Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
News and Analysis
Can Democrats stop DeVos’s confirmation as education secretary? Not likely, sources say.
President Trump’s nomination of Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education might be the most controversial of his Cabinet picks, and one that Democrats had hopes of blocking in the Senate. But sources in the Senate say that it doesn’t look like the Democrats will be able to get enough votes to stop her. (The Washington Post)
New bill offers glimpse of how Washington could use federal funding to expand school vouchers
Sen. Tim Scott, the South Carolina Republican who is one of the most ardent supporters of vouchers and charter schools on Capitol Hill, this week introduced a bill that offers some insight into where and how the new Congress and Trump administration could make good on their promises to push for the expansion of alternatives to traditional public schools. (The Washington Post)
Photos: Parents Took Their Kids to the Immigration Protests — and Created a Teachable Moment
The East Coast protests started haphazardly enough Saturday afternoon. Washington, D.C., residents started gathering at Dulles International Airport around the same time New Yorkers were trekking to JFK’s international terminal — rallied by Facebook Live videos and social media posts that decried President Trump’s new executive order temporarily banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Syrian refugees, from entering the United States. (The 74)
Does Your School Arrest Students?
Niya Kenny pulled out her cell phone and began recording. It happened in 2015, after a classmate had refused to hand over her own cell phone during class and was being pulled from her chair by a police officer based at their school, Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C. When Kenny loudly protested and, like her classmate, refused to hand over her phone, she too was arrested. (NPR)
School Officials Pledge to Protect Students in the U.S. Illegally
In the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive actions Wednesday, in which he promised to crack down on people in the country illegally and withhold federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities, a tide of school officials struck back, promising to protect such students and their families. “L.A. Unified does not intend to cooperate with any effort to enforce [the] executive action, or with any other immigration enforcement activity,” Los Angeles Unified School Board President Steve Zimmer said in a statement. (US News & World Report)
Hogan pitches charter school expansion, again
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced plans to encourage more charter schools by sidestepping local districts’ authority to authorize and fund them. It is the second time in three years Hogan has sought to establish more charter schools in a state where their operators say laws make it tough to open and thrive. (The Baltimore Sun)