21 Must-Read Education Stories from This Week

A Teacher Is Sued with Her Own Dues, Statewide Teachers Strikes Gain Momentum, School Safety Bills Take Shape in Congress, and More

The most important K-12 education stories from this week:

1. WATCH: The Teachers Union Sued Me with My Own Dues

Barb Amidon, long time Washington State teacher, educates us on how state and national teachers’ unions spend teacher monies on politics without teacher knowledge or approval. Watch Now

2. West Virginia Teachers Return to the Classroom Following Nine-Day Strike

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has asked county superintendents to be flexible as they decide how to meet the requirement of having 180 days of school, saying students “have suffered enough.” Read Now

3. Oklahoma Teachers Union Sets Target Date for Statewide Teacher Walkout

“Our goals remain the same, to force the Legislature to pass a plan that provides teachers and support personnel a significant pay raise,” said Oklahoma Education Association President Alicia Priest. Read Now

4. Arizona Teachers Wear Red in Call for Higher Pay As Talks of Statewide Strike Grow

A group of Arizona teachers organized the #RedForEd effort — which has spurred talks on social media of a possible strike — over the weekend. Read Now

5. FL Legislature Passes Bill Requiring 50% of Eligible Teachers Be Members for Unions to Be Certified

Supporters said the rule was a common sense measure to ensure teachers unions accurately represent the will of the majority. Read Now

6. WATCH: The Case That May Usher in More Changes for Teachers Unions

Choice Media’s Bob Bowdon reports on the potential consequences of another lawsuit in support of teachers’ rights of freedom of association, Yohn v. California Teachers Association. Watch Now

7. Trump Revives Familiar Debate on Video Game Violence

Trump is turning the spotlight to video games as part of his attempt to focus attention on mental health after last month’s mass shooting in Florida. Read Now

8. Senator Lamar Alexander Introduces School Safety Bill with Focus on Mental Health

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander introduced legislation Wednesday that would make more funding available for school counselors and increase safety infrastructure. Read Now

9. Senator Orrin Hatch Introduces Bill to Provide Training to Prevent Violence in Schools before They Start

The bill would extend grants to train students, school personnel, and law enforcement to be aware of red flags associated with violence and ways to intervene so people do not cause harm to themselves or others. Read Now

10. Senator Marco Rubio: Obama-Era Discipline Policy May Have Contributed to FL School Shooting

At issue is a “Dear Colleague” letter and guidance from the previous administration, issued in 2014, which aimed to stem the school-to-prison pipeline by prodding schools to reduce the number of suspensions and expulsions. Read Now

11. Betsy DeVos Rips State Ed Chiefs for Lack of Creativity in ESSA Plans

The education secretary said she was looking for more creativity from the nation’s schools chiefs and that they were not taking advantage of the historic flexibility the law gives them. Read Now

12. Teachers Criticize DeVos on Twitter for Using Stock Photo to Depict What Classrooms Look Like

DeVos tweeted an image of an older classroom next to what appears to be a stock photo of a current classroom, with the caption, “Does this look familiar?” Read Now

13. After Website Fix, 33,000 Students Sign Up for Illinois Private School Choice Program

In less than 30 minutes, tens of thousands of students were put in the queue to get tuition assistance through Illinois’ Invest in Kids program, the state’s first private school scholarship fund. Read Now

14. Bill Expanding School Choice in Florida Heads to Governor

More sweeping changes are headed toward Florida’s public schools, including the use of sales-tax credits to help students attend private schools. Read Now

15. Idaho House Passes Private School Choice Bill

The bill would allow students who are at risk, from low-income families, have special needs, or children of military members to receive a scholarship. Read Now

16. Mom Offers Stunning Description of a Smartphone App’s Risks to Kids

My daughter is ten. She wants me to download the app on my phone so she can make funny lip-sync videos. Everyone has it, she whines, even the kid whose mom is an FBI agent/social worker/pediatrician/nun. Read Now

17. How Ideology and Wishful Thinking at the Washington Post Made It Miss the DC Public School Scandal

The Post’s troubling tendency towards feel-good coverage and a revolving door of reporters obscured what many describe as an ‘open secret’ in DC public schools. Read Now

18. NYC’s New Schools Chancellor Already Facing First Controversy

De Blasio’s first choice for chancellor, Miami schools chief Alberto Carvalho, abruptly turned down the gig last week after agreeing to replace retiring Carmen Fariña. Read Now

19. Case over Constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s Education Funding System Back in Court

The lawsuit challenging Pennsylvania’s school-funding scheme continued its slow climb through the legal system Wednesday with oral arguments before the Commonwealth Court in Philadelphia. Read Now

20. NC Charter Board Member Claims Traditional District Schools Are ‘Milking’ School Lunch Program

Traditional district schools are accused of serving subsidized meals to students who don’t need them – such as children of doctors and lawyers. Read Now

21. Zuckerberg, Wife Donate $30M to Literacy Initiative That Diagnoses Reading Problems before Kids Can Read

Their philanthropic investment company is funding a major initiative to help struggling readers by applying personalized learning to children’s literacy. Read Now

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