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Louisiana public school safety lacking, federal report says

Louisiana's public schools were comparatively unsafe places in the 2011-2012 academic year, according to data released by the National Center for Education Statistics. Louisiana had the highest rate of high school students reporting they got into a fight on campus and teachers reporting they had been threatened with injury at school.

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More merging Iowa school districts on the near horizon

Another round of Iowa school district consolidation is likely in the years ahead due to dwindling rural populations and the expiration of a state provision that allows districts with declining enrollment to recoup some budget losses, state educators say. The consolidation trend is reigniting conversations about how to best serve rural students in a state that's seen significant urban migration in the past decade.

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Indiana court rules township's bus fees unconstitutional

Franklin Township Schools violated the state constitution when it discontinued bus service and arranged for an outside company to shuttle students for a fee, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The ruling, if it stands, also would prevent other school corporations from trying the same approach to solve a budget problem.

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Police can’t be school board members, W.Va. panel decides

In response to former Clarksburg police officer and new Harrison County Board of Education member Michael Daugherty's request for an advisory opinion, the West Virginia Ethics Commission has stated that police officers can’t serve on county boards of education as they already hold a public office.

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New Jersey unions sue over Gov. Christie's pension funding plan

Teacher, police and firefighter unions in New Jersey have gone to court in an attempt to block the governor's plan to slash the state's contributions to its public retirement system. The lawsuit alleges that the move to reduce pension contributions to $1.38 billion from $3.85 billion through fiscal 2015 is a violation of employees' contract rights under both the state and federal constitutions.

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New York lawmakers push bill to change specialized high school process

The New York City teachers union says it has several state lawmakers who will help push a bill that would change the extremely competitive process for getting into eight specialized high schools. Backers say the proposal will make admissions more fair at schools where few black and Hispanic students gain entry.

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Incidents of school crime and violence on the rise

The National Center for Education Statistics released its annual "Indicators of School Crime and Safety" report, finding that during the 2010-2011 school year, the number of school-related deaths was starting to decrease. However, incidents of theft and violence – including student violence against teachers – are on the rise in America's schools.

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South Carolina city board approves $404 million for 2014-2015

The Charleston County school board approved a total general operating budget of $404 million for the 2014-2015 school year, up from $382 million last year. The district had been faced with a $6 million funding gap between its initial spending plan of $407.5 million and projected revenues of $401.5 million.

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Report: 31 percent of RI schools need improvement plans

Nearly one in three Rhode Island schools are in need of improvement, while 30 schools have been recognized as “commended” for their exceptional performance, according to a report released by the Rhode Island Department of Education.

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California judge rules state's teacher tenure laws unconstitutional

A California judge ruled as unconstitutional the state's teacher tenure, dismissal and layoff laws, saying they keep bad teachers in the classroom and force out promising good ones. The court ordered a stay of the decision, pending an appeal by the state and the teachers union.

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