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

Study: State ed funding still lagging below pre-recession levels
Based on 2015 Census data, 29 states are providing less per-pupil funding than before the recession, and in 19 states, local funding has also dropped over that same time period, according to a report released today by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). By cutting teaching positions and other jobs, districts have slowed the economic recovery, the authors suggest. By the middle of 2012, 351,000 jobs were cut — and while many have been restored, there are still 135,000 fewer positions than in 2008, the report says, citing the CBPP analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. (Education Drive)

My School’s Great, but American Education? Not So Much. New Poll on U.S. Attitudes Suggests Public Perception ‘in a State of Flux’
Americans remain as conflicted as ever on K-12 schooling and the proper role of the federal government in it, according to a new poll from the research and advocacy group EdChoice. Respondents generally saw the nation’s education system as being on the wrong course and were skeptical of the government’s capacity to correct it — but parents also gave high marks to their local schools and approved many federal education initiatives, such as those aimed at students with disabilities. (The 74)

What’s Missing in the Student Discipline Debate? Common Sense
Rarely does a week go by without another heated opinion piece about school discipline. To suspend or not suspend, that is the question everyone wants to talk about. Some argue for a drastic decrease in disciplinary actions due to disproportionate impact on students of color; others say the federal government should back off and let local schools suspend as they wish in the name of school safety. (Real Clear Education)

A Bright Spot in School Diversity
The Albert Shanker Institute recently released a report that analyzed the negative effects of private schools on integrated public education in Washington, D.C. While only 15 percent of students in the nation’s capital attend private schools, 57 percent of white students do. Private schools essentially create the segregation equivalent of white flight to the suburbs, without the physical “flight.” In America, socioeconomic status and race are highly correlated, and parents with means often choose private schools. A 2013 Friedman Foundation study found that parents cite a series of reasons: increased safety, better discipline, smaller class sizes, improved learning environments and more individual attention. (U.S. News & World Report)

Parents weigh in on Wilmington schools plan, potential consolidation
At a Wednesday public meeting to discuss a partnership between Gov. John Carney’s office and the Christina School District, parents said they didn’t understand why the state would want to crowd some of the Delaware’s most troubled students into two buildings. Christina is home to three of the state’s priority schools, those with the lowest test scores in Delaware. They are all located in Wilmington and have been singled out by the state for needing immediate improvement. (Delaware Online)

State ratings for New Orleans schools are on a three-year slide
State rankings for most New Orleans schools are on a three-year slide, with 65 percent dropping from 2014 to 2017. The drop in School Performance Scores from 2016 to 2017 caused hand-wringing among the city’s education leaders. The Lens’ analysis of state data shows it’s part of a worrisome trend. “We have to acknowledge and confront the brutal facts of where we are,” said Orleans Parish school board member Ben Kleban. However, he said he has faith in the district’s commitment to improve. Scores at some schools tumbled. Mahalia Jackson Elementary School dropped almost 30 points to a score of 50 on the state’s 150-point scale. That’s a D. (The Lens)

At one Baltimore public charter school, there’s always time for a check-up
In the classroom, a student complaining about having trouble breathing can turn into a health emergency in a heartbeat. But for students enrolled in KIPP Baltimore, a public charter elementary and middle school, a quick trip to the school-based health center allows them to be treated on site as they would at a doctor’s office, keeping them out of the emergency room and in their seats so they can learn. (HUB)

New York
Governor Cuomo Announces Approval of 88 Smart Schools Investment Plans Totaling $75.6 Million
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the approval of 88 Smart Schools Investment Plans aimed at reimagining teaching and learning for the 21st century. The approved plans, totaling $75.6 million, are part of the $2 billion Smart Schools Bond Act – a sweeping education technology initiative first proposed by the Governor and overwhelmingly approved by voters. The investments authorized today will modernize classrooms across New York and equip students with the skills they need to thrive in the global economy. (New York State)

South Carolina
School board member says it’s ‘common courtesy’ for his child to get into Charleston magnet school
A member of the Charleston County School Board told the district superintendent in June it would be a “common courtesy” for her to help get his child into a prestigious public magnet school. The Rev. Chris Collins, the longest-serving member of the nine-person board, sent at least six emails to Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait between January and June 2017 discussing his child’s application to the Charleston County School of the Arts, according to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request. (The Post & Courier)

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


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