Supreme Court sets new standard for special ed, unanimously rejects minimal school progress
A united Supreme Court Wednesday set a new, more rigorous standard for special education services in the United States. The unanimous decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District will require school districts to offer individualized education programs “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.” An attorney for the...
By Carolyn Phenicie | March 22, 2017 11:41 am
The Senate’s 50-49 killing of ESSA rules: A sweeping change in how California will rate (and fix) schools
The Senate voted Wednesday to block Obama administration accountability rules governing how states rate and improve schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The move, which precludes the U.S. Education Department and newly confirmed Secretary Betsy DeVos from issuing any substantially similar regulations, will send even more power back to the states, already retaking the...
By Carolyn Phenicie | March 10, 2017 7:12 am
After reported opposition, DeVos defends ending transgender protections to friendly CPAC crowd
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos briefly defended the Trump administration’s decision this week to rescind protections for transgender students in remarks to a supportive conservative crowd Thursday. “This issue was a very huge example of the Obama administration’s overreach to suggest a one-size-fits-all approach … to issues that are best dealt with and solved from a...
By Carolyn Phenicie | February 23, 2017 3:16 pm
Betsy DeVos confirmed as education secretary after historic tie-breaking vote from VP, unrelenting opposition
Betsy DeVos is, after weeks of public outcry, marathon Senate speeches and the narrowest and sharpest of partisan vote margins, the eleventh U.S. secretary of education. In a pro-forma and decidedly undramatic endnote, Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking “aye” to confirm DeVos, 51-50 at 12:30 p.m., marking the first time ever a vice...
By Carolyn Phenicie | February 7, 2017 1:31 pm
The last 24 hours: Democrats hold Senate floor as final DeVos confirmation looms
Democratic senators spent the wee small hours of the morning holding the Senate floor in a marathon protest of Betsy DeVos’s nomination as education secretary. Their last-ditch effort is not expected to derail her confirmation vote around noon today but it kept alive what has become the fiercest opposition to a President Trump cabinet appointee. Several...
By Carolyn Phenicie | February 7, 2017 7:49 am
What SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch’s past rulings on education cases could mean on the high court
President Trump Tuesday evening nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, currently serving on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals based in Colorado, to fill the seat on the Supreme Court left empty after Justice Antonin Scalia’s unexpected death nearly a year ago. Gorsuch was student body president at Georgetown Prep in suburban Washington, D.C., where his mother was...
By Carolyn Phenicie | February 2, 2017 8:53 am
Betsy DeVos nomination clears hurdle, leaving acrimony and uncertainty about full Senate vote
Betsy DeVos’s nomination as education secretary moved forward after a bitter party-line vote by the Senate education committee and an unusually rancorous process that galvanized her opponents, frayed Senate relations and raised the spectre that some Republicans could defect when the vote reaches the full body. The intention of committee Democrats to block DeVos was...
By Carolyn Phenicie | January 31, 2017 3:13 pm
Special education at the Supreme Court: 7 things to know about Wednesday’s Endrew F. case
Republicans in Washington will spend Wednesday charging full bore into the start of the new administration. President-elect Donald Trump is slated to give his first press conference since the election. The Senate will hold an hours-long series of votes related to repealing Obamacare. And at least three Cabinet nominees will face their confirmation hearings. (Education...
By Carolyn Phenicie | January 10, 2017 8:31 am
Vouchers, union dues, transgender students: How the high court may rule under Trump
One of the longest-lasting impacts of Donald Trump’s presidency will be on the Supreme Court. The nomination of at least one justice, to replace the late Antonin Scalia, and the legal positions advanced by Trump’s executive branch nominees could have dramatic consequences for any number of pending and future education-related cases. Five such cases have...
By Carolyn Phenicie | November 29, 2016 6:56 am
How Prop. 58 could change California classrooms
Proposition 58 certainly isn’t the highest-profile among the 17 ballot questions facing California voters this fall — those would probably be the proposals to repeal the death penalty or legalize marijuana. It isn’t even the newsiest among the education propositions. That’s probably Prop. 55, which would extend a special tax on individual incomes over $250,000,...
By Carolyn Phenicie | October 28, 2016 9:58 am