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

Betsy DeVos Waiting for ‘Right Time,’ Circumstances for a Choice Initiative
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who has spent decades advocating for private school vouchers and charter schools, came to Washington with one item at the top of her agenda: to push for a new federal school choice initiative. Her vision is running into trouble on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers in both chambers have failed to fund either of the school choice proposals in the president’s budget. And it’s looking less and less likely that the White House will push to include a federal tax credit scholarship program in a sweeping tax overhaul package that’s slated to be unveiled soon. (Education Week)

House Passes Education Funding Bill With Boosts for After-school Programs Threatened by Proposed Cuts
The House on Thursday passed its 2018 education spending bill, adding funds for after-school programs but rejecting increases for magnet schools and career and technical education. The education spending measure is part of an omnibus package with other agency funding; it would cut $2.4 billion from the Education Department, largely by ending funding for teacher training grants, commonly known as Title II, and making smaller cuts to other programs. Notably, the bill does not include the school choice funding the Trump administration requested, including $1 billion in Title I “portability” for public school choice or a $250 million pilot voucher program. (The 74)

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma kept 1 in 6 students in the USA out of school
NAPLES, Fla. — School has been out of session here since Sept. 7, three days before Hurricane Irma struck Florida’s west coast. But James Lloyd, a senior at Gulf Coast High School, has had a hard time enjoying the impromptu vacation. He’s worried about returning to a heavy school workload — and falling behind on college applications. “I know it’s going to affect everyone else just as much as me, so it’s just more of an annoyance more than anything,” said Lloyd, 17. (USA Today)

Teachers union sues Florida, alleges ‘Best & Brightest’ bonus system discriminatory
The Florida Education Association is challenging as discriminatory part of a 2015 law that ties teacher bonuses to their college entrance exam scores. The union representing teachers and other Florida public school employees alleges in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tallahassee Wednesday that the Best & Brightest performance-based bonus pay system signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott discriminates against teachers of a certain age and race. (Tallahassee Democrat)

These Big Oahu Schools Got Bigger — And Small Ones Keep Shrinking
Even as total enrollment in Hawaii’s public schools dipped slightly, some of Oahu’s biggest and already overcrowded high schools continue to grow. Campbell High School remains the largest in the state, enrolling 3,110 students this year, the fourth-straight year its student body has exceeded 3,000. Waipahu High School grew past 2,500, Mililani High School continued to grow past 2,500 and Farrington High School and Kapolei High School student enrollment again exceeded 2,000. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

School board votes to enhance law enforcement scrutiny at public schools
The Orleans Parish School Board unanimously voted Thursday (Sept. 14) to support a policy increasing the scrutiny of law enforcement at public schools, with its intent being to protect students from disruptions caused by a police presence. Law enforcement agencies may visit schools for official business or to get information, but the board has been in conversations with parents and organizers who worry police visits can disrupt the learning environment. With this in mind, Latinos’ rights group Our Voice/Nuestra Voz collaborated with OPSB to draft a policy stating the district’s primary focus during police interactions will be “the welfare of the student,” as well as the protection of their constitutional rights. (The Times Picayune)

Hogan refuses to sign off on Maryland education plan
Gov. Larry Hogan is refusing to endorse the Maryland school board’s plan for helping low-performing schools, saying state board members were hamstrung by a new law limiting what the plan can include. The General Assembly passed legislation this year that limits ways the state can try to reform its lowest-performing schools — those in the bottom 5 percent. The Republican governor vetoed that bill, but the Democratic-controlled legislature overrode him. (The Baltimore Sun)

New York
Unprepared NYC graduates spend $63M a year on remedial classes
Thousands of city public-school graduates falter as college freshmen, and have to empty their pockets because of it, according to a new report. Ill-prepared for collegiate course work, more than 21,000 city graduates end up shelling out an average of $3,000 annually for remedial classes, according to a study by pro-charter advocacy group StudentFirstNY. Dubbing these costs a hidden “remediation tax,” the report estimated that they pay roughly $63 million a year to absorb basic knowledge they should have learned in high school. (New York Post)

Pa.’s budget stalemate causes payment delays but no urgency visible at Capitol to address it
Pennsylvania’s incomplete 2017-18 budget is now starting to cause a pinch in the way the state conducts its business. It can no longer pay all of its bills on time. The state’s top financial officers who are empowered to authorize stopgap loans won’t do it any more due to not having a revenue plan in place to fully fund the enacted $32 billion budget. And this stranglehold continues to hold up $600 million in state funding for Penn State, Pitt, Temple and Lincoln universities and Penn’s vet school. (Penn Live)

Also, please join us in celebrating the newest addition to the CAN family, HawaiiKidsCAN, by following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, clicking through their website and sharing the news far and wide!

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


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