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

Could the Dip Be a Blip?
Last week, the annual Education Next “Poll on School Reform” found sharp declines in support for charter schooling. The public supported charters by a narrow 39-36 margin, a precipitous drop in support from 2016’s hefty 51-28 margin (with double-digit declines in support among both Democrats and Republicans). The results spawned dramatic headlines in the education press, like “Public Support for Charter Schools Plummets, Poll Finds” and “New Poll Shows Sharp Decline in Support for Public Charter Schools Over Past Year.” Charter opponents cheered the results, with American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten taking to Twitter to enthuse, “Support for charters is way down.” (U.S. News & World Report)

Private Schools First, Public Schools Last in K-12 Ratings
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As another school year begins, Americans believe private schools provide students with the best K-12 education of five different types of schools in the U.S. The 71% who rate the quality of private school education as excellent or good exceeds the ratings for parochial, charter, home and public schooling, in that order. (Gallup)

What’s at Stake for Schools in the Debt Ceiling Debate
Have you missed fights over whether to increase the U.S. government’s borrowing limit? You might be getting a special treat soon. Many education advocates, however, likely aren’t so thrilled. The recurring squabble over raising the debt ceiling has roots in 2011 when, in exchange for increasing the borrowing limit, Congress imposed mandatory spending caps on government spending. The big budget legacy of that 2011 fight, known as sequestration, is still with us. Now the issue is back before lawmakers once again. (Education Week)

As Immigrant Students Worry About a New School Year, Districts & Educators Unveil Plans to Protect Their Safety (and Privacy)
If federal immigration agents come knocking, don’t open the door. You have the right to plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to speak. Consult an attorney before signing any papers. Designate a trusted adult who can care for your child if you cannot. Develop a family preparedness plan, in case an emergency arises. These are among recommendations to families that the Los Angeles Unified School District rolled out Aug. 8, a week before the start of school, to address concerns among its large immigrant population. (The 74)

Florida school districts seek grants from charter law they said they’ll challenge
TALLAHASSEE – A new law giving charter networks more money has led school districts to promise lawsuits, but schools in those same districts are vying for grants the law also offers for student mental health services. One of several school boards that voted to sue over the Schools of Hope Law is Bay County. Two of its elementary schools also have applied to receive money offered by the law. Dawn Capes, Bay County school district coordinator of teacher and administrator appraisal systems, said the money is badly needed to help students cope with parents who are struggling with opioid addiction. (Naples Daily News)

New Hawaii Schools Chief: ‘That’s What I Believe In’
Hawaii’s new school superintendent says she’s not going to tell school leaders how to do their jobs or second-guess decisions they’ve made about what’s best for students. Instead, Christina Kishimoto, who took over a little less than a month ago, wants to give those closest to the community the power to make decisions for what works best for their school and the community at large. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

New Jersey
With demonstrable progress made — and most of the rancor laid to rest — Newark prepares to resume local control. Six years ago this month, a fierce battle over control of Newark public schools centered on a state monitoring system that many thought unfair. The system — the Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) — required the state-run district to meet standards in student achievement and other benchmarks that dozens of other districts in the state could not meet. The local advisory board protested, going so far as to defy the Christie administration and approve a formal resolution in August 2011 to appeal the state’s QSAC findings. (NJ Spotlight)

New Mexico
Attorney asks state Supreme Court to block textbook funding to private schools
A lawyer representing several parents of New Mexico public school students has again asked the state Supreme Court to block private schools from drawing on tax dollars to buy textbooks. The action is just the latest turn in a six-year legal battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The parents filed a lawsuit against the state to stop a longtime practice that they view as an unconstitutional use of public funds to support private secular and religious schools. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

New York
City Will Move Sidelined Teachers From Limbo to Classrooms
For a dozen years, hundreds of New York City teachers have been paid despite not having permanent jobs, sidelined in most cases because of disciplinary problems or bad teaching records or because they had worked in poorly performing schools that were closed or where enrollment declined. This limbo was largely the result of a deal that the Bloomberg administration struck with the teachers’ union to give principals more control over who worked in their schools. Under the deal, teachers could not simply be fired, so they were put in a pool known as the Absent Teacher Reserve. (The New York Times)

BLOG: And Still They Rise: Parent Power in Philadelphia
“Don’t mess it up.” Those words rode the bus with Quibila Divine in the late 1960s and early 70s from North Philadelphia to the predominantly white northeast neighborhood where she would be among a cohort of African-American kids integrating at Solis Cohen, the local elementary school. (50CAN)

Metro Schools Offering $6K Signing Bonuses For Hard-To-Fill Jobs
Metro Schools is offering as much as $6,000 in signing bonuses to help fill more than 100 lingering teacher vacancies, two weeks into the semester. The district has been quietly using bonuses all summer on a case-by-case basis but now wants more job candidates to know about them. The district padded this year’s budget with some money for recruitment bonuses. Sharon Pertiller, the district’s chief recruiter, says they’ve been used sparingly — not when someone seems committed to Metro Schools but when the teacher might have multiple offers. (Nashville Public Radio)

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


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