EduClips: Harvey Waivers Could Stave Off Accountability in Houston, Nevada Reconsiders TFA, ‘Minimum Grading’ in Florida — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts
EduClips is a compilation of the latest education news from the largest school districts in America, where over 4 million students in eight states attend classes daily. Catch up on previous EduClips editions here. Stay informed about the latest school and policy news by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter, which will be delivered to your inbox every day.
WILL THE HOUSE VOTE ON SCHOOL CHOICE AMENDMENT? — The push by advocates to expand federally supported school choice under the Trump administration has not been very successful so far in this Congress. However, there may be a glimmer of hope with a House vote later this month. Representative Jim Banks, a Republican from Indiana, has introduced a bill to establish education savings accounts using a small portion of federal Impact Aid, which helps school districts affected by government activities, like military bases. However, the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, which opposes the bill, argues that it could divert a significant portion of Impact Aid’s Basic Support payments, potentially up to $450 million, into education savings accounts.
Education savings accounts typically cover various K-12 expenses, such as textbooks and tutoring services. Supporters, including the Heritage Foundation, believe that this legislation would offer more education options to a crucial group of students and improve military retention rates. Initially, they had hoped to attach Banks’s bill to the National Defense Authorization Act as an amendment, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Now, they aim to pass the plan through the amendment process during the House floor debate on the NDAA. Representative Banks himself revealed this strategy earlier in the week.
EXCELLENCE RECOGNIZED — Discover America’s top high schools in 2018, ranked by U.S. News & World Report.
STRUGGLING SUCCESS — Understand why there are so many gifted students who struggle academically, often overlooked by educators. Gain insight into this issue.
District and State News
TEXAS – TEA Commissioner believes that waivers reflecting the impact of Hurricane Harvey could prevent accountability sanctions against the Houston Independent School District (HISD).
FLORIDA — Some Lee County teachers are implementing a grading system known as "minimum grading" to raise low grades.
NEVADA — The Clark County trustees are reconsidering the Teach for America contract.
CALIFORNIA – There is a campaign in California to remove funding for undocumented students at schools.
NEW YORK – More than 100 schools in New York City have waiting lists for pre-K this year.
ILLINOIS – An Illinois bill proposes adding school bus service to high-crime neighborhoods.
FLORIDA – Civil rights groups urge U.S. Secretary of Education DeVos to reject Florida’s latest accountability plan.
CALIFORNIA – State Board of Education President Mike Kirst retires and reflects on the changes he has led.
NEW YORK – A study finds that a program designed to assist minority students fell short of some of its goals.
SCHOOL DESIGN — Can a school have a positive impact on a neighborhood? Explore the potential of schools to transform communities.
PERSONAL CHOICE — Analyze Cynthia Nixon’s education equality act and its potential effects on others’ educational choices.
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