Countdown: 20 Must-Read Education Stories from This Week

Teachers Strike to Prevent Educational Options, Governors Try and Fail to Shut Down School Choice, Parents Sue over School Racial Quotas and More

20. New Mexico Bill Would Allocate $100,000 for ‘Circus Arts’ Education

Sen. Nancy Rodriguez’s bill that would allocate $100,000 for “circus arts” education was ridiculed when it was filed late last month. Read Now

19. Teacher Shortage in Mississippi Leads to More Schools Using Online Learning Platforms

At the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, Mississippi needed to hire 701 certified teachers to fill all of the state’s open positions and slots currently occupied by fill-ins, including long-term substitutes. Read Now

18. Teachers Petition State to Decertify and Replace Troubled Indianapolis Teachers Union

A group of Indianapolis Public Schools teachers is petitioning the state to replace the existing union — a move that could result in a new union or no representation at all for teachers in the state’s largest district. Read Now

17. Little Rock District’s Help for Students with Dyslexia Called ‘Almost Nonexistent’ after State Investigation

Arkansas Department of Education leaders said recent audits of the district’s dyslexia and special education services showed that the dyslexia services in particular are an inadequate response to a 2013 state law. Read Now

16. AFT Teachers Union President Says Democrats Running for President Are Lining Up for an Endorsement

“Let’s just say my phone has rung a lot,” AFT president Randi Weingarten said Friday in an interview on C-SPAN. Read Now

15. Illinois Governor Proposes Shutting Down Private School Choice Program

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is formally asking lawmakers to shut down Illinois’ private school scholarship program and pour more into public schools. Read Now

14. ‘Shame on You’: Parents Erupt, Children Cry after CO District Votes to Close High-Performing Charter over Alleged Special Ed Issues

Charter school leaders said they will appeal the school board’s decision to the state. Read Now

13. Florida Senate GOP Proposes New Voucher Program with Wider Eligibility Criteria and State Funding

The Senate revealed its plan to file a major education package bill before the first week of session, which begins March 5. Read Now

12. Study Reveals the U.S. Teaching Population Is Getting Bigger and More Female

Women now make up a larger share of educators than they have in decades. Read Now

11. IL Lawmakers Want to Send Government Agents to Investigate Homeschooling Families’ Homes without Cause

A new bill introduced into the record in Illinois by state Rep. Monica Bristow would, if passed, send government agents to investigate the homes of every homeschooling family in the state. Read Now

Countdown Halftime OPINION FEATURE:

ALGER: Federal Report Finds U.S. Department of Education a Massive Failure

Bad oversight, data quality, and evaluation methodologies have plagued the department since its creation in 1867. We still don’t know what we’re getting for billions in dollars spent, besides meddlesome federal mandates. Read Now

10. Connecticut Parents Union Files Lawsuit, Says Racial Quotas for Magnet Schools Are Unconstitutional

Magnet schools are at the center of a lawsuit filed by the Connecticut Parents Union. Read Now

9. Education Department Accused of Trying to Influence Investigation of Betsy DeVos

Democrats say they’ve seen evidence of “troubling efforts” to influence investigation of Education Secretary DeVos. Read Now

8. TN Districts Fighting School Vouchers Turn in Lackluster Academic Results, State Figures Reveal

The five school systems in Tennessee that have come out to formally oppose school vouchers haven’t exactly done that great of a job preparing students for college. Read Now

7. Report: 1 in 4 High School Juniors Are Academically Ready for College, Give Them the Option to Enroll

By creating two new and improved fast track pathways for academically ready high school students, students can choose an accelerated path to college that makes sense for them. Read Now

6. NV Lawmakers Bring Back Proposal to Put $60M Towards Dormant Education Savings Account Program

In spite of daunting political odds, a group of Republicans is bringing back a proposal to put nearly $60 million toward Nevada’s controversial and dormant Education Savings Account program. Read Now

5. Chicago Teachers Union Ends Charter Strike with Deal that Includes Average Pay Raise of 35% over 4 Years

Charter officials said the agreement, reached after a two-week work stoppage that affected about 2,000 students, will cost an additional $5.5 million over the life of a deal. Read Now

4. With No Funding, Kentucky Charter School Law Flatlines — Again

That law, once heralded by Republicans for its promise to help needy families escape failing schools, has floundered on the books for two years without funding. Read Now

3. Oakland Teachers Strike after Two Years of Failed Negotiations

Teachers demanding better pay started a strike Thursday that’s expected to continue Friday and possibly longer, forming picket lines at dozens of Oakland public schools, which few students crossed to attend classes held by fill-in educators and administrators. Read Now

2. WV Teachers Unions Force Nearly 700 Schools Statewide to Close in Bid to Prevent Educational Options for Families

In their latest job action, teachers went on strike on Tuesday to protest a bill in the West Virginia legislature that would have allowed the state’s first seven charter schools to open. Read Now

1. Wisconsin Governor Won’t Seek to Phase out School Vouchers Despite Campaign Promise

Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday said he would seek to provide “more accountability and transparency” within the state’s private school voucher programs but would not include a proposal to phase them out. Read Now

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