Education News Roundup: March 7, 2017

Today’s Top Picks:

House advances the High School Activities Association bill.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jx (SLT)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9jA (DN)

Logan High set to begin its Innovations program next year.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jQ (LHJ)

Minnesota teachers want help with understanding assessment data and how it can inform instruction.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jC (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

Colorado moves from ACT for all to SAT for all.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9k9 (Denver Post)

Texas prepares to add $1.6 billion to its education fund.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ka (Austin American-Statesman)

While Wyoming looks to cut $34 million from its education fund.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9kb (Casper Star-Tribune)

Chance the Rapper, in the meantime, donates $1 million to Chicago public schools.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jB (Chicago Tribune)
and http://gousoe.uen.org/9k2 (AP)

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TODAY’S HEADLINES
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UTAH

House steps into Utah prep sports debate, pushes for transparency by UHSAA
Prep sports » Bill would subject group to open meeting laws, reduce size of board.

Resurrected school truancy bill dies again in the Utah Senate

School testing, accountability bill moves forward despite concerns about letter grades

Immunization Bills Advance To Senate Floor

Logan High Innovations expected to make a splash next school year

Young Utahns need to know about consent and sexual violence in a real-world way, panel says
Education » Talk is part of Women’s Week at U. of U.

Utah teen sentenced to secure care facility after admitting to shooting another teen in the head outside middle school
Crime » Defendant admitted to shooting another teen outside of a Sandy middle school last year.

Landmark High School teacher charged with raping students appointed public defender

Two teens dead after post-prom car crash

Lockdowns lifted at Granite schools; no shooting nearby

The benefits of school recess for kids

OPINION & COMMENTARY

Sex education better than porn lawsuits

Taking a Hammer to Education

What’s at Stake For Schools in the Debate Over the Affordable Care Act

The Trump Hotel: An unlikely model for modernizing schools
Trump benefited from a valuable tax credit for his new hotel-and schools should be able to do so too.

National Indian Education Study 2015
American Indian and Alaska Native Students at Grades 4 and 8

NATION

Audit: Standardized school tests costly but inconsistently useful
Minnesota principals and teachers say they need help putting data from the tests to work.

Colorado juniors face new, revamped college exam in SAT after state dumps rival ACT
The ACT has been given to juniors in Colorado since 2001

An Army Of Sophisticated Bots Is Influencing The Debate Around Education
Education policy is not immune to fake news.

As School Choice Goes National, A City Shows Its Perils

House bill would boost Texas public education by $1.6 billion

School official confident district can handle cuts in education funding bill

On ‘Day Without Women, ‘ Two Districts Cancel School

Chance the Rapper writes $1 million check to CPS as a ‘call to action’

‘Tax Credit Scholarships,’ Praised By Trump, Turn Profits For Some Donors

U.S. schools missing chances to protect kids from sun

Meet 5-year-old Edith Fuller, the youngest ever to win regional spelling bee

 

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UTAH NEWS
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House steps into Utah prep sports debate, pushes for transparency by UHSAA
Prep sports » Bill would subject group to open meeting laws, reduce size of board.

The Utah House on Monday stepped into a long-simmering debate over Utah prep sports, approving new requirements for the Utah High School Activities Association.
It passed HB413 on a 62-13 vote, and sent it to the Senate. It places the association under Utah’s open meetings and records laws, and cuts the group’s governing body in half – from 32 members to 15.
During the fall and winter, the Utah Board of Education approved and later delayed implementation of a policy that compels the association to loosen its restrictions on student-athletes transferring between teams.
Those transfer restrictions, seen by UHSAA as a check against improper recruitment and gamesmanship, were left untouched by HB413, which bill sponsor Rep. Francis Gibson, R-Mapleton, said is focused on increased public transparency.
UHSAA opposes the bill. The group, which oversees extracurricular activities like debate and theater in addition to athletics, is a voluntary organization for public and private high schools with a governing body composed of school and school district representatives.
Some lawmakers objected to the blurred lines presented by the association, which operates as a private entity despite receiving dues from public schools, in the form of taxpayer dollars, and conducts its events in public facilities.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jx (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jA (DN)

 

Resurrected school truancy bill dies again in the Utah Senate

Utah Senators gave a decisive vote of opposition on Monday to a bill that failed the chamber last week but was kept alive through legislative maneuvering.
The Senate voted 13-16, short of the majority needed to approve SB115, which sought to end the criminal penalties for parents of truant children.
While truancy citations are rare, and typically used to compel school attendance and dialogue with administrators, bill sponsor Sen. Jacob Anderegg, R-Lehi, said contempt of court and other complications can lead to parents being jailed for truancy.
“The punishment does not fit the crime,” he said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jy (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jO (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jT (KSL)

 

School testing, accountability bill moves forward despite concerns about letter grades

SALT LAKE CITY – Despite pleas from educators, the Utah PTA and some House Education Committee members to drop letter grades for schools from a proposed student testing and school accountability initiative, the committee voted Monday to advance the bill to the House.
While many people who addressed the latest version of SB220 noted it was a substantial improvement over the current process, letter grades for schools remain a sticking point.
“If you pass this bill out, will one of you be brave enough to take out the school grades?” asked LeAnn Wood, education commissioner for the Utah PTA.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, who has worked extensively with the Utah State Board of Education and other stakeholders on the school accountability and student assessment initiative, said SB220 makes many improvements over the current system.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jz (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jX (KUER)

 

Immunization Bills Advance To Senate Floor

On Monday two bills passed out of a State Senate Committee. Both focus on vaccinations for Utah school kids.
The bills would require parents who choose not to have their kids vaccinated to watch an online educational program to make sure they understand the risks of opting out. Other provisions include making immunization exemption forms available online instead of at a doctor’s office and student immunization records would be more easily shared between schools for record keeping or if a student transfers.
Republican Representative Norm Thurston is the sponsor of both bills. Part of the balance of writing them was streamlining the process for kids to get vaccinated without infringing on the rights of parents who choose not to participate.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jY (KUER)

 

Logan High Innovations expected to make a splash next school year

One hundred students from each grade level of Logan High School will be taking part in a new program called Innovations next year that allows more individualized education and freedom for students.
The Logan City School District Board of Education approved the Innovations proposal Tuesday, giving the green light to teachers who are excited for the new opportunity.
The program is modeled after Innovations Early College High School in Salt Lake City. Several teachers have visited the school to see how it works. Dave Henderson, who teaches English at Logan High, said his first question on the ride home from their visit was, “Why are we not doing this yet?”
Innovations at Logan High will act like a school within a school. New construction has broken the school into pods with highly customizable classrooms, collaboration areas and small rooms called thought galleries. They expect Innovations to encompass nine classrooms with 100 students from each grade level.
Teachers can identify students to join Innovations, but it is a volunteer program.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jQ (LHJ)

 

Young Utahns need to know about consent and sexual violence in a real-world way, panel says
Education » Talk is part of Women’s Week at U. of U.

Romeo Jackson believes the best way to teach young people about consent and sexual violence is to put the concepts in a context they can understand.
For example, they need to understand how consent might be sought and given in a crowded club when both people are drunk, said Jackson, a graduate student in the University of Utah’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy.
“I think we need to then fit our conversations into what students are actually doing and experiencing in their lives so it’s not a metaphor or an abstract thought,” Jackson said.
Those conversations need to be happening, Jackson said Monday at a Hinckley Institute of Politics panel on rape. The panel kicked off the U.’s Women’s Week, which this year is aimed at examining the normalization of rape in society and how people can disrupt that.
Educating young people – even before college – as a means to prevent sexual violence was a topic discussed by the four panelists Monday – but they said what that education looks like is important. Instead of asking youth if they know what consent is, educators and advocates should be asking them how they get consent and how they learned to get it, said Stephany Murguia, the Rape Recovery Center’s outreach and access coordinator.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9kf (SLT)

 

Utah teen sentenced to secure care facility after admitting to shooting another teen in the head outside middle school
Crime » Defendant admitted to shooting another teen outside of a Sandy middle school last year.

West Jordan . A now-15-year-old boy was sentenced to a secure juvenile care facility Monday, after admitting he shot another teen twice in the head outside a Sandy middle school last year.
The boy was charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court with first-degree felony attempted murder and several weapons charges. He admitted to each charge on Monday, telling the judge that he brought a gun to school on Oct. 25 and fired the weapon at a 16-year-old boy.
“I was confronted by [the victim],” he told Judge Tupakk Renteria. “I brought the gun out and shot him multiple times.”
In exchange for the pleas, the boy’s case will remain in juvenile court. Though prosecutors initially said they would seek to move the case to the adult system, Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Thaddeus May said Monday that the resolution was appropriate and will hold the teen accountable for his actions, while also offering rehabilitation.
The teen was sentenced to an indeterminate amount of time in a secure care facility, which could be until he is 21 years old. May said his office will recommend to the Youth Parole Authority that the teen serve beyond the minimum recommendation because of the aggravated nature of his crimes.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jL (SLT)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jN (DN)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9ki (PDH)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jR (KUTV)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jS (KTVX)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jU (KSL)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9k0 (MUR)

 

Landmark High School teacher charged with raping students appointed public defender

A former Landmark High School teacher charged with raping two male students has been appointed a public defender after her attorney withdrew from her case.
Sarah Lewis, 27, is charged with two counts of first-degree felony rape after two male students came forward and said she had sexual intercourse with them during the last winter break.
Lewis is also charged with one third-degree felony of tampering with a witness and six class A misdemeanors of furnishing alcohol to a minor.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jP (PDH)

 

Two teens dead after post-prom car crash

Two teenagers are dead and another three are injured following a vehicle crash in Moab the morning after their junior prom. The vehicle was heading north about 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning, when the driver sped around a curve, rolling the vehicle several times. Three of the teenagers weren’t wearing seat belts and were ejected from the vehicle. Two were pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators are still unsure if the two teens not thrown from the wreck were wearing seat belts or not. The three surviving teens were rushed to Moab Regional Hospital in serious to critical condition, and were later taken by helicopter to other hospitals.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jZ (KNRS)

 

Lockdowns lifted at Granite schools; no shooting nearby

HOLLADAY, Utah – The precautionary lockdowns at schools in the Granite School District have been lifted Monday afternoon.
The district originally said police were investigating a possible shooting in the area.
When authorities confirmed there was no shooting, the lockdowns were lifted.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ke (KSTU)

 

The benefits of school recess for kids

With schools cutting recess time down more and more, occupational therapist Tera Robinson talks about why it’s actually detrimental to kids’ learning keeping them in the classroom all day.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jV (KSTU)

 

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OPINION & COMMENTARY
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Sex education better than porn lawsuits
Salt Lake Tribune letter from Bidhya Acharya

The proposed legislation establishing a mechanism in state law to allow people to sue pornography producers for civil damages over the effects of porn addiction is way out of norm in my opinion. It’s like a follow-up bill by Sen. Todd Weiler, whose resolution to declare porn a public health crisis was signed last year in the state. This proposed bill proves how out of touch our priorities are.
There is no doubt that pornography is addictive and has ruined many individuals and families, but this bill simply shoots the messenger instead of the message itself. The legislators and state leaders should instead focus on addressing the root cause leading people into viewing pornography, through effective sex education at school, finding ways to improve communication between parents and teenagers on safe sex practices.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jM

 

Taking a Hammer to Education
U.S. News & World Report commentary by columnist Scott Sargrad

Last week, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., introduced a resolution to rescind regulations implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act. While this action is not surprising when Congress and the Trump administration have already scrapped key protections for consumers and the environment, it is a terrible way to govern. Worse, it would cause real harm to states and districts trying to move forward under the law – and most importantly to the 50 million students in our nation’s public schools.
When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act in December 2015, it was obvious to anyone who read the law that regulations were necessary to provide additional clarity to states on how to comply with the law. The hundreds of pages of legislative text, disjointed descriptions of requirements and lack of specificity around key terms did not lend themselves to easy, straightforward interpretation.
To address these concerns, the Obama administration released proposed regulations in May 2016. More than 21,000 people commented on the proposal before it was finalized in November. Everyone from states to school districts to teachers’ unions to civil rights groups voiced appreciation for the final rule.
Of course, three weeks before that final rule was published, there was a presidential election. So it’s reasonable that the new administration would want to reconsider what’s in the regulation. But the Department of Education is entirely able to do that without unnecessary interference from Congress. By invoking the little-used Congressional Review Act and unilaterally striking down the rule, Congress would prevent the department from ever issuing any regulations regarding state plans or accountability systems.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jD

 

What’s at Stake For Schools in the Debate Over the Affordable Care Act
Education Week analysis by columnist Alyson Klein

The Trump administration and congressional Republicans are in the midst of trying to figure out whether to tweak, or toss the Obama administration’s biggest domestic achievement, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-or “Obamacare” to the haters. (In fact, the House GOP released an ACA overhaul plan late Monday.)
Believe it or not, the law has had big implications for school districts and kids-and getting rid of it or changing it significantly could end up being a big deal for educators.
What exactly are we talking about? Check out a quick list of things to watch for in the debate over ACA below, and then head over to this story for even more detail:
The ACA enticed most states to expand eligibility for Medicaid, a big federal and state partnership program that helps low-income people, including children, get access to health care. It’s not clear if that expansion will continue if ACA is scrapped.
What’s more, some Republicans in Congress have signaled they may want to distribute Medicaid funds on what’s called a “per capita” basis, based on how many people a state has from particular groups, including children and the elderly. (The proposal released by the House GOP Monday goes this route, according to published reports.) Fans of this approach argue that it will spur states to think more innovatively about how they structure their Medicaid programs. But detractors, including a lot of education advocates, worry that it will mean big cuts to the program over time.
Here’s why school districts should care: They get a lot of money from Medicaid, which helps cover the cost of services to eligible kids in special education. (Think speech therapy, occupational therapy, even devices like wheelchairs.)
In fact, AASA, the School Superintendents’ Association, estimates that school districts get about $4 billion a year through Medicaid. (That’s not chump change. In fact it’s about a third of federal special education state grants, and roughly the size of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program.)
http://gousoe.uen.org/9k6

 

The Trump Hotel: An unlikely model for modernizing schools
Trump benefited from a valuable tax credit for his new hotel-and schools should be able to do so too.
Politico op-ed by GEORGE ALLEN, a business consultant, is a former U.S. senator and governor from Virginia, PAUL GOLDMAN, an attorney, is a former chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, and MARK J. ROZELL, dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University

When the Trump Organization won the right to modernize the government-owned Old Post Office building in Washington into a hotel, beating other top developers, it promised to use only private capital – likely around $200 million – to fund the effort. In return, the Trump Organization got a long-term lease on the coveted property.
The Old Post Office was originally built with public funds in 1899. Since it is a historic building under federal law, the Trump Organization could earn valuable “federal rehabilitation tax credits” for funding a modernization project that maintained the building’s historic qualities. This so-called “historic tax credit” financing, created in 1986 thanks to efforts by Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill, has helped spawn over 40,000 historic preservation projects.
For all its benefits, though, the law contains an unintended glitch that prevents communities across the country from reaping the big local savings when they need to modernize the most quintessential of public buildings: schools. The glitch is called the “prior use” rule, and it prevents tax credits from being awarded unless the post-modernization use is new. In converting the Old Post Office building into a new hotel, the Trump project qualified for tax credits. But in modernizing an aged local K-12 school building into a modern 21st-century facility, the use stays the same. Therefore, the localities can’t access the financing used for the D.C. Trump Hotel.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9kd

 

National Indian Education Study 2015
American Indian and Alaska Native Students at Grades 4 and 8
National Assessment of Educational Progress analysis

The National Indian Education Study (NIES) is administered as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) to allow more in-depth reporting on the achievement and experiences of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN)1 students in grades 4 and 8.
This report focuses primarily on two themes identified during the development of the NIES survey questionnaires.
* To what extent are AI/AN culture and language part of the curricula?
* To what extent are school resources available for improving AI/AN student achievement?
http://gousoe.uen.org/9kh

 

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NATIONAL NEWS
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Audit: Standardized school tests costly but inconsistently useful
Minnesota principals and teachers say they need help putting data from the tests to work.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Minnesota’s public schools spend considerable time and resources on state standardized tests, but the payoff varies, a legislative auditor’s report has found.
More than half of the principals and teachers who responded to an auditor’s office survey said they did not feel prepared to analyze Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) scores that gauge student improvement, the data used most frequently by the state’s Department of Education.
As a result, the audit recommends greater state support to help school districts and charter schools use the scores.
The recommendation was one of eight contained in a 110-page report presented Monday to the Legislative Audit Commission.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jC

 

Colorado juniors face new, revamped college exam in SAT after state dumps rival ACT
The ACT has been given to juniors in Colorado since 2001
Denver Post

Colorado’s 54,000 high school juniors this spring will take the revamped and more relevant SAT, a new statewide assessment of their academic skills that doubles as a college entrance exam.
But no pressure, juniors. The four-hour exam doesn’t penalize you for guessing, there is more time per question – as much as 43 percent more time than the old ACT – and there is no science section.
The math section barely touches on Algebra II, and gone are “SAT words,” or those no one has seen before or is likely to see again. So you won’t see “vexation” or “mawkish” but rather words like “channeled” or “devise” as part of a reading passage.
“This SAT is is frankly so much easier, so much closer to what students are seeing in their classes,” said Sal Khan, founder and president of SAT preparer Khan Academy.
Khan Academy is teaming with the College Board, the makers of the SAT, to provide free and personalized SAT study courses for Colorado students.
Other test preparation companies are doing the same in advance of the administration of the SAT on April 11, which is being given statewide at no cost.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9k9

 

An Army Of Sophisticated Bots Is Influencing The Debate Around Education
Education policy is not immune to fake news.
Huffington Post

If you’ve only read about the Common Core State Standards on Twitter or fringe blogs, you might think that they were designed to indoctrinate kids against Israel, promote homosexuality and turn children into tools of the federal government.
Now, in a new interactive website called hashtag Common Core, researchers are shedding light on how some common myths about the controversial set of education standards gained traction on social media ― and some of it has to do with an army of online bots.
Common Core, a set of math and literacy benchmarks used to educate students across the country and hold them to uniform standards, has critics on the left and the right. Liberal opponents say the standards help perpetuate a toxic school culture that overemphasizes standardized testing. Conservative opponents see them as an example of federal overreach that obliterates local control over education. On Twitter, these viewpoints are often taken to the extreme.
For several years, university researchers have been watching how the debate surrounding Common Core has played out on Twitter. Between 2013 and 2016, they analyzed about 1 million tweets to understand how the social network was changing political discourse in America ― not only as it related to Common Core, but in a much larger sense.
Their discovery wasn’t pretty. Three years before “fake news” became a mainstream issue, fabrications and misinformation had already intensified the degree of polarization around Common Core. As the media landscape became increasingly vast and fragmented, news consumers seemed to seek out ideas that reinforced their preconceived notions, and alternative news sources spread easily discredited misinformation about the controversial standards.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jE

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jG ([New York] The 74)

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jF (hashtag Common Core)

 

As School Choice Goes National, A City Shows Its Perils
Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. — Hailed nationally as a success story on school choice, Hartford in the two decades since a desegregation order has seen growing racial integration and new levels of academic achievement. That is, at least for students who win seats at magnet schools through a lottery.
Traditional public schools still educate about half the city’s children, but they are not moving in the same direction. The schools serve disproportionately more students from disadvantaged backgrounds, have lower graduation rates and their racial isolation remains as severe as ever.
With U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stressing alternatives to traditional public schools, Hartford illustrates a key challenge: how to manage the loss of students, and the funding that goes with them, for the schools and communities left behind.
The disparities pain parents like Natalie Langlaise, whose 8-year-old son Justin attends the dilapidated Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. A proposal to shutter the hollowed-out, 1920s-era Gothic hilltop school building has only heightened a sense of neglect among many in the poor, largely African-American neighborhood.
“School days are supposed to be happy days,” Langlaise said. “It’s like, ‘Come on man, our kids deserve it, too.'”
A poor city in a wealthy state, Connecticut’s capital city responded to the 1996 Sheff v. O’Neill desegregation ruling with market-oriented solutions. The legislature created a network of magnet schools and school choice options to attract a mix of city children and suburban whites. The lottery system was needed because of strong demand for the new options, but critics complain it reinforces a two-tiered system, with one for traditional public school kids and another for those at their school of choice.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9k1

http://gousoe.uen.org/9k7 (Ed Week)

 

House bill would boost Texas public education by $1.6 billion
Austin (TX) American-Statesman

New legislation filed Monday would add $1.6 billion in school funding, providing a boost to most school districts in Texas over the next two years.
House Bill 21 by state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, would add $210 per student for more than 95 percent of school districts, for a basic allotment of $5,350 per student.
Because lawmakers aren’t likely to pass a top-down reform of the state’s troubled school finance system this session, school districts have been asking lawmakers to increase the basic allotment instead – an easy fix that gives almost every school district a boost.
“House Bill 21 will improve public education in Texas. It provides more resources for schools and distributes those resources in a much smarter way,” Huberty said Monday during a news conference where he was flanked by public school officials and a bipartisan group of House colleagues.
The House Public Education Committee will hold a hearing and take public testimony on the bill Tuesday at noon or shortly after the House adjourns. The speedy turnaround required House members to vote to suspend the body’s rules.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9ka

 

School official confident district can handle cuts in education funding bill
Casper (WY) Star-Tribune

The Legislature’s last-minute deal to cut $34 million from schools next year was a relief compared with previous proposals that at one time included a $91 million reduction, Natrona County’s school board chairman said Monday.
The final version of House Bill 236 was an 11th-hour compromise between the Wyoming House and Senate, which disagreed on how to address the looming $400 million annual education deficit that’s set to smack Wyoming schools during the next two-year budget cycle. The two chambers reached an agreement late Friday night, and the Legislature adjourned shortly after.
The House pursued what many called a balanced approach, which included cuts, the use of savings, conditional and immediate tax increases, and the diversion of revenue.
The Senate, meanwhile, called for only cuts. Senate President Eli Bebout said during the session that he opposed any revenue increases.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9kb

 

On ‘Day Without Women, ‘ Two Districts Cancel School
New York Times

School districts in Virginia and North Carolina are telling students to stay home on Wednesday, on a nationwide day of protest called “A Day Without Women,” because so many staff members do not plan to show up for work.
In Alexandria Public Schools in Northern Virginia, more than 300 staff members have asked for the day off, prompting district officials to take the extraordinary step of canceling class. In a note on its website, the superintendent said its 18 schools would not have enough teachers on Wednesday.
“This is not a decision that was made lightly,” the superintendent, Alvin L. Crawley, said, adding that “it is not based on a political stance or position.”
In the Chapel Hill­Carrboro City Schools in North Carolina, a “significant” number of teachers have said they will skip work on Wednesday, the district said.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jH

http://gousoe.uen.org/9jI (WaPo)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9kc (Washington Times)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9k4 (AP)

http://gousoe.uen.org/9k8 (Ed Week)

 

Chance the Rapper writes $1 million check to CPS as a ‘call to action’
Chicago Tribune

Hours after Gov. Bruce Rauner offered two options to provide $215 million to Chicago Public Schools, Chance the Rapper cut the district a $1 million check that the Grammy-winning musician described as a “call to action” for the city’s business and philanthropic community.
Chance was critical of the Republican governor’s efforts to fix the city’s schools during a news conference in West Chatham on the South Side, not far from the musician’s old neighborhood.
“Gov. Rauner still won’t commit to give Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums,” Chance told students and reporters at Westcott Elementary School. “Gov. Rauner, do your job.”
Chance’s comments quickly spread among his millions of social media followers and brought a dash of celebrity to a long-running fight over education funding. But they did little to resolve differences between politicians and school officials over how to dig the district out of a budget hole that could bring an early end to the school year for some 400,000 students.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jB

http://gousoe.uen.org/9k2 (AP)

 

‘Tax Credit Scholarships,’ Praised By Trump, Turn Profits For Some Donors
NPR

President Trump has indicated several times now that his education agenda may feature a school choice program known as tax credit scholarships. He called it out in his first joint address to Congress last week, and followed that up with his first school visit as president this weekend: to a Catholic school in Florida which accepts several hundred students on the scholarships.
In these programs, sometimes called “neovouchers,” people and companies earn tax credits by giving money to nonprofit scholarship funds. Students can use the scholarships to attend private schools, including religious schools. This is important because traditional school vouchers can run afoul of constitutional challenges if they allocate public money to religiously based organizations.
These programs have been growing quickly in the last few years, with a push by groups like the American Federation for Children and the American Legislative Exchange Council. They exist in 17 states and several more are currently considering them.
But as documented by Carl Davis of the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, and as advertised by financial advisors and the scholarship organizations themselves, in 10 of these states there is a quirk that allows individuals to turn a profit on their donations.
Here’s how it works: Donors to these scholarship funds can offset their state tax liability by 70 to 100 cents for every dollar given. That’s already generous compared with many other tax breaks. But then, the donors can turn around and claim a federal charitable tax exemption on the same “donation.”
That, says Davis, amounts to up to a 35 percent profit for individuals, depending on their federal tax bracket.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jW

 

U.S. schools missing chances to protect kids from sun
Reuters

Most U.S. schools could do a lot more to protect students from the sun, with efforts like keeping kids indoors at high noon or making time for sunscreen application, a recent study suggests.
Researchers examined data on policies at 577 schools nationwide. Just 16 percent of schools asked parents to apply sunscreen before school, and even fewer supplied sunscreen to students or scheduled outdoor activities to avoid the peak intensity of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
“In spite of both strong evidence that UV exposure can lead to skin cancer and multiple calls for improvements in school programs including policies to prevent skin cancer, our study found that most schools still lacked practices that could protect children and adolescents from sun exposure while at school,” said lead study author Sherry Everett Jones of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jJ

A copy of the report
http://gousoe.uen.org/9jK (JAMA Dermatology)

 

Meet 5-year-old Edith Fuller, the youngest ever to win regional spelling bee
Tulsa (OK) World

A slight smile came across Edith Fuller’s lips as she asked the pronouncer for the origin and then a definition.
Then the 5-year-old was ready.
“J-N-A-N-A. Jnana,” Edith said.
And with that she became the youngest person to win the 2017 Scripps Green Country Regional Spelling Bee.
Edith beat out more than 50 other students at the Oral Roberts Global Learning Center on Saturday to earn a trip to Washington, D.C., and a spot in the national spelling bee.
“I feel thankful,” said Edith, who represented the TBC Home Education Fellowship in the competition.
http://gousoe.uen.org/9k3

 

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CALENDAR
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USBE Calendar
http://www.schools.utah.gov/main/CALENDAR.aspx

USBE Legislative Tracking Sheet
http://www.schools.utah.gov/law/Legislative-Session.aspx

UEN News
http://www.uen.org

March 8:

Executive Appropriations Committee meeting
4:10 p.m., 445 State Capitol
http://le.utah.gov/asp/interim/Commit.asp?year=2017&com=APPEXE

March 9:

Utah State Board of Education legislative meeting
Noon; 210 Senate Building
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

March 13:

Utah State Board of Education meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.boarddocs.com/ut/usbe/Board.nsf/Public

March 24:

Utah State Charter School Board meeting
250 E 500 South, Salt Lake City
http://www.schools.utah.gov/charterschools/State-Board.aspx

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