current events

Maine Town Seeks Taxes from Private School

Maine's highest court will hear arguments this week on whether a private boarding school in central Maine should pay property taxes on facilities it rents to outside groups. The town of Hebron is appealing a Superior Court judgment that Hebron Academy is a "literary and scientific" institution and that most of its real estate is exempt from local property taxes.

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Neb. Officials Avoid Charges in Failure to Report Sex Abuse

Three western Nebraska school officials accused of failing to report allegations that high school wrestlers sexually assaulted a young teammate at a summer wrestling camp will not face charges, an attorney for two of the officials said Friday.

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Florida Tragedies Highlight Training Need

The accidental deaths of two special needs students from Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Fla. this year are shedding light on the need for comprehensive, mandatory emergency preparedness training for paraeducators. In October, 11-year-old Jennifer Caballero, a middle school student with Down syndrome, was found hiding under the bleachers during gym class by a coach, who two weeks earlier had complained to the assistant principal that the exceptional student education (ESE) aides were inattentive. The coach brought her to the aides, and asked them to keep an eye on her.

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Fiscal Cliff: Ky. Education, Schools Could Take Major Hit

Spending reductions caused by the fiscal cliff would be devastating for Kentucky’s public schools, officials say. According to the Kentucky Department of Education, federal funding for public schools would be reduced up to $61 mil­lion per year for the next 10 years, affecting more than 1,350 jobs and nearly 130,000 students. Higher education officials in Kentucky and Indiana also are warily eying the fiscal cliff talks.

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La. School for Dyslexic Students Approved

The state education board has granted tentative approval to a plan to establish a charter school in Baton Rouge that would serve students with dyslexia. The proposed school — called Louisiana Key Academy — would serve students afflicted with the condition, which impairs the ability to read.

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Renton (Wash.) School Boss to be Inslee’s Chief of Staff

Gov.-elect Jay Inslee is naming Renton Schools Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel as his new chief of staff, reaching outside the ranks of Olympia insiders and Capitol Hill staff to fill a position vital to his success in running state government.

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Detroit Education Bills Making Progress

Bills expanding the reach of Detroit's Education Achievement Authority to become a statewide school reform district are progressing in the Michigan Legislature's lame duck session. The House and Senate education committees Thursday adopted amended versions of the bills, but are working out details about how failing schools could leave the EAA.

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N.Y. Mayoral Hopefuls Denounce School Closings

A crowd of more than a thousand students, parents, and teachers packed First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem last night to hear mayoral hopefuls pitch their plans to improve the city's fractured educational system. The candidates continued to distance themselves from many of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's educational policies with denouncements of school closings and co-locations.

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Camden (N.J.) Board of Ed Reverses KIPP Position

The Camden N.J. Board of Education expressed its support for the KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy proposal, reversing its prior position on the matter. The board's approval of the KIPP plan was due to two board members - Sean Brown and Kathryn Ribay - changing their votes on the proposal.  Ribay said she would only support the proposal if the promise of negotiating a contract was put in writing. And so, a contract negotiation clause was added to the resolution.

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W.Va. Board of Education Reaffirms Marple Firing

Citing chronically poor student performance ratings, West Virginia's Board of Education again voted to fire Jorea Marple as state schools superintendent Thursday after fielding harsh criticism over her dismissal. Two former board members and at least seven active or retired teachers were among the 19 speakers who praised Marple, denounced her firing or called for her reinstatement during the meeting's 90-minute public comment period.

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