Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:
Here’s How Congress Could Act To Save DACA
With President Trump’s announcement on Tuesday that his administration was ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the White House made clear they want a legislative solution from Congress to protect the roughly 800,000 “DREAMers,” who came to the U.S. illegally as children and now face the possibility of deportation. (NPR)
Congress Returns to a Lengthy Education To-Do List, From Implementing ESSA to Rewriting the Higher Education Act
After a summer in which tempers flared over education issues like budgets and school choice, the House and Senate returned to Washington Tuesday with a lengthy to-do list, nearly all of which touches on education. Members must fund the government, including the Education Department; raise the debt ceiling by the end of the month; provide aid to areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey, including scores of schools; and, possibly, find a solution for undocumented “Dreamers,” who President Donald Trump announced Tuesday will lose protections in six months unless Congress acts. (The 74)
Americans Have Given Up on Public Schools. That’s a Mistake.
Public schools have always occupied prime space in the excitable American imagination. For decades, if not centuries, politicians have made hay of their supposed failures and extortions. In 2004, Rod Paige, then George W. Bush’s secretary of education, called the country’s leading teachers union a “terrorist organization.” In his first education speech as president, in 2009, Barack Obama lamented the fact that “despite resources that are unmatched anywhere in the world, we’ve let our grades slip, our schools crumble, our teacher quality fall short, and other nations outpace us.” (The Atlantic)
Will the Trump Era Transform the School Lunch?
On a sweltering morning in July, Sonny Perdue, the newly minted secretary of agriculture, strode across the stage of a convention hall here packed with 7,000 members of the School Nutrition Association, who had gathered for their annual conference. After reminiscing about the cinnamon rolls baked by the lunchroom ladies of his youth, he delivered a rousing defense of school food-service workers who were unhappy with some of the sweeping changes made by the Obama administration. The amounts of fat, sugar and salt were drastically reduced. Portion sizes shrank. Lunch trays had to hold more fruits and vegetables. Snacks and food sold for fund-raising had to be healthier. (The New York Times)
Report: Portraits of Change: Aligning School and Community Resources to Reduce Chronic Absence
More than seven million students nationwide are chronically absent from school—missing so much school, for any reason, that they are academically at risk. Starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, chronic absence erodes students’ ability to learn and achieve in school. It increases the likelihood that children are unable to read well by third grade, fail classes in middle school and drop out of high school. Children living in poverty are two to three times more likely to be chronically absent—and face the most harm because they lack the resources to make up for the lost learning in school. Students from communities of color (African American, Native American, Pacific Islander and Latino) as well as those with disabilities are disproportionately affected. (Attendance Works)
Teachers Nationwide Rally to ‘Adopt’ Classrooms Impacted by Harvey
While Hurricane Harvey was pummeling Houston and nearby cities like Rockport, Marissa Ford felt helpless because she couldn’t do anything for her students. The second grade math and science teacher didn’t know if she was going to have a class to go to, a school to return to. “There was no escaping this at all,” she said about the devastating hurricane. Her school, Shadydale Elementary in the Houston Independent School District, did not flood—but the surrounding areas did. Although she had yet to meet her new students, she checked up on several of their families. Some of the parents, she found out, had not been able to work because of the flooding. (EdSurge)
DOE: Maui’s Suspended School Bus Routes Are Being Restored
Several key school bus routes on Maui have been restored after a driver shortage had disrupted the start of the school for hundreds of students, Hawaii education officials said Tuesday. “We have put a plan in place,” Superintendent Christina Kishimoto told Board of Education members at their Tuesday meeting. Ground Transport Inc., an Oahu-based company that was granted contracts last year for two-thirds of the island’s routes, has hired about nine drivers in the last couple of weeks. Louis Gomes, the company president, said Ground Transport still needs to recruit at least five more drivers. Their training could take up two and a half to three weeks, he said. (Honolulu Civil Beat)
Don’t spend that $10 million just yet, PBC schools warn charter schools
A new law requires Palm Beach County’s public school system to share an extra $10 million with charter schools this year, but school district leaders are telling those schools not to make any spending plans just yet. In a letter dated Aug. 25, the school district warns the county’s 48 charter schools to “refrain from pledging any and all future revenues” from the new spigot of cash that state lawmakers opened this spring. The reason: The county’s school board and 10 others plan to sue to overturn the new state law, which for the first time requires school districts to give charters a share of the money they raise from property taxes for construction and maintenance. (myPalmBeachPost)
La. charter school suit heads to Supreme Court Tuesday
The Louisiana Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Tuesday that could affect the future of several of the state’s charter schools. At the core of the lawsuit is whether new Type 2 charters — those authorized by state officials — can receive annual funding through Louisiana’s Minimum Foundation Program. The suit began in 2015 when the Iberville Parish School Board sued the state education department and board, alleging that Louisiana’s constitution allows such money to only go to city and parish school systems.
With Trump moving to end DACA, New York City leaders pledge support for students and teachers
Just hours after the Trump White House announced on Tuesday that it would move to rescind protections for young undocumented immigrants, New York City politicians, religious leaders and educators filled City Hall to pledge support for “Dreamers” who were brought to the U.S. as children. With the news still fresh, there were few answers as to the immediate effects the repeal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals would have on the more than 30,000 New York City residents already in the program. But Mayor Bill de Blasio and schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña reassured parents and students that schools are open to all regardless of immigration status — a particularly timely message with school beginning Thursday for more than a million children. (Chalkbeat)
Achievement School District under federal sexual violence investigation
The Achievement School District in Tennessee is the subject of an ongoing federal investigation into sexual violence, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. The state-run district, created for Tennessee’s lowest-performing schools, is one of 154 K-12 school districts nationwide with open Title IX sexual violence investigations. It is the only public school district in Tennessee to be investigated. The investigation began Sept. 10, 2014, according to the Education Department. (Knoxville News Sentinel)