Education News Roundup: Dec. 7, 2016

 

 

Gov. Gary Herbert shakes hands with Granite Park Jr. High students. Photo from Utah Governor Gary Herbert's website.

Gov. Gary Herbert shakes hands with Granite Park Jr. High students. Photo courtesy of Tami Pyfer.

Today’s Top Picks:

 

Gov. Herbert calls for a 4 percent increase in the WPU in his budget proposal.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tF (SLT)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/8tJ (DN)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/8uo (UP)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/8tQ (KUTV)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/8tX (KSL)

or a copy of the Governor’s budget

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tG (GOMB)

 

There will be a lot of new committee chairs in the Utah House of Representatives next year.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8to (UP)

or http://gousoe.uen.org/8tp (Vox Populi)

 

Human Rights Watch releases its report on LGBT student discrimination. Utah was one of the states observed in the report.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ub (AP)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/8ul (CVD)

or a copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/8uc (Human Rights Watch)

 

The Alpine and Ogden school foundations are included among the 50 largest such foundations in the U.S., according to a new report.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8up (Education Dive) or a copy of the report http://gousoe.uen.org/8uq (Caruthers Institute)

 

Uintah and Park City bands are taking part today in services at Pearl Harbor.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tu (SLT)

 

ED releases the final rules for standardized testing  under ESSA.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u9 (AP)

and http://gousoe.uen.org/8ue (Ed Week)

or a copy of the rules

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ua (Federal Register)

 

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UTAH NEWS

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Governor’s new budget emphasizes law enforcement, education

 

Gov. Gary Herbert released his proposed $16 billion budget Wednesday, a plan that urges extra investment in law enforcement and education.

It includes no tax increases. But the governor projects about $287 million in new annual revenue that the state could “strategically invest” because of an improving economy that generates more tax collections as people earn and buy more.

But Herbert also continued his yearslong heavy emphasis to improve education — calling for 79 percent of all new ongoing state revenue to go to public and higher education, about $260 million.

If the Legislature goes along — and it usually makes plenty of changes — that would fully fund the state’s share of costs for the 10,100 new students expected in the state next fall, which the governor estimates at about $68 million.

Herbert also proposes a 4 percent increase in formulas for per-pupil spending, an uptick from the 3 percent increase approved by lawmakers last year.

That would be an increase of $116 million in state funding given to local school districts.

Funding for Utah’s public education system from all sources is estimated at a total of $6.2 billion in fiscal 2018. State funds provide about 54 percent of the total. Utah remains last in the nation in per-pupil spending.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tF (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tJ (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8uo (UP)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tQ (KUTV)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tX (KSL)

 

A copy of the Governor’s budget

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tG (GOMB)

 

 

 

Hughes Shuffles the Deck with House Committee Assignments

 

Utah State Capitol 06Boy, are you going to need a program to know who all the new Utah House chairs are for standing and budget committees come the January general session.

Calling it a shakeup would an understatement, as second-term House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, and his leadership team really moved around the appointed chairmen and vice-chairmen for the next two years.

A review by UtahPolicy shows that 11 of the 12 House standing committee chairmanships go to Republicans who are new chairs to those committees, in some cases new to the committees themselves.

Four of the eight budget subcommittees also have new House co-chairs. (The budget subcommittees are joint committees, and one co-chair is from the Senate, the other from the House.)

As reported previously by UtahPolicy, two of the most important committee chairs remain: Rep. Dean Sanpei, R-Provo, remains the co-chair of the all-powerful Executive Appropriations Committee; and Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, stays on as House Rules Committee chairman.

For quick reference, here is a list of the new standing and budget chairs, followed by the old chair they are replacing:

Education standing: Val Peterson, R-Orem, (Brad Last).

Public Education budget: Dan McCay, R-Riverton, (Steve Eliason) http://gousoe.uen.org/8to (UP)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tp (Vox Populi)

 

 

 

Report: LGBT Students Still Face Discrimination at School

 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A report from an international human rights organization concludes many public schools are still hostile environments for LGBT students.

The lengthy report from Human Rights Watch, released Wednesday in Sioux Falls, was based on interviews primarily with current and former high school students, parents, administrators and teachers in Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Utah.

It documented several challenges lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students face, including in-person and online bullying, limits on LGBT student groups, exclusion of some topics from curricula and discrimination by classmates and school personnel.

“In every state we visited, we heard stories of students who were insulted, cyber-bullied or attacked, and teachers who allowed discrimination and harassment because they see it as normal behavior,” said Ryan Thoreson, a fellow in the nonprofit’s LGBT Rights Program.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ub (AP)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ul (CVD)

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/8uc (Human Rights Watch)

 

 

 

Nation’s top ed foundations mostly in 6 states

 

The third annual study and ranking of K-12 education foundations by the Caruthers Institute (formerly Dewey & Associates) found that the nation’s top 25 and 50 foundations tend to cluster in six states.

In announcing the 2016 results, Caruthers Institute reported Florida had 11 foundations in the top 50, Texas had eight, Tennessee and California had three, Colorado and Utah had two, and New York City also had two.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8up (Education Dive)

 

A copy of the report

http://gousoe.uen.org/8uq (Caruthers Institute)

 

 

 

Uintah, Park City high school bands to perform Wednesday in Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade

 

Peter Limon was a teenage sailor in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The now-93-year-old was waiting in the San Diego airport Saturday for a flight to Hawaii, returning for events marking the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack from Japan.

When members of Uintah High School’s band told him they were headed the same way to perform in memorial events, he was delighted. “I heard about the band, very nice,” he said, smiling, on the band’s Facebook Live update to friends and family. He shared memories and posed for pictures with some of the Vernal-area teenagers — with each side thanking the other for its service.

“When they got through with us, we had no airplanes to fly. They were all destroyed,” recounted Limon, who said he was a “very young, very handsome” radioman aboard PBY aircraft.

Uintah High’s band is one of two Utah bands marching in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade on Wednesday and performing at other events. The Park City High School band is slated to be nearly the last parade entry, marching behind a banner for the USS Utah, which remains sunk in the harbor. Uintah is scheduled to march about two dozen spaces ahead.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tu (SLT)

 

 

 

Utah receives $6 million boost from EPA to reduce air pollution

 

SALT LAKE CITY — An infusion of $6 million in new federal funding will help Utah’s efforts to reduce pollution, including the replacement of emissions-belching school buses and installation of anti-idling technology.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded grants to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality that will pay for retrofitting vehicles, replacing aging school buses and helping residents cut costs in repairing or replacing older vehicles that flunk emissions testing in Cache County.

The state agency received a $1 million National Clean Diesel Grant to retrofit five Salt Lake City fleet vehicles and five short-haul trucks owned by Calco Transportation.

Money will also be used to install anti-idling technology in two dozen school buses in the Tooele School District and replace 21 older buses in five school districts.

Another $5 million of the $20 million available through the EPA’s Targeted Airshed Grants Program will come to Utah and is aimed specifically at helping Provo and Logan meet air quality standards for wintertime pollution.

Over five years, the state plans to replace up to 40 school buses in Utah and Cache counties, and provide financial assistance to families whose vehicles flunk emissions testing in Cache County.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u0 (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u1 (KSL)

 

 

 

 

Staffer at Utah youth rehab facility allegedly is killed by teen student Investigation » Reason for the attack is unclear.

 

A 61-year-old staff member at a rehab facility near Escalante was killed early Tuesday morning after a teenage student allegedly attacked him.

The 17-year-old boy, who had been attending the treatment center, apparently assaulted the staff member about 7:30 a.m., according to a news release from Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, though it’s unclear what prompted the attack or if a weapon was used.

The man died from the injuries.

A youth who witnessed the attack ran to a nearby building for help. A female staff member responded and confronted the suspect. She was also assaulted and was later taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition. Both employees had significant head trauma.

The suspect — who police are not identifying because he is a juvenile — then took a staff member’s car and drove toward Escalante, the release states.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ty (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tM (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tP (SGN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tR (KUTV)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tW (KTVX)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tZ (KSL)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u2 (KSTU)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u6 (MUR)

 

 

 

Army instructor at Utah high school arrested for allegedly sexually abusing female student Investigation » Police also are screening possible rape counts.

 

An Army instructor working at Tooele High School was arrested Saturday for allegedly sexually abusing a female student.

Brian Joseph Dragon, 32, was booked into the Tooele County jail on suspicion of three counts of third-degree felony unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old.

Tooele City police are also screening possible counts of rape.

Dragon, of Herriman, has not been formally charged in the case.

The 17-year-old female student reported the alleged abuse to police Friday after a male student told school administrators about “suspicious behavior” he witnessed between the girl and the instructor, according to a news release from Tooele City police.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tB (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tK (DN)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tT (KUTV)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tV (KTVX)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tY (KSL)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u4 (KSTU)

 

 

 

Guns at school? School districts say no

 

The topic of guns in schools strikes fear in the minds of parents and teachers alike. You can hardly turn on the news without hearing about an incident at a school involving a gun or knife, where often, people have been injured or killed.

Safety in our schools is a big concern and it’s something Duchesne and Uintah School Districts take very seriously. Duchesne County School Student Services Director Scott Forsyth said one of the keys to keeping students safe is to foster a good relationship with them.

“I had a student ask me the other day if we would ever have medical detectors at our schools. I told him that I hoped and prayed we wouldn’t,” Forsyth said. “But there may be times you look at other measures of keeping things safe at school. I think the biggest thing is to have a good relationship with your students, to make sure principals know their kids, that teachers know their kids.”

The policy about guns at schools in Duchesne and Uintah districts is basically the same – no guns are allowed on campus by students, teachers or visitors unless they have a legal concealed carry permit and the gun remains out of site and on their person.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tw (Uintah Basin Standard)

 

 

 

Former Utah school employee who stole more than $100,000 shows up for court hours late Arrest warrant issued, then canceled when she, attorney arrive.

 

An arrest warrant issued Monday morning for a former Granite School District employee — who was charged with stealing about $105,000 from the district and a private employee union account — was withdrawn after she arrived at court, several hours late, for her sentencing hearing.

Sentencing was set for Monday morning at 9 a.m., but Tracy Atkin and her attorney mistakenly believed it was an afternoon setting and came to court at 1:30 p.m.

Atkin, 54, was charged in May in 3rd District Court with one count each of communications fraud, money laundering, unlawful dealing by fiduciary, pattern of unlawful activity and theft, all second-degree felonies. She also is charged with two third-degree felony counts of forgery.

In October, she pleaded guilty to the communications fraud and unlawful dealing by fiduciary counts. In exchange for her pleas, the other charges were dismissed.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tz (SLT)

 

 

 

Teen in fair condition after being hit by a car near Kearns High School

 

A 14-year-old girl was in the hospital with minor injuries after she was hit by a car near Kearns High School on Tuesday.

A car ran a red light at the intersection of 5400 South and Cougar Drive about 2:40 p.m. and collided with another car, which “spun out” and hit the teen, said Unified police Lt. Brian Lohrke.

The crash was down the street from the high school and occurred about when students were released from school for the day, but Lohrke said it was not clear whether the girl or either of the drivers was a student at the high school, though one of the drivers was 18. The girl was taken to the hospital in fair condition, he said http://gousoe.uen.org/8tD (SLT)

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u5 (KSTU)

 

 

 

Kamas mayor crashes school bus after heart attack

 

Utah Highway Patrol said the mayor of Kamas, Lewis Marchant, suffered a heart attack while driving a school bus causing him to crash into a power pole.

Marchant was traveling westbound on State Route 150 Monday when he suffered the heart attack. The bus, operated by the South Summit County School District, not carrying any passengers, veered off the road and struck a power pole.

UHP said he was taken to Park City Medical Center by ambulance in critical condition and was later taken to by helicopter to a medical center in Murray. SR 150 was closed between Main Street and 100 East while the pole was fixed.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tS (KUTV)

 

 

 

5th-grade activist addresses Salt Lake City Council, calls for ban on plastic bags in retail stores

 

SALT LAKE COUNTY — A Salt Lake City 5th grader is continuing his pursuit to ban plastic bags at retail stores across the city.

“Plastic bags are very dangerous, animals end up eating them and dying,” said 10-year-old Liam LaMalfa as he stood before the Salt Lake City Council Tuesday.

He said he was nervous but also determined to tell the city council about the environmental dangers of plastic bags.

“And here are the signatures of over 300 people who agree with me,” said Liam, as he handed over a petition asking the council to ban plastic bags at retail stores throughout the city.

Some of his classmates at Uintah Elementary School, as well as family members, stood behind him in support.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u3 (KSTU)

 

 

 

  1. aims to build top Pacific Islander program

 

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah recently announced its intent to build the top Pacific Islander program in the continental United States.

As part of the initiative, the U. is in the process of hiring two new full-time faculty in Pacific Islander studies and recently created a new scholarship aimed at recruiting and retaining talented Pacific Islander students.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tL (DN)

 

 

 

Park City Day School hires permanent head of school Official says hiring of Ian Crossland is easiest decision school has ever made

 

Each time the committee tasked with finding a permanent head of school for the Park City Day School narrowed its search, Ian Crossland’s name kept rising to the top.

Last week, the school made it official, announcing the hiring of Crossland, who will take over for interim head of school Bruce Shoup next July. Crossland, who earned a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, currently serves as head of school at Colegio Los Nogales, a school in Bogotá, Columbia.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tv (PR)

 

 

 

Utah moves to six sports classifications

 

And then there were six.

The Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) divided Utah high schools into six classifications this past week.

There have been six classifications in football for a couple of years, but now there will be six in all sports.

San Juan High School was moved up to 3A starting in 2017.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8um (San Juan Record)

 

 

 

Iron County elementary school kids cheer SUU women

 

On Tuesday afternoon, Southern Utah’s Centrum Arena was filled with the high-pitched cheers of Iron County fourth graders.

For the second straight year, elementary school children were invited to come watch the Southern Utah women’s basketball team play a matinee game. And even though the Lady Thunderbirds fell to visiting Utah Valley, 70-64, the non-conference contest was seen as a success by just about everybody.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8un (SGS)

 

 

 

Program Teaches Students How to Run a Business

 

Good4Utah is the proud sponsor of the Sandy Area Chamber young Entrepreneurs Academy. It’s a program that teachers middle and high school students how to run their own business.

Becky and Emily Guertler share more about the program.

Beginning January 2017, the organization needs mentors to work with the students on their business plans. The students are doing market and product research in preparation for mentors to start helping them with finalizing presentations for the Investor Panel Shark Tank Event.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tU (KTVX)

 

 

 

Roosevelt FFA Staying Busy Throughout Fall Time

 

As the school year progresses, Union High School’s Roosevelt FFA chapter has attended many events to keep them busy throughout the Fall season. Some events include going to state fair in September. Also during the month of September, officers, Shilo Thayne and Hailee Wilde led a monthly service project. Together with the help of the elementary schools and the junior high, they collected many letters and pictures to send to men and women from Utah who are currently serving our country in Iraq.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tx (Uintah Basin Standard)

 

 

 

Utah Valley Educator of the Week: Kim Sikander

 

Kim Sikander was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Educator of the Week. Sikander teaches physical education at Vista Heights Middle School in Saratoga Springs.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tN (PDH)

 

 

 

Utah Valley Student of the Week: Charik Crosby

 

Charik Crosby, 14, is a ninth-grader at Vista Heights Middle School in Saratoga Springs. She was chosen as the Daily Herald’s Utah Valley Student of the Week.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tO (PDH)

 

 

 

 

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY

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‘Public schools’ are good. ‘Government schools’ are bad. ‘Smart schools’ are in other countries …

Salt Lake Tribune commentary by columnist George Pyle

 

If you want to win a public policy debate, one of the most useful tricks is to bend the language to elicit the emotional response you want from your audience.

For example, over the weekend two different op-ed contributors to The Salt Lake Tribune wrote about education policy. Both are skilled policy wonks and political advocates.

So Royce van Tassell knows that if he wants the readers of the Tribune to support his cause — charter schools — he is well advised to call them, “public charter schools.” That’s fair, because charter schools are a variety of public schools. At least, they are paid for mostly with taxpayers money.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tA

 

 

 

Utah should add a tax surcharge on extra kids Salt Lake Tribune letter from Rob Greene

 

Everyone knows education is important. Everyone knows Utah lags in funding our schools from a per-student perspective. Everyone knows Utah is philosophically and politically run by a group that celebrates and encourages large families. Instead of asking a childless person like myself to pay more taxes to fund education, how about asking the folks who are flooding our schools with students?

Two or three kids could be “on the state’s dime,” with a parent surcharge on kids past that number. What could be more fair? How could someone possibly argue against this? Unfortunately, I know this is a pipe dream.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tH

 

 

 

Families should chip in before we raise taxes Salt Lake Tribune letter from Fred Murphy

 

I read an article where Gail Miller is touting a 7/8 percent increase in state income tax, indicating that it bumps the rate by 7/8th of a percent. Hmm. My grade school arithmetic indicates this is a 17.5 percent dollar increase — i.e., $100,000 X 5 percent = $5,000; $100,000 X 5.875 percent = $5,875; 5875 – 5000 = 875/5000 = 17.5 percent increase. Whoa!

I have a better idea: How about if those who choose to have a large family help pay for their own kids’ education. If a family with four kids paid for two (reduce dependent exemptions by two) and left my taxes alone (my kids are long since grown and paying taxes), there should be enough additional revenue.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tI

 

 

 

Why America should care about its students’ lackluster performance on the global PISA tests Demography is not necessarily destiny Hechinger Report commentary by ROBERT ROTHMAN, a Washington-based education writer

 

Once again, results from an international test show that U.S. students perform relatively poorly, and once again, critics say the results don’t matter and should be ignored.

This would be a mistake. The results do matter, and American educators will lose out if they dismiss the findings so easily.

By taking the results seriously, educators can examine the practices and policies of countries that do well on the test and see what they can do to improve practice in this country.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ui

 

 

 

Are We Criminalizing Our Students?

An overemphasis on criminal justice undermines K-12 education Education Week op-ed by Lori Bezahler, president of the Edward W. Hazen Foundation, & Allison R. Brown, executive director of the Communities for Just Schools Fund

 

It’s been said that a budget is a statement of policy, the surest way to determine the values and priorities a society embraces. How then should we interpret the extraordinary spending spree that the United States has engaged in for the past three decades, investing trillions of dollars to expand a criminal-justice system that has incarcerated millions while states struggle to provide adequate funding for education?

Despite the deep political divisions laid bare by the November election, there is an emerging consensus that we are spending too much money to put too many Americans behind bars. Our prison and jail population has tripled to about 2.2 million since 1982. As of 2013, 8 million Americans—one in 40—were behind bars or within the probation and parole system. For black residents of all ages and genders, the rate is one in 18.

The spending extends beyond our prisons. Between 1983 and 2012, we added more than 1.1 million police officers, corrections officers, prosecutors, and other justice-system employees to the public payroll.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ug

 

 

 

 

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NATIONAL NEWS

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Final Rules for K-12 Standardized Testing Released Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON — Aiming to reduce test-taking in America’s classrooms, the Obama administration released final rules Wednesday to help states and school districts take a new approach to the standardized tests students must take each year.

It’s part of the new bipartisan education law, signed by President Barack Obama a year ago, that returned substantial control over education policy back to the states, including the role test scores play in evaluating schools, teachers and students.

“Our final regulations strike a balance by offering states flexibility to eliminate redundant testing and promote innovative assessments, while ensuring assessments continue to contribute to a well-rounded picture of how students and schools are doing,” said Education Secretary John B. King Jr. “Smarter assessments can make us all smarter.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u9

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ue (Ed Week)

 

A copy of the rules

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ua (Federal Register)

 

 

 

 

State demanding leadership changes as failing schools work to improve Tampa Bay (FL) Times

 

The Florida Board of Education has gotten serious about its position that leadership matters when improving low-performing schools.

It recently reiterated that message to the Pasco County School District, pointing directly at Gulf Highlands Elementary School in Port Richey.

Gulf Highlands became Pasco’s first F-rated elementary school back in 2011. The administration quickly brought in a new principal, who helped raise student performance to a C.

That principal, Kara Smucker, won a promotion for her efforts less than two years into the job. Judy Cosh, who followed Smucker into Gulf Highlands, didn’t maintain the success at the school, which serves a heavily low-income community, amid changing state standards and tests.

The school earned a D in 2013, fell back to F in 2014 and received D’s in 2015 and 2016. That performance triggered a state requirement for a turnaround plan, which the district sent in for state board review in the fall.

It won only conditional approval.

“If the school does not earn a grade of C or better in 2017, the state board will require the superintendent to present on the school’s progress at a subsequent state board meeting in order to determine whether the plan will be renewed for the 2017-18 or require adjustments, such as replacement of the principal,” chancellor Hershel Lyons informed superintendent Kurt Browning in a late November letter.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tt

 

 

 

Should children get to have cellphones in elementary school?

Washington Post

 

The youngest children in Montgomery County’s public schools could soon be allowed to bring cellphones and other electronic devices to campus under newly proposed rules.

Students would not be able to use the devices during the school day in elementary schools unless a teacher permits them as part of classroom instruction, but students could use phones and tablets after dismissal or on school buses, if the rules pass.

“The reality is, they are in our elementaries now,” said Patricia O’Neill, a county school board member who noted that cellphones are “ubiquitous” in middle schools and high schools. She said the proposed change would largely focus on “keeping up with the times.”

The shift, part of a broader update to the district’s regulations on personal mobile devices, could take effect as soon as next school year. School board members discussed the change at a recent committee meeting, but it requires Superintendent Jack Smith’s approval.

It comes as another sign of technology’s advance in the nation’s K-12 schools, where parents’ interest is often a driving factor for districts that allow elementary school students to carry cellphones, said Ann Flynn, director of education technology at the National School Boards Association. Many parents want to stay in touch with children for safety or logistical reasons, she said.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u7

 

 

 

ACLU: Appeals court ruling allows gay-straight-alliance clubs Orlando (FL) Sentinel

 

A federal appeals court Tuesday overturned a lower-court ruling that supported the Lake County School Board’s decision to block middle-schoolers from forming a gay-straight-alliance club to combat bullying.

In a battle dating to 2011, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling found that the Equal Access Act, which requires federally funded secondary schools to treat all extracurricular clubs the same, applies to middle-school students.

“We’re very happy that middle-school students across Florida will now be able to form GSAs [gay-straight-alliance clubs] without interference from school administrators,” said Daniel Tilley, staff attorney for LGBTS rights for the ACLU of Florida.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tr

 

http://gousoe.uen.org/8uf (Ed Week)

 

A copy of the ruling

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ts (11th Circuit Court of Appeals)

 

 

 

 

School board fires solicitor over ‘ill advice’ on transgender student bathroom issue Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News

 

SELINSGROVE — The Selinsgrove Area School District has fired its solicitor for what it termed providing “ill advice” regarding how it deals with transgender students.

The board Monday night by an 8-1 vote terminated Beard Legal Group of Altoona during a meeting at which community members again debated the district’s practice that permits transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice.

Superintendent Chad Cohrs implemented the practice at the beginning of the school year, but parents were not notified by letter until October.

Cohrs explained he had not informed parents earlier on the advice of Carl P. Beard, a principal of the law firm.

Beard’s advice, along with his implication the district could lose millions of dollars a year if it did not adhere to U.S. Department of Education guidelines for transgender students, were among the reasons for termination, board President Larry D. Augustine said.

Reached Tuesday, Beard said he was disappointed at the board’s decision. He never told the board or Cohrs the district could lose federal funds if the transgender issue went to litigation, he said.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8tq

 

 

 

Transgender student wins Holly Ball crown at Derby High Wichita (KS) Eagle

 

Tyler Krayer, a transgender student and advocate for LGBTQ rights at Derby High School, was crowned Holly Ball King at the school’s annual winter formal.

Krayer, 17, garnered more votes from classmates than three other nominees to win the title, which was announced during the Saturday night dance in the Derby High commons area.

“I was really surprised. I wasn’t expecting to win because there were so many, like, athletic candidates,” he said Tuesday.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8ud

 

 

 

Wyoming lawmakers consider adding Indian education to formal curriculum Casper (WY) Star Tribune

 

A bill that would take the first steps toward establishing a statewide curriculum on Wyoming’s Native American tribes could go before the Legislature in the coming session.

The bill, commonly called Indian Education for All, was passed unanimously by the Select Committee on Tribal Relations last month. The bill would have the State Board of Education “consult and work with tribal governments” to develop education standards for teaching Wyoming students about the state’s Native American history, said Lander Republican Sen. Cale Case, the Senate chairman of the tribal relations committee.

Jason Baldes, a member of the Eastern Shoshone tribe and head of the Wind River Native Advocacy Center, said the bill has his organization’s full support. He said the group plans to bring roughly 50 members of the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes to Cheyenne to lobby for it this session.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8uj

 

 

 

Sandy Hook denier arrested after death threats made to parent of victim USA Today

 

A Florida woman who believes the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting was a hoax was arrested Monday on charges she threatened the parent of a child killed in the 2012 school shooting.

Lucy Richards, 57, of Tampa, Fla., was indicted on four counts of transmitting threats, according to a statement from the United States Attorney Southern District of Florida.

The Sandy Hook shooting is approaching its fourth anniversary. On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 children and six school staffers were fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. By Adam Lanza, 20. Lanza later fatally shot himself.

According to authorities, Richards made a series of death threats against the parent of a child who was killed in the shooting.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8u8

 

 

 

Students are anxious about Trump, so the L.A. public school district started a support hotline Los Angeles Times

 

The Los Angeles Unified School District has set up a hotline and opened “extended support sites” to respond to a high level of student anxiety about the election of Donald Trump as president.

Parents and teachers learned about the new resources in a recorded call Monday from district Supt. Michelle King.

She said the aim was to answer students’ questions and address their worries “about potential impact on them and their families” and “to provide you with emotional support, enrollment and attendance information and referrals to outside resources,” according to a transcript of the call provided by the district. The message was distributed in English and Spanish.

http://gousoe.uen.org/8uk

 

 

 

In Liberia, private management of public schools draws scrutiny NewsHour

 

Founded by freed American slaves, Liberia has a past marred in recent years by civil war and Ebola. The country’s public education system is ineffective, and in an effort to rebuild it, the government has reached across the Atlantic for assistance — hiring a U.S.-based for-profit company whose model is “school in a box.”

http://gousoe.uen.org/8uh

 

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1 comment to Education News Roundup: Dec. 7, 2016

  • Editor,
    Personally witnessed the governor’s speech at the UEA. I noticed this astute gentleman had enough sense to avoid the ‘improvement in education based on an increase in funding’ argument. It simply is not provable.

    Either worldwide or domestic research is available. Comparative U.S. research discloses that D.C, Hawaii and several states with at least double /student expenditures fall behind Utah academically.

    Hundreds of students and parents in Utah love chess, but most schools refuse to make any provision for chess. The benefits of chess in education have little equal.
    This is why thousands of schools nation are even adopting chess in the second curriculum. Check me out. “Google Benefits of Chess in Education.”