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

Where School Employees Can’t Afford Housing, Some Districts Try to Help
In some of the nation’s hottest real estate markets, school districts are trying new tactics to help employees cover the spiraling costs of renting or buying a home. The Denver district, for example, is teaming up with a lending company to help teachers, principals, custodians, and others who work in schools put down as much as half the down payment on a home. In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, the school district and the county are floating a proposal to build apartments—with first preference for teachers but spots for others who work in the district—on the campus of a brand-new middle school. (Education Week)

Finding a good preschool isn’t easy: Try it.
When 2.7 million American 4-year-olds start preschool next fall many will end up in places that have subpar and even dangerous conditions, without the support they need to get ready to succeed in school. Lack of access and availability for both low-income and middle-class families means that many parents never enroll their children in preschool at all, despite knowing about the academic and social benefits. Just 43 percent of 4-year-olds go to public preschools in the U.S., and only six states have public programs that meet basic quality standards, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Private preschools, which are expensive, poorly regulated and hard to find, enroll the rest. (The Hechinger Report)

Task force on consolidation eyes school administrator costs
Cape Henlopen School District Superintendent Robert Fulton is the fourth highest paid superintendent in the state, two recent reports show. Fulton, who has a master’s degree, was hired as superintendent in 2012 for a salary with compensation of about $140,000, according to information provided by the Office of Management and Budget. A year later he was making about $155,000 in total compensation. Since then, his salary and compensation has increased by about $4,000 each year with an $8,000 increase from 2015 to 2016. In 2017, Fulton made $177,336 in total compensation – a raise of more than $37,000 or 25 percent over five years. (Cape Gazette)

Financially ailing Plum school district plans to cut 25 teacher jobs
The Plum Borough School District will cut more than two-dozen teacher jobs as a cost-cutting measure the district says is necessary in the face of a budget deficit of more than $5 million. Plum officials say staff cuts — including teacher retirements — would save the district close to $2.7 million. The school board voted Tuesday to allow the district to send furlough letters to 25 teachers and one administrator. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

About 1,800 TNReady tests invalidated after students take wrong test for their grade
In the latest glitch in Tennessee’s beleaguered online testing system, a “poorly designed feature” caused about 1,800 TNReady exams to be invalidated statewide. About half of the instances involved students at Norris Middle School in Anderson County near Knoxville who took science or social studies tests that were below their grade level. At least 21 students in Knoxville had the same issue, and officials in Williamson County reported similar problems. When asked, Sara Gast, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Education, did not specify where else in the state the error occurred. (Chalkbeat)

Washington D.C.
D.C. schools could face sharp dip in graduation rate after scandal
Fewer than half of the seniors in the District’s traditional public school system are on track to receive their diplomas in June, a drastic shift for a school district that celebrated a record high graduation rate last year. Data released Friday by D.C. Public Schools show that 46 percent of the 3,623 seniors are on course to walk across the graduation stage, while 21 percent are considered “moderately off track,” meaning they could still earn enough credits for a diploma. (The Washington Post)

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


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