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Weekly News Round-Up for January 12th
posted by: Melissa | January 12, 2018, 07:38 PM   

Each week, PACE brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, we find the news our members really want to see. This week, a teacher gets arrested for asking a question, parents complain about conditions in Baltimore schools, school funding inequalities, and more.

Louisiana Teacher Arrested During School Board Meeting: A teacher from Vermillion Parish in Louisiana was arrested for asking a question during a school board meeting. The teacher was upset that the superintendent was getting a raise when teacher salaries in the district had remained the same for several years. Although the teacher was given permission to speak, she was later ruled out of order and a marshal asked her to leave the room. After the teacher complied, she was handcuffed and arrested. The incident caused a backlash against the school board, including calls for the school board president to resign and an investigation by the local marshal’s office. The teacher and others claim that the action was unlawful since she was not being disruptive and that it was an infringement of her first amendment rights.

School Conditions Cause Backlash in Baltimore: Parents in Baltimore City Schools showed up in force to a school board meeting after frigid cold temperatures caused schools across the district to have issues with heating and water. Parents claimed that the issues were not new, but had been ongoing for quite some time and called for the district and state to take immediate steps to repair school facilities. The conditions have caused many students to be out of school for the past week, but schools are expected to reopen on Monday.

New Report Shows Continued Inequality in U.S. Schools: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report on the long-standing funding inequities in the U.S. school system. The report says that too many schools are segregated along racial and economic lines, leading to vast differences in the amount that they get for funding. The largest amount of funding goes to schools where students are largely affluent due to school funding being reliant on property taxes. These funding disparities mean that students who are likely to need more support are likely in schools with less funding, leading to greater differences in outcomes for the country’s K-12 students. The report calls on states and the federal government to adopt new financing systems that treat all schools equally.

Report Highlights Weaknesses in Tennessee Teacher Screening: A review conducted by the Tennessee Comptroller’s office found that the state did not do nearly enough to prevent teachers accused of abuse from finding employment in schools. The report found dozens of loopholes where teachers fired from one district could slip through the cracks and find employment in another. This is a key area of concern that states must address in their ESSA plans. The state board of education has put emergency rules in place as it struggles with how to handle the licensure of accused teachers however these rules will expire in March.

Happening Elsewhere:

Teacher Fired After School Discovers His Ties to White Nationalist Richard Spencer

Teacher v. Trump: How an Educator’s Lawsuit (Temporarily) Halted the President’s DACA Repeal

Charter schools get a bad rap, says new leader of state association

Washington tops U.S. in new certified teachers

Walker Supports Proposal To Raise Taxes For Low-Spending Schools

Educators, disability-rights advocates say Teacher Protection Act will widen school-to-prison pipeline

Feds say Texas illegally failed to educate students with disabilities

Republican senator proposes more oversight for state voucher schools

Fla. teachers failing & frustrated: Lawmaker files bill after historic failures on competency exam

Abstinence is being pushed as the 'expected standard' for Kentucky's school-age kids

Ohio schools find hundreds of water fixtures with lead

New school transparency tool launched in Michigan

Armed Standoff That Closed New Jersey Schools Ends With Suspect Dead

Wisconsin school apologizes for homework asking students to list three good reasons for slavery

Boy found dead in Arizona elementary school bathroom

When a Dallas school needed volunteers to stand in for dads, 600 men showed up

10 former teachers accused of "improper relationships" with students at N.Y. school

Teacher who made lynching comment will undergo training

What’s going on where you are?

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