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.

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Georgia Senate Approves Bill to Ban Teaching ‘Divisive Concepts’

Bo Hatchett

Georgia teachers would be banned from teaching “divisive concepts” in the classroom under legislation signed off on by the Georgia Senate.

Senators voted, 34-20, in favor of Senate Bill 377. The legislation now heads to the state House, where lawmakers previously passed similar legislation, House Bill 1084.

The bill outlines nine “divisive concepts,” including that one “race or ethnicity is inherently superior to another race or ethnicity” and that an “individual’s moral character is inherently determined by his or her race, skin color, or ethnicity.”

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Texas Lt. Governor Proposes Eliminating Tenure to Rid CRT from Public Universities

Dan Patrick of Texas

The Texas Lieutenant Governor has stated his priority to eliminate tenure in an attempt to stop Critical Race Theory (CRT) from “poisoning the minds of the next generation.”

During a Feb. 18 press conference, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick argued that academia has been infiltrated by “tenured, leftist professors” and called for additional oversight methods to crack down on the controversial curriculum. 

Patrick defined CRT as “an offshoot of critical legal studies, which is an offshoot of a socialist program (which says) that everything that happened in life is based on racism.”

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Head Start Teachers in Ohio, Virginia, and Louisiana Suing over Biden Administration’s COVID Vaccination Mandate

Head Start teachers in Louisiana, Ohio and Virginia are suing the Biden administration over a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination mandate for the federally funded program.

Elizabeth Etherton, a preschool teacher at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court over a threatened termination Monday for failing to take a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Lawmakers Call for Investigation, Criticize Federally Funded Critical Race Theory Program

Gus Bilirakis

Republican lawmakers blasted a federally funded education program that trains researchers and teachers in critical race theory after The Center Square’s investigation broke news of the program. Now, one Florida U.S. Congressman is calling for an investigation into whether the program violates state law.

Newly uncovered Department of Education grant documents show that the department awarded $1,020,800 in a 2017 grant and $1,498,620 in a 2021 grant to a Florida-based program called Partners United for Research Pathways Oriented to Social Justice in Education (PURPOSE).

The taxpayer-funded program – led by Florida State University, which has partnered with Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University – offers participants one-year fellowships. Participants receive training in a range of issues, including critical race theory, during the fellowships.

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Teacher Shortages Nationwide Causing Public Education Crisis

Schools throughout the country are experiencing teacher shortages due to several factors. In some states, legislatures have responded by lowering substitute teaching standards. In others, schools are calling on parents to fill the gap or are simply closing schools because they don’t have enough staff.

School choice advocates say it’s time to start funding students instead of government-run public school systems.

Nationwide, according to Burbio.com’s school closure tracker, 7,164 schools were “actively disrupted (not offering in-person learning) on one or more days during the week beginning January 10th.” Accompanying the tracker is a map, which shows which schools nationwide are closed or are providing no in-person instruction by day and week. The site, an industry leader in aggregating school, government, library and community information, tracks school closures and mask policies.

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Report: Minnesota Teacher Tells Students About Her Threesomes, ‘Furry’ Fetish and More

A teacher in Minnesota’s Alden-Conger Public School District reportedly identifies as a “furry,” brags to her class about having threesomes with her husband and another woman, speaks positively about incest and assigns pornographic material as coursework.

A furry is a person who derives pleasure from dressing up as an anthropomorphic animal. Furries often have sex with one another, dressed as their animal personas. The teacher in the Alden-Conger Public School District who reportedly discusses her furry identity in class has also shared the “details of her sexual life … her 3-way sexual relationship with her husband and a lesbian companion” and discussed “incest in an approving way” with her students whose ages range from 14-16.

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Arizona Teacher Shortages Continue for Sixth Year

Public Schools Racist

About a quarter of teacher vacancies across the state remain unfilled in 2021, with 55.4% of the vacancies are filled by teachers who do not meet the state’s standard certification requirements, according to a Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association survey of 145 school districts and charter schools. 

This marks the sixth consecutive year of teacher shortages in Arizona. Approximately a quarter of teacher vacancies have remained unfilled a month into each school year since 2016, ASPAA’s press release said. 

Twenty-six percent of teaching positions were open a few weeks into the school year, a 6% increase from the 21% vacancy rate in 2019, even though there were 400 less positions to fill this year than in 2019. As of Sept. 10, 2021, ASPAA counted 1,698.67 vacancies in its Oct. 12 report. 

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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.

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Teacher Reportedly Forced to Remove a Pro-Police Flag Because the School Deemed It a ‘Political Symbol.’ BLM and Pride Flags Still Allowed

Blue line flag

A middle school teacher in Washington state reportedly was told to remove a pro-police flag she had hanging in her classroom, while Black Lives Matter messages and pride flags are still permitted at the school, according to documents obtained by the Jason Rantz Show and 770 KTTH.

A Marysville Middle School teacher had a Thin Blue Line flag hanging in her classroom to show her support for police, but the school district’s human resources department said the flag could cause “disruption in the classroom,” because it is a “political symbol,” according to documents obtained by the Jason Rantz Show.

The teacher’s brother, Chris Sutherland, was formerly a police officer with the Marysville Police Department and a school resource officer when the fatal Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting happened on Oct. 24, 2014, which resulted in five deaths, the Jason Rantz Show reported.

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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.

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Calls to Fire Glen Ellyn School District 41 Teacher in Illinois After She ‘Shows Off Book Collection She Uses to Indoctrinate 3rd Grade Students’

D41 Kids Foundation, person reading

Calls to fire Glen Ellyn teacher Lauren Crowe were spreading across social media Thursday night after the D41 educator shared a video on Tik Tok promoting books highlighting LGBTQ+  activism to her grammar school students.

Crowe, who teaches third grade at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School,  posted the video on Tik Tok. It was then shared on Twitter by a user who goes by the name “Libs of Tik Tok.” 

“Activist teacher shows off book collection she uses to indoctrinate 3rd grade students,” the user posted.

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Commentary: Teacher Codes of Conduct Offer Alternative to Critical Race Theory Bans

The firing of Matthew Hawn, a high school teacher in Sullivan County, Tennessee, recently made national news and seemed to confirm fears that newly-enacted state bans on critical race theory (CRT) would have a chilling effect on teacher speech. Hawn, a 16-year veteran tenured teacher and baseball coach, had assigned students in his contemporary issues class Ta-Nehisi Coates’s essay, “The First White President,” and a spoken word poem from Kyla Jenée Lacey called “White Privilege.” One headline declared, “A Tennessee teacher taught a Ta-Nehisi Coates essay and a poem about white privilege. He was fired for it.” A Georgetown professor tweeted, “This really seems extreme and a harbinger of what is to come.”

But contrary to news coverage and social media chatter, Hawn wasn’t fired for violating the state’s newly passed CRT ban. Really, he was dismissed for failing to adhere to the Tennessee “Teacher Code of Ethics,” a seldom-invoked but sensible state requirement for teachers to provide students access to varying points of view on controversial topics. Not only did Hawn fail to follow this code when he assigned the contentious poem and Coates’ essay from The Atlantic, which contains claims such as, “With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness,” he also later asserted that “there is no credible source for a differing point of view.” (Hawn recently denied making such a claim, though he declined to explain why the district attributed this statement to him.)

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Ohio Court: 700-Plus Training Hours to Arm a Teacher

An Ohio lawmaker believes it’s now more important to make it easier for teachers to have guns in the classroom following an Ohio Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that school districts must require police-level training for employees to be armed.

Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Township, introduced legislation in April that requires school employees to complete only concealed carry weapon training to carry a gun on campus. 

In a 4-3 ruling, the court sided with a group of Madison Local Schools parents who sued the district in September 2018 to stop teachers from being armed without extensive training, including more than 700 hours of peace officer training. Madison Local Schools adopted a policy that required only 24 hours of training before staff could carry a concealed weapon.

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New Interim Teacher Certification Program Aims to Provide More Teachers of Color in Schools

State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has approved the New Paradigm for Education program to promote alternative teacher certification in the state.

New Paradigm will offer a residency-based alternative route to teacher certification to recruit, train, and retain high-quality educators, particularly teachers of color and male teachers of color.

“We continue to work beyond conventional methods to help address the gaps in the teacher workforce,” State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said in a statement. “There is a substantial teacher shortage in Michigan, which is even more acute for teachers of color.”

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Teachers Union Gave Nearly $20 Million to Dems Before Influencing CDC School Reopening Guidance

American Federation of Teachers

The teachers union in the middle of a scandal for influencing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official school reopening guidance gave nearly $20 million to Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, filings show.

Federal election filings reveal that the American Federation of Teachers and its local affiliates spent $19,903,532 on political donations during the 2020 cycle, with nearly all of the funds going to Democrats and liberal groups.

Last year’s AFT donations include $5,251,400 for the Democrats Senate Majority PAC and $4,600,000 for the Democratic House Majority PAC, according to data compiled by The Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database.

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Ohio Teacher Accused Of Punishing Students with Duct Tape Resigns

by Neetu Chandak   An Ohio teacher accused of punishing students with duct tape resigned in January. Charles Igwekala-Nweke taught math at two schools within Cincinnati Public Schools since 2015, but resigned Jan. 18, according to The Associated Press Saturday. District officials learned about the alleged duct-taping incident in December 2018, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. “In…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Time to Address Teacher Morale

There is no one size fits all strategy that will work in every school or district.  This is a recurring theme among those who believe in local control in public education.  Together, we can work to address teacher morale issues.  Once a plan is in place, it is very important to examine, evaluate, and adjust as necessary. 

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Public School Teachers Are Paid More Than Commonly Reported

by James Agresti   During recent teacher walkouts in Oklahoma that captured national attention, many major media outlets reported misleadingly small figures for teacher pay. By failing to reveal all aspects of teacher compensation, these outlets hid the true costs to taxpayers—which now amount to an annualized average of about $120,000 for every…

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Steve Gill Commentary: Teacher’s Union Salaries Far Exceed Payments to Classroom Teachers

The State Board of Education instituted a minimum teacher’s salary of $33,745 in 2017, which essentially established a starting salary for the approximately 10 months a year that teachers work each year. Overall, Tennessee teachers receive an average annual salary of over $50,000. How does that stack up against income…

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Trump-Hating Teacher Fired in Rutherford County

A substitute teacher in Rutherford County is no longer allowed to work in the district because of inflammatory comments he made on social media about President Trump. He joins a growing list of educators across the country in trouble for engaging in or allowing inappropriate commentary about the recent election.…

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