Control of American public schools has an increasing top-down flavor. School districts, mostly urban with lower-income students of color, are labeled “failing,” and the state or a big-city mayor takes control.
Lawmakers in Michigan are taking the lead to stop education standards developed and pushed by governors and school leaders across the country. The state House on Wednesday passed an amendment, attached to the Education Department budget, that prohibits any funding for the controversial Common Core system.
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday promised lawmakers "the battle of their lives" if they balk at his bid to overhaul state education. A day after Democratic state senators announced their differences with him over his proposal to change the way schools are funded, the governor came out swinging.
On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott signed a sweeping education bill that will revamp the state’s high school graduation requirements and place new emphasis on coursework that prepares students for high-tech careers.
The bill would require school districts to obtain written permission from parents prior to students attending “a course of instruction, a class period, an assembly, an organized school function, or instruction of any type that involves human sexual education, human sexuality issues, or information regarding sexual acts.”
A House bill that would revamp high school graduation standards and testing requirements was sent to the full Senate on Tuesday. The Senate Education Committee approved the measure after making several revisions that mirrored earlier Senate legislation on testing and graduation standards.
State Rep. Elaine Nekritz is sponsoring legislation, which she expects will come up for a vote this week in the Illinois House, aimed at strengthening the 20 mph speed limit around schools to reflect the reality that vehicle-pedestrian crashes involving children don't occur only during school hours.
Texas' Senate Education Committee on Thursday approved a private school tax credit bill that would allow about 10,000 students in low-performing schools to attend private or religious schools at state expense. The measure by Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, was approved on a 5-0 vote of the committee, with four other members who were either opposed or lukewarm to the proposal absent.
Four bills authored by House Speaker T.W. Shannon related to the issue of school safety passed full votes in the House Thursday. Speaker Shannon and President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb said they created the Oklahoma Commission on School Security in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings.
Patrick had asked DeLeo to approve an additional $131 million for early education to support higher salaries, professional development, and competitive grants to innovative programs that want to expand.
The lawsuit alleges the district discriminates "against the girls' softball players by providing superior facilities and equipment to the boys' baseball program than it provides to the girls' softball program."