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Pennsylvania House cancels vote on cigarette tax to help Philadelphia schools

The Pennsylvania House suddenly canceled a vote scheduled this week on a proposed Philadelphia cigarette tax to benefit Philadelphia public schools. The $2-per-pack tax, if passed by the state legislature, was expected to provide about $45 million in funding for the School District of Philadelphia.

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Dispute over grants for longer school days leaves schools in limbo

Plans to lengthen the school day at eight low income middle schools are now hanging in the balance because of a dispute between city and state officials. The schools counting on nearly $8 million in “extended learning time” grants have been told the money is in danger of being withheld because the city’s application didn’t comply with state contracting rules.

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Suspensions in Maryland county's high schools continue to fall

While Montgomery County Public Schools have been looking at suspensions overall, the disproportionate numbers between ethnic and racial groups created a focus. The number of black and Hispanic high schoolers suspended from school fell again in the second half of this past school year. School officials attributed the drop, in part, to professional development for staff that focused on race and equity.

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City council committee puts the brakes on charter school expansion

New York City has no control over charter schools even though they are given $13,000 per student by the district, according to the city's Education Committee.Stressing a lack of oversight and accountability, an investigation into harsh discipline, rigged admissions and other allegations needs to be completed, reads a letter the committee will send to the state.

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Ohio high school students to take ACT or SAT for free

This fall's Ohio high school freshmen can take the ACT or SAT for free when they're juniors, courtesy of the state. It's one of many K12 education changes, including new graduation requirements for the class of 2018.

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Arizona's credit posture dims from ruling on school aid

A recent court ruling that resets education spending in Arizona will hurt the state's creditworthiness a bit but could improve that of various school districts. Moody's Investors Service didn't announce any upgrades or downgrades as a result of a Superior Court ruling earlier this month that requires the state to increase school funding by $317 million, starting this fall.

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School vouchers can go out ahead of ruling in North Carolina

A North Carolina judge won't block a state agency from distributing taxpayer money to cover private school tuition in advance of a hearing to determine whether the program is legal. The State Educational Assistance Authority will be paying out $10 million in government-funded scholarships to students who won a lottery for tuition assistance to attend private or religious schools.

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Des Moines drops most middle school advanced classes

Advanced English and science classes will no longer be offered in the Iowa system's middle schools this year, a move that has some parents concerned that top performers won't be challenged. Instead, students will have the option to complete honors-level assignments in all subjects within general education classrooms.

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Report spotlights New York City school failures

A new report from the Families for Excellent Schools charter advocacy group found that in nearly a quarter of New York City public schools, 90 percent or more of the students failed to demonstrate proficiency in language arts and math. The study analyzed test data on the New York City Department of Education website.

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More charter school allegations in Ohio

State Auditor Dave Yost’s special audit of a chain of 19 charter schools is expected to cover new allegations by Innovation Ohio about test scores from the Horizon Science Academy High School in Columbus. The Ohio Department of Education will have a look as well.

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