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Chicago school system under federal investigation

Federal authorities are investigating Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and a $20.5 million contract the district awarded on a no-bid basis to a training academy that formerly employed her.

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L.A. school district looking for refund from Apple

LAUSD is seeking to recoup millions of dollars over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads. The district's board of education authorized its attorneys to explore possible litigation against Apple and Pearson, the company that developed the curriculum as a subcontractor to Apple.

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Florida governor signs bill to scale back testing

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that seeks to cut testing in Florida's public schools. The bill was passed by the Florida Legislature last week, in response to a too-much testing outcry from teachers and parents across the state.

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Vermont eases off school mergers

The Vermont Agency of Education's deputy secretary told lawmakers that the agency wanted to back away from mandatory components of the state's education reform bill, which passed the House last month. The agency wants to pursue voluntary steps toward school district consolidation.

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Maryland city's school leader proposes budget of $1.3 billion

Baltimore city schools CEO Gregory Thornton proposed a $1.3 billion budget that includes fewer central office staff and 40 more classroom teachers. The central office's budget will decrease by $17.8 million through cost-cutting and departmental reorganizations and by cutting 120 funded positions.

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First Katrina state takeover school returns to New Orleans control

After more than nine years after the Louisiana Recovery School District took over 100 New Orleans schools, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the contract Martin Luther King Jr. Charter has signed with the Orleans Parish School Board.

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Iowa school district gives all employees pink slips

The state's schools have to submit certified budgets this week for the next school year, but state lawmakers still haven't agreed how much money those schools can spend. This has prompted one school district to prepare for the worst case scenario by giving all its employees pink slips.

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Los Angeles school district approves plan for all-girls schools

For the first time, LAUSD will open two all-girls' schools next fall. One will be a science-oriented school overseen directly by LAUSD while the other will be an independently operated, district-authorized charter school.

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Texas House approves heart exams for high school athletes

The Texas House gave preliminary approval to HB 767, which requires students to receive an electrocardiogram (EKG) before they can play high school sports. The new legislation adds an EKG test to student athletes' required health assessments before the first and third year of participation.

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Latest round of Florida's computerized school testing goes 'smoothly'

Florida school districts resumed computerized testing this week without a hitch. The issues that plagued students as they took the Florida Standards Assessments writing exams a month ago — such as not being able to log in or being knocked out of tests — did not recur.

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