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
The GOP field—okay fine, Donald Trump—has gotten the lion’s share of the 2016 attention this fall. But tonight, we’ll get to hear from the five Democrats who want a shot at the White House in their very first debate. (Education Week)
Natasha Brown spent five years trying to get her 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son into one of this state’s 80 charter schools. After entering at least 25 lotteries, she secured slots for them this fall. (The Wall Street Journal)
State and district officials who oversee policy on students with disabilities should be bracing for a slew of new guidance letters from the U.S. Department of Education in the next year to 18 months, said two school lawyers speaking to a gathering of state special education directors last week. (Education Week)
“Free” has been the higher education buzzword of the year, as Democrats have proposed a range of plans to infuse billions of federal dollars into public institutions to lower tuition to zero or close to zero. (Inside Higher Ed)
Note to 2016 GOP contenders: The Common Core has won the war. Republican presidential candidates are still bashing the divisive K-12 standards. Donald Trump recently called the Common Core a “complete disaster,” and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz proclaimed they should be abolished — along with the Education Department. (Politico)
Barbara Byrd-Bennett last appeared in public six months ago, when she championed strong principals at a downtown event on the same day that federal subpoenas landed at Chicago Public Schools headquarters. (Chicago Sun-Times)
Arizona has no trouble making top-ten lists for great places to run small businesses. But the state routinely is ranked near the bottom when it comes to public education funding and achievement. (AZ Central)
Pennsylvania public schools are now at Defcon 1—borrowing millions of dollars to keep the lights on, starting to ask teachers to work without pay, and even voting to shut the schoolhouse doors and send the kids home—all because an unprecedented state budget crisis has left them within weeks of insolvency. (The Atlantic)


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