As first lady, Jill Biden to ‘bring a lot more power’ to helping students in military families
Educators might be excited to have one of their own in the White House next month, but there’s another constituency that future first lady Jill Biden is planning to highlight as part of her work in the administration. “You are going to have a military family back in the White House,” she told families of...
By Linda Jacobson | December 2, 2020
‘The numbers are ugly’: Chronic absenteeism among California elementary students could be surging by more than 200 percent
Eleven districts in California are seeing an 89 percent surge in chronic absenteeism among students in elementary grades compared to last year at this time, according to new data presented to the California Department of Education. That means nearly one in five students has missed 10 percent of school so far this year. But the...
By Linda Jacobson | December 1, 2020
The nation’s aging schools must improve air quality to prevent Covid transmission, experts say. But the price tag can be daunting
Like many districts, Massachusetts’s Framingham Public Schools is trying to determine how to safely bring back students for in-person instruction. Unlike most, this suburban district just outside Boston has a specific re-entry plan that runs 67 pages and includes a detailed survey of the ventilation system in each of its 14 schools. Framingham is paying...
By Wayne D'Orio | November 30, 2020
As California’s new charter law takes effect, schools bracing for shutdowns could win a reprieve from pandemic
Last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new charter school law intended to settle a longstanding feud between charter operators and those calling for tighter restrictions on their growth. Known as Assembly Bill 1505, the compromise between charters and the teachers union gave local districts the authority to consider whether the opening of a...
By Linda Jacobson | November 24, 2020
As coronavirus cases surge, new antibody study shows young children may be less likely to spread virus; could spell good news for in-person elementary and middle school learning
A new study continues to build the case that the risks of in-person learning for elementary and middle school students may be lower than many officials originally feared, but comes just as surging coronavirus cases nationwide are prompting multiple districts to delay reopening. The paper, published in the journal Nature Immunology, examined 47 youth and 32...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | November 23, 2020
Drive-thru Thanksgiving: CA district offers immunizations, groceries and turkeys to more than 200 students
More than 200 students in one California district received turkeys, groceries and their required school immunizations at a drive-thru clinic last week. With Thanksgiving looming, the event for West Contra Costa Unified School District families in Richmond, California, on Thursday attempted to solve two problems at once — many families in the district are vulnerable to...
By Laura Fay | November 23, 2020
Dear Future Me: For 26 years, NJ teacher had his 6th-graders write letters to their future selves. This year he got to see them opened
New Jersey this year missed out on prom, college tours, and the usual pomp and circumstance of graduation because of the pandemic. But thanks to a devoted local middle school teacher, these 12th-graders retained one rite of passage very unique to their suburban town: reading a letter from their sixth-grade selves that took them back...
By Asher Lehrer-Small | November 18, 2020
Makeup of Senate means Biden will likely lack votes and ‘big buckets of funding’ for expansive education agenda
President-elect Joe Biden might have won the White House, but his expansive education plan will soon hit a Congress that has far fewer Democrats than envisioned under the “Blue Wave” forecast prior to the election. Democrats’ hopes for flipping the Senate now largely depend on capturing two seats in Georgia that won’t be decided until...
By Linda Jacobson | November 17, 2020
With defeat of California’s ‘split roll’ tax, advocates wonder how to increase educational equity
Californians have long complained that the state doesn’t adequately fund education. But last week, they still opted not to amend a 40-year-old property tax formula that could have added roughly $4 billion a year to the state’s education budget. Proposition 15 divided the state in half, with official results released Wednesday showing it fell 51.8...
By Linda Jacobson | November 12, 2020
After a costly campaign, charter- and union-backed candidates each win seat on L.A. Unified school board
Updated Nov. 9 Charter school supporters and teachers union backers each won a seat on Los Angeles Unified School District’s school board Tuesday after a campaign that again set records for spending. Incumbent Scott Schmerelson, who was endorsed by United Teachers Los Angeles, is expected to hold on to his seat representing District 3 despite...
By Laura Fay | November 5, 2020