Education

School Funding Up In Teacher Protest States; Parkland Superintendent Keeps Job

/Cristina Spano for NPR

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Report: K-12 school funding up in states that had teacher protests

A report released Wednesday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says K-12 school funding is up in four states where significant teacher strikes or protests occurred in 2018.

The report found lawmakers in Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia "boosted school formula funding last year, at least partially in response to the protests."

Oklahoma's per-student funding increased by 19 percent, after adjusting for inflation, while Arizona, North Carolina and West Virginia saw increases of between 3 and 9 percent.

Betsy DeVos names new leader of Federal Student Aid

Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Monday that Mark A. Brown, a retired major general in the Air Force, will be the next head of Federal Student Aid (FSA), which supervises student loan servicers.

In February, a critical report from the department's Office of Inspector General rebuked the FSA: It said the unit's inconsistent oversight allowed loan servicers to potentially hurt borrowers and pocket government dollars that should have been refunded because servicers weren't meeting federal requirements.

School board votes not to fire superintendent over Parkland shooting

After hours of debate, the Broward County, Fla., school board voted 6-3 Tuesday to not fire Superintendent Robert Runcie. Runcie faced increasing criticism after the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 14 students and three adults.

The vote was initiated by Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter, Alyssa, was killed in the shooting. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Alhadeff, who was elected to the board in 2018, cited willful neglect of duty and noted, among other things, Runcie's 2013 request that the board not support a measure that would have led to more funding for school security.

New York private schools sue state Education Department

On Tuesday, a group of New York private schools filed a lawsuit against the state's Education Department, challenging a November 2018 regulation that expands oversight of nonpublic schools.

According to The Wall Street Journal's Leslie Brody:

The suit said the state's new guidance ... gave district boards of education too much power to judge private schools' curricula and bypassed rules requiring public comment for such changes. It also said such steps would need to be approved by the state legislature.

The new rule came after years of controversy surrounding New York's ultra-Orthodox Jewish private schools, called yeshivas, which some say aren't providing a quality education.

New California law on charter school transparency

During the teacher strikes in Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif., union leaders called for tighter restrictions on charter schools. Now, a new California law aims to make charter schools more transparent.

On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill that requires charter schools to follow the same public records, conflict of interest and open meeting laws that public school districts must follow.

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