did before the Great Recession. (US News)
The first day back from winter break can be restless. Many children are still coming down from the excitement of the holidays. Two unstructured weeks away from school — with strange food, rituals and relatives — can be overwhelming for many children, especially when it grinds to a halt after the new year and normality resumes. (NPR)
When N.A. told her three young daughters in 2010 that they were only going to New York City for a few weeks to visit their grandmother, she meant it. She left their summer clothes—along with most of their belongings—behind in the house she planned to return to in the city she loved. (The Atlantic)
The racial gap in who’s graduating from college has widened since 2007, a new report shows. While more blacks and Latinos are graduating from college now, the percentage of whites graduating has grown even faster. (The Hechinger Report)


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