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Illinois lawmakers ready for second round on school finances debate

A plan that attempted to change the way Illinois distributes education money will appear again, with some changes, in the new Illinois General Assembly convening next week. State Sen. Andy Manar, who tried to change state law last year to send more money to poorer school districts, will submit a new bill.

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Richmond school leaders optimistic about change in start times

The push for later start times for the high school students could put the new schedules could be in place as soon as next school year. Flipping elementary and high school start times is one of the key components of Superintendent Dana T. Bedden’s plan for improving academic performance.

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Texas lawmakers to discuss school legislation

With the 84th Legislature convening next week in Texas, some of the topics up for discussion are school funding, accountability, school choice and testing. Another issue that may take center stage is a debate that's taken place over the past two decades, the start of the school year.

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New York City to lift ban on students' cellphones in schools

The city's existing rules bar cellphones and other electronic devices like iPads from school property. But in a sharp departure, new rules will allow each New York City school’s principal to work with teachers and parents to develop a cellphone policy tailored to their needs.

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Schools, Hispanic parents and communities connecting through mariachi

Chicago joins dozens of schools districts nationwide in cities like Las Vegas, San Antonio and Tucson that teach students how to sing and play mariachi music.Richard Edwards Elementary School, a largely Hispanic arts magnet school in Chicago, is one of five Chicago schools that the nonprofit Mariachi Heritage Foundation debuted in this fall.

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Fewer charter schools opened in Ohio in 2014

Only 11 new charter schools opened this school year in the entire state. The slowed growth this school year signals greater caution after a particularly tumultuous year for charters. More charter schools closed last school year in Columbus alone than opened this school year statewide.

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State offers nutrition education grants

The Idaho Department of Education is offering grants for schools to implement a hands-on educational garden program. Grants can be used to start a garden program that enhances nutrition education, classroom curriculum, and increases the understanding and awareness of foods and nutrition.

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R.I. charter schools, swamped with applications, ask permission to expand

Five charter schools are asking to add more than 900 seats in response to the continuing demand for school choice. Although charter school enrollment has become a growing presence in Rhode Island, it remains a fraction of the state’s 140,000 students with about 7,000 enrolled students.

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Idaho's school supplemental levy bill drops slightly

Idaho school districts are collecting more than $180 million in voter-approved supplemental levies in 2014-15. This represents almost a 4 percent decrease from 2013-14 mainly due to reduced levies in three of the state’s largest districts.

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Utah’s school grades show link between demographics and performance

An analysis of school grades and PACE reports shows a general connection between high-diversity and low-income school populations and lower school grades. Critics of Utah’s newest system of school grades argue that they reinforce Census tract or ZIP code data: Higher-income, less diverse schools get better marks.

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