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Ohio school board members seek education department review

Several state school board members are calling for an independent investigation of the Ohio Department of Education and state superintendent amid concerns about the handling of charter school evaluations and the creation of a Youngstown schools plan.

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Study questions value of teacher development

Investments in ongoing training for teachers usually didn’t improve their performance, and schools should rethink how they try to bolster their teachers’ skills, according to a new TNTP study. Only three out of 10 teachers in districts that spend an average of $18,000 per teacher yearly saw their practice improve substantially over three years.

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Warwick School District going solar with $4.7 million project

The New York district has decided to invest in a solar power project that will reduce its energy costs by about $300,000 a year for the next 18 years. Its annual electricity bill is $500,000. New York state building aid will pay for 53.8 percent of the project cost.

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Judge sides with school on religious music

An Iowa Department of Education administrative law judge has sided with the New Hampton School Board when it comes to religious music performed by the school’s choirs. If the State Board of Education approves the proposed decision, the choirs can continue to sing religious songs at various events.

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Illinois again skips back-to-school sales tax holiday

Sales tax holidays are a tricky proposition. Opponents say the practice — in which sales tax charges are temporarily dropped on back-to-school items and other qualifying products — cause states to lose tax revenue.

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St. Cloud school district facing bus driver shortage

Between the four independent school bus operators that serve the Minnesota district and the small fleet of buses the district owns, an estimated 40 drivers are still needed to make sure more than 9,000 students are taken to and from school each day.

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Colorado teacher, Fremont district settle lawsuit over religion in school

A Colorado school district accused of promoting evangelical Christian ideals has reached a settlement with a Jewish teacher who filed a lawsuit in May. Changes the district has to make include a districtwide ban on prayers at any school-sponsored event, among other stipulations.

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Indiana schools suffer from teacher shortage

As many schools head back to class this week, schools are struggling to find enough teachers to fill the classrooms. The majority of Central Indiana districts said finding teachers this year has been more difficult than ever. Several schools are using substitute teachers until they fill open positions.

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Special investigation of charter-school data omissions will not be launched

A special-investigations team will not examine examine why the state Department of Education omitted some student performance data from a mandated evaluation of charter-school sponsors. The reason: The error was exposed by the state Board of Education so quickly that no public money was misspent.

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Task force created to boost high school graduation rate

The Washington D.C. Education Board is forming a task force to provide ways to increase the high school graduation rate by offering flexibility. The proposal would drop the old seat-time-based system in granting high school credit, in favor of a new process that will reward students based on knowledge and ability.

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