Iowa House Passes Bill Requiring Schools to Post Curriculums, Materials Online for Parent Review

The Iowa House voted 60-30 in favor of passing a bill that would require Iowa public and charter schools to post their curriculum and books online for parents to review.

Some educators have argued that the bill (HF2577) will limit their ability to “adapt and meet the individualized needs of their students.”

The bill will give parents the ability to review instructional materials and request that their children opt out of certain reading materials. If the schools materials do end up changing, teachers will be required to update the information online by week’s end or be subject to a fine between $500-$5,000.

Read More

Wisconsin Gov. Evers Vetoes Riot Penalties, School Choice Enrollment Boost, PFC Changes

Tony Evers

A lawsuit contends negligence on the part of Grand Ledge Public Schools caused the death of a Michigan fourth grader.

Attorney Steve Kallman filed the suit Tuesday on behalf of the family of Malachi Williams. The suit alleges the school district is at fault for the death of the 9-year-old student.

Williams died after he was struck by a GLPS school bus while riding his bicycle in a crosswalk in front of the school at 3:17 p.m. on May 17, 2021.

Read More

Christian Student Sues Florida School, Alleges He Was Mocked By Students and Teachers for His Faith

A Florida student has sued his school over what he alleges is religious discrimination by his teachers and fellow classmates.

Nicholas Ortiz, a freshman at Miami’s Mater Academy has filed a lawsuit claiming he “was discriminated and retaliated against by his high school … because he is a Christian,” according to the complaint. Ortiz said he regularly brings his bible to school to read, which he alleges has made him a target for “disparaging comments” from other students, as well as school staff and administrators.

The complaint also outlines what it calls false and defamatory statements that circulated among students claiming Ortiz was planning a school shooting. Screenshots of communications between students show them discussing the rumored shooting and details their plans to physically assault Ortiz as a result.

Read More

Legislation Expands Options for Pennsylvania Home-School Students

The Pennsylvania House has advanced legislation introduced by Rep. Jesse Topper, R-Bedford, to expand educational offerings for home-school students.

House Bill 1041 amends the Public School Code of 1949 to permit home education students to take advantage of their local high school by attending up to four academic courses in a school day and participating in co-curricular activities. They also would have access to programs offered at career and technical education centers.

Pennsylvania home-school students currently are permitted to participate in extracurricular activities at the high school in their district.

Read More

NYC’s Likely Next Mayor Says He’ll Expand Gifted Student Program, Not End It

Eric Adams of New York

Eric Adams, the likely next mayor of New York City, said Friday he would keep and expand the city’s gifted program which current Democratic Mayor Bill De Blasio planned to eliminate.

“[De Blasio] can’t get rid of it until next year. There’s nothing to put back in place,” Adams told a CNN host when asked if he would reinstate the city’s gifted program.

Adams said New York needs to expand accelerated learning by testing children throughout their educational experience. Under the current system, children are tested for the gifted program at four years old, before they have entered the school system.

Read More

University of Wisconsin Clarifies Mental Health Hires, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty Still Worried about Racial Stereotyping

Daniel Lennington

One of Wisconsin’s government watchdogs says it’s keeping an eye on whether the University of Wisconsin’s new mental health providers for students of color discharges their duties in a discriminatory fashion.

The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty on Wednesday sent a letter to the university after UW-Madison’s September announcement that it hired nine new mental health professionals. WILL took issue with how the school originally framed the new counselors.

The university said “three of these providers will exclusively serve students of color, joining eight providers already in this role.”

Read More

Report: COVID-19 Hit More Vulnerable Schools Hardest

A new report found that only 12% of educators in some schools believed students would complete the 2020-21 school year proficient in math, English Language Arts, science, or social studies.

That’s according to Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) report that found Partnership districts were hit harder by COVID-19 as they remained remote longer than schools in more affluent areas.

This report is part of a multi-year evaluation of Michigan’s Partnership Model district that aims to improve outcomes in the lowest-performing schools by serving districts’ specific needs. If these goals aren’t met by the end of the three years, the schools could close.

Read More

Detroit Schools Reach New Contract with Union

Terrence Martin and

The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), Michigan’s largest public education system responsible for educating 51,000 children, has reached a new agreement with the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) Local 231 on a two-year successor contract before starting the ’21-22 school year.

DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and DFT President Terrance Martin agreed to terms on August 26, and DFT members ratified the agreement on September 1.

In August, the unit reached a safe reopening plan outlining the safety guidelines, additional hazards, and blended learning bonuses.

Read More

Virginia Universities Start Kicking Out Unvaccinated Students

Some Virginia universities have started kicking out students who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other institutions may start following suit.

Virginia Tech disenrolled 134 students this week who did not receive the vaccine. Before that, the University of Virginia disenrolled 288 students, and William & Mary withdrew 42 students for the same reason. All three universities require students be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they receive a medical or religious exemption.

“Of the approximately 37,000 students enrolled at Virginia Tech, 134 students were not in compliance with the COVID-19 vaccination requirement, meaning that they did not submit vaccination documentation or receive a medical or religious exemption,” a statement on Virginia Tech’s website read. “These students have been disenrolled. The university does not know whether any of these students were not planning to return for reasons unrelated to the COVID-19 vaccine requirement.”

Read More

Wayne County Mandates Masks for Schools, Daycares

inside of a nursery/daycare facility

The Wayne County Public Health Department issued a new order mandating school districts and daycare providers require students, faculty, staff, and visitors to wear a face mask while in school and during school-sponsored indoor events.

The order takes effect immediately directing public, private, and parochial schools and daycare providers to:

Require indoor wearing of face masks for all pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students, regardless of their vaccine status; and,
Require face masks to be worn indoors by all teachers, administrative staff, other employees, parent and guardians, attendees, and volunteers.

The order remains in effect until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorize COVID-19 community transmission for Wayne County as “moderate” for at least 14 consecutive days or further notice by Wayne County officials.

Read More

Arizona Supreme Court: Schools Not Responsible for Students Off-Campus

Arizona Supreme Court

The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that schools cannot be held accountable for off-campus incidents of violence between students. 

Diannah Dinsmoor, the mother of high school student Ana G., who was shot and killed by her classmate in 2014, brought claims for wrongful death, negligence, and gross negligence against the Deer Valley Unified School District and the City of Phoenix in Dinsmoor v. City of Phoenix. Dinsmoor argued that school officials knew that Ana and her classmate, identified by court records as Matthew B., were dating and that Matthew had a history of violence with an ex-girlfriend, known on court records as Raven. Ana met Matthew at a friend’s house after school where he shot and killed her and then himself.

The superior court ruled on Friday that the defendant did not owe Ana or Dinsmoor a duty as necessary to support Dinsmoor’s claims.

Read More

Michigan’s New Diversity and Inclusion Director Receives $130,800 Salary

Rané Garcia

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is paying Rané Garcia $130,801 per year for a new position to lead the agency’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative.

MDE reported Garcia’s salary in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Center Square.

in her new position, Garcia “will be responsible for developing and supporting internal and external efforts and strategies that foster greater fairness and inclusion in the state’s public schools.”

Read More

Biologically Male Middle School Student Can Run on Girls’ Cross Country Team, Judge Rules

Man running on a gravel road during the day with a blue shirt on

A biologically male middle school student may run on a girl’s cross country team this fall in spite of West Virginia’s new law banning biological males from women’s sports, U.S. Circuit Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ruled Wednesday.

Lawyers from the ACLU-West Virginia had argued that HB 3293 would unfairly prevent the 11-year-old student, Becky Pepper-Jackson, from participating on a girls cross country team.

Goodwin issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday allowing Pepper-Jackson to “sign up for and participate in school athletics in the same way as her girl classmates.”

Read More

CDC: Students Should Return to In-Person Classes

A classroom of students in class

The Center for Disease Control updated federal COVID guidance Friday with several major changes as schools around the country grapple with policies for students’ return in the fall.

The CDC urged schools to allow students to return to in-person classes whether or not they are vaccinated as most studies showed significant learning loss during remote-only or hybrid teaching models.

The agency also said teachers and students should wear masks unless they have gotten the vaccine, a recommendation that is certain to drive controversy.

Read More

Virginia Will Give Higher Education Assistance to Illegal Immigrants

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam held a ceremonial bill signing on legislation that provides financial assistance for higher education to students who are in the country illegally.

House Bill 2123/Senate Bill 1387 will allow students who are in the state illegally to access education benefits equal to residents of the commonwealth, including in-state tuition and financial assistance programs the state provides for public and private colleges and universities.

“Until last year, undocumented students had to pay out-of-state tuition rates,” Northam said Monday during the ceremony at Marymount University. “We’re all proud to have changed that. Lowering the cost barriers for children who have grown up in our schools. And now it’s time to give those students the opportunity to get help in paying for their education.”

Read More

High Court Hears Arguments on Tennessee’s School-Choice Program

ORNL Traveling Science Fair at the TN 4th Annual Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit and STEMx Event, Nashville, TN

Tennessee’s highest court heard arguments on a disputed school choice program.

Tennessee’s Education Savings Accounts (ESA) pilot program, approved by the state Legislature in 2019, would provide state-funded scholarships of about $7,100 to low-income students in Nashville and Memphis – home to the state’s two lowest-performing school districts. Students would be able to use the funds to attend nonpublic schools of their choice.

A district court ruled the program unconstitutional when the two counties sued the state to stop the program. The state Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, and the state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

Read More

Kemp Signs School-Choice Expansion Bills in Georgia

Gov. Brian Kemp signed a trio of bills Thursday to expand education options in Georgia.

Senate Bill 47 expands the state’s Special Needs Scholarship program to students with 504 Plans. The program offers scholarships for students with individualized education plans to attend a private school or a public school of their choice.

“COVID-19 has certainly highlighted the challenges that families face and finding the right education for their child, especially those with special needs,” Kemp said Thursday during a bill signing ceremony at the state Capitol. “This bill will give more parents greater options to ensure their child has every opportunity to achieve their dreams.”

Read More

Bill Aims to Offer Other Math-Based Options Instead of Algebra II for Michigan High Schoolers

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D–Flint, and state Rep. Julie M. Rogers, D–Kalamazoo, are sponsoring bills aimed to allow high schoolers earn their diploma without Algebra II.

Senate Bill 318 and House Bill 4595 were introduced Wednesday with bipartisan support.

Currently, Michigan students must complete Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and a math elective to graduate. Bill proponents argue these math requirements are often excessive for students who don’t plan to enter a field requiring advanced math and will instead need to understand interest, student loan payments, and how to complete taxes.

Read More

Whitmer Calls for Staff and Children at Day Camps and Child-Care Centers to Wear Masks

Both children and staff are required to wear face coverings while at child-care centers and day camps, according to a new executive order signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday.

The order requires all staff and children ages 2 and up to wear a face covering on a school bus or other transportation. It also requires staff and children ages 4 and up to wear a face covering in all indoor common spaces. Staff and children ages 12 and up are required to wear a face covering in classrooms, homes, cabins, or other indoor small-group settings.

Read More

Founders of Classic Learning Test, an Alternative to the ‘Progressive’ SAT and ACT, to Focus on Acceptance by Tennessee Colleges and High Schools in Q4 2019

You may start hearing more about an alternative to the SAT and ACT as the creators of the CLT plan a major publicity push in Tennessee over the next three months.

Read More

University Approves Policy to Allow Expulsion or Suspension of Protesting Students

A major national university has approved a policy to suspend and expel students who protest “campus speeches and presentations.” The University of Wisconsin system Board of Regents voted on the new punishments for students who have already been charged with “disrupting others’ free expression.” Now, students who offend a second…

Read More