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

State Education Finance Systems Take Center Stage
Until earlier this year, Illinois was one of the last states in the country whose education funding system relied almost entirely on property taxes, spawning a vicious and inequitable funding cycle that left property-poor districts with large numbers of low-income students chronically underfunded. After years of partisan bickering, state legislators approved this summer a new funding formula that directs more resources to poor and rural districts. “There will not be another generation of students that are subjected to inequity, the worst in the country, after this bill becomes law,” state Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat, said a day before Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law. (U.S. News & World Report)

Brown v. Board of Education anniversary — re-segregate schools voluntarily for black students
Almost 65 years ago on Dec. 9, 1952, the infamous Brown v. Board of Education case began its arduous journey in the U.S. Supreme Court. When the decision was rendered nearly a year and a half later ruling that separate but equal was unconstitutional, large swaths of society celebrated what was most certainly a victory for desegregation efforts more broadly. Yet nearly seven decades later, the promise of integration in public schools remains largely unrealized. In fact, public schools are more segregated today than they were in the 1970s. (The Hill)

Ed Reform Has an Asian Problem
When it comes to education reform, Asians don’t exist. Nobody talks about them. Not policymakers, national advocacy groups or funders. For decades, the education world has stereotyped Asians as a “model minority” and left them out of the education dialogue. For most ed. reformers, Asians aren’t even an afterthought. With the rapid expansion of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) population, Ed Reform can’t afford to ignore Asians anymore. Since 2010, the growth rate of APIs has exceeded that of Latinos. Nationally, there are over 20 million APIs. In some states, the API population has grown larger than other ethnic groups, especially in public schools. For example, in California there are twice as many API students (12%) as African-Americans (6%). In some prominent school districts such as San Francisco, APIs are the “majority” minority with 40% of the student population, larger than the Latinos (30%), Whites (14%) and African-Americans (9%). (EducationNext)

Education advocates call for more funding for low-income students
Attorney General Matt Denn said Delaware took in about $55 million more in taxes than anticipated. Extra money is usually put toward balancing the state’s next fiscal budget. But Denn said that money should be used to boost financial support for students living poverty. “Most of these proposals are focused on kids who are growing up in poverty, who face obstacles that other children simply do not face,” he said. “And our proposal is designed to give more of these kids, if they’re willing to work hard, a chance to succeed.” (Delaware Public Media)

New Mexico
Two students killed at Aztec High School
AZTEC – Two students were killed when a gunman opened fire during first period at Aztec High School in northwestern New Mexico on Thursday morning, authorities say. The suspected gunman is also dead, according to San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christesen, although he would not say whether he was a student at the school. (The Albuquerque Journal)

North Carolina
Smaller classes sound great. So why are NC parents up in arms about looming change?
RALEIGH–Smaller class sizes are great, PTA volunteer Ann Spencer told parents at Combs Elementary School on Monday, unless they lead to consequences such as losing art and music classrooms. Spencer and other PTA volunteers at the Raleigh magnet school urged parents to lobby state lawmakers to back off from requiring smaller class sizes in kindergarten through third grade starting next year. Monday’s effort at Combs is just one example of how PTAs across North Carolina are mobilizing. (The Charlotte Observer)

Education & You: Analysis finds charter schools among nation’s most segregated
An Associated Press report about charter schools, segregation and links to low achievement was the subject of criticism this week. Here’s what the report said: “Charter schools are among the nation’s most segregated, an Associated Press analysis finds — an outcome at odds, critics say, with their goal of offering a better alternative to failing traditional public schools. (TRIB Live)

Washington D.C.
Public dollars for private school tuition? That’s what two in Congress want for every D.C. family
Virtually any D.C. student would be able to attend private school on the taxpayer’s dime under legislation introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) — a proposal that would mark the most radical expansion of school choice in the nation. Under the proposal, called the Educational Freedom Accounts Act, the District would be forced to give public money directly to parents who opt out of public schools. Like vouchers, the funds could be used at private schools. But they could also be used for other educational expenses, including home-schooling materials and private tutoring. Families would receive at least 90 percent of what the District allocates through its per-student funding formula, which was about $9,500 in 2015. (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