In the News on Jan. 28 - Feb. 1, 2008 | Teachers College Columbia University

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In the News on Jan. 28 - Feb. 1, 2008

NCLB is one issue candidates can't ignore * To raise "science literacy" is to raise salaries for math and science teachers * Budget cuts raise wrath of NY principals * Jefferson County school district proposes a new student assignment plan


Education has not been the hottest topic in the presidential campaigns, but UT voters say NCLB is one issue candidates can't ignore

Other News

As virtual public schools expand, so do debates over funding and the benefits of online schooling

National Science Board Chairman contends the way to raise "science literacy” is to raise salaries for math and science teachers and make curriculum more consistent among school systems

School Funding Litigation/Policy

IN House and Senate sign off on separate measures to have referendums determine the fate of most local construction projects, which might include schools

NH preliminary report calculates per-student cost at $3,456, and recommends the state direct extra aid to schools with low-income, special education and non-English-speaking students

MS bill that allocate more than the basic formula for funding public education clears the House after partisan debate but faces hurdles from senators

MS House passes legislation to fully fund education and give teachers a 3 percent pay raise

NM House overwhelmingly approves a $6 billion budget to pay for state government and public education next year

State Roundup

CO Senate President introduces a bill to encourage schools to seek more freedom in hiring, scheduling and spending – allowing them to sidestep the teachers union to get it

Over 100 students, parents and supporters march against plan to close down D.C. schools

Budget cuts raise wrath of NY principals, and they scour for places to cut spending

LA seeks new partners to take over failing schools and address low performance


In the News on January 31, 2008


Jefferson County school district proposes a new student assignment plan to maintain racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity without running afoul of the law

Other News

Community colleges need more funds and should do more to lift graduation rates and measure student progress, according to a study

School Funding Litigation/Policy

D.C. mayor will seek a 5 percent increase in per-pupil funding, a $52.9 million effort to improve city education

D.C. Schools Chancellor plans to propose a $794.6 million budget for fiscal year 2009, a nearly $17 million increase over this year's school budget

IN starts local government investment pool: Officials say schools can earn more interest and avoid fees if they pool their money into a state-run fund rather than use traditional banks

State Roundup

Boston schools chief lays out an ambitious plan seeking to increase accountability and give students more opportunities to attend classes on college campuses, enroll in Montessori schools, and learn art and music

GA educators support the governors work to increase the number of credits required to earn a high school diploma, but they also have concerns about the switch to a one-track diploma that blends career and technology courses with a college-prep curriculum

The number of NH elementary and middle school students passing state reading and math exams is on the rise, according the state Department of Education

MT school officials say deep cuts to federal Reading First grants, which help the neediest schools boost reading scores, will not cripple local reading programs

UT lawmakers approve bills to boost pay for some educators, lower class sizes, conquer quality teachers, and extend the school year,5143,695248814,00.html

In the News on January 30, 2008

School Integration

Book advises educators to “get real on race” and outlines ways to become more constructively conscious and open about race


President Bush once again pushes to reauthorize NCLB at the State of the , but the one concrete idea he proposed – Pell Grants for Kids – won't generate much enthusiasm in Congress

Tech literacy tests are still not widespread despite NCLB provision that makes it a national goal for all 8th graders to be technologically literate, according to report

Other News

Head Start supporters lament broken funding promises and new requirements

school system “collapses” the achievement gap; superintendent says the results bear directly on two of their most costly initiatives – lengthening the kindergarten school day and lowering class sizes in high-poverty schools

School Funding Litigation/Policy

The head of a legislative task force warns AK lawmakers that tinkering with proposed changes to the school funding system could cause a "long-fought, well-discussed compromise" to collapse

GA democrats propose more education funding and want the state to send leftover money to local school districts that agree to cut property taxes

KY school districts will receive the same amount of state money per student but see cuts in funding for professional development, textbooks, safe schools and after-school programs under Gov. Beshear's proposed budget

ME school and state officials oppose a plan that would shift funds for disadvantaged children to other education expenses

State Roundup

D.C. housing downturn hits school systems with force, causing program delays and possibly larger classes

MO lawmaker wants to expand the state’s Parents as Teachers program to serve families of children up to 13 years old; he says he believes parents need help beyond the early years

SC Education Oversight Committee launches a new online service to assist adults in understanding how to evaluate public school performance

In the News on January 29, 2008


Report says NCLB accountability systems have led to some benefits for students with disabilities, but it’s too soon to link the law with improved academic outcomes for such students

Other News

Teacher unions take different paths in endorsing presidential candidates: The AFT backs Sen. Clinton, while the NEA is not yet ready to make a selection

Study says students who participate in ’s private-school-voucher program graduate from high school at significantly higher rates than those who attend regular city schools

School Funding Litigation/Policy

President Bush calls for a $300 million program, Pell Grants for Kids, to finance private schooling; critics say it will drain resources from urban public schools in need of money

IN Democrats draw attention to the $154 million schools would lose under the governor's proposed tax caps

MS legislature is expected to pump $2.5 million more into K-12 schools, but it could also decrease funds for some Coast districts that have lower post-Katrina enrollments

NH school aid plan allows aid to be targeted to the neediest schools without a constitutional amendment

NH charter schools seek state funding; educators say that in several schools tuition doesn't come close to covering per pupil costs

Mayor Bloomberg calls on lawmakers to restore the $500 million to the state budget that was promised to NYC last year, or risk fewer schools being built, higher taxes or deeper service cuts,0,5422245.story

State House members debate a radical change in the way PA public schools are funded: Amendment would hike state income tax, widen sales tax, and end school property taxes

State Roundup

NE lawmaker wants state officials to implement statewide reading and math tests to allow comparisons of student achievement among school districts

IN plans to monitor more closely how school districts grant students waivers to graduate without passing the statewide mandatory graduation exam

TN Board of Education approves tougher standards for students and drops the Gateway exams required for high school graduation

SC Rep. Walker will introduce legislation to overhaul the Education Accountability Act and the much-maligned Palmetto Achievement Challenge Tests

In the news on January 28, 2008 

School Integration

CT judge bumps Sheff v. O’neill desegregation case back to lawmakers,0,1846327.story

Other News
Commentary – Is preschool becoming the new kindergarten? What policy makers should consider when drafting new legislation

School Funding Litigation/Policy

ME school superintendents oppose a plan that would reduce state aid for economically disadvantaged students by $9.5 million next year, the state plans to offset the loss with federal funds

MT coalition that successfully sued the state in 2004 for inadequate school funding is going back to court saying that schools need more money this fall and into the future

NH legislative committee grapples with amount of aid for at-risk students, and gives preliminary support to educate non-English speaking students

State Roundup

Members of AK’s teacher’s union continue their talks on critical issues in the public school system, and the governor weighs in

AL plan to expand pre-kindergarten program could run into a major obstacle: a shortage of qualified teachers

FL educators fear they're approaching testing overkill in preparation for the FCAT, the state’s comprehensive assessment test,0,756922.story

GA governor wants to use parental aids in anti-dropout initiative to increase the state’s graduation rate

Consulting firm says 2900 HI teachers do not meet federal standards and are under qualified to teach their subjects

IA officials are working on a K-8 model curriculum which involves adopting state content standards in core subjects

ID schools chief proposes math initiative to bolster scores statewide, but lawmakers say it will cost more than the state can afford

County school superintendent says MD’s recent decision to offer alternative exams for high school graduation could have a significant impact on some schools’ ability to meet federal academic standards

MI governor will reveal a $300 million plan for smaller, more personalized high schools to replace larger schools whose students are doing poorly and have high dropout rates

State officials announce grants for NE providers of early childhood education

Report says teacher salaries in NJ may not be as great as we think they are

OK republicans promote a pilot program to establish a system of merit pay for teachers

The math portion of the WASL, WA’s graduation requirement, worries students once again

Published Monday, Feb. 4, 2008