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Portland schools join national effort to improve school results for minority boys

Portland Public Schools is one of 60 urban districts nationwide that signed on to My Brother's Keeper's mission to improve educational outcomes for black and Latino boys. Participating districts agree to spend more more on early childhood education, reduce disproportionately high school discipline rates for boys of color, provide mentoring and improve black and Latino males' access to college-prep courses.

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Washington loses bid to avoid sending out failing school letters

Washington state won’t get a pass this summer on telling parents that their kids attend failing schools, the federal government says. The U.S. Department of Education has denied Washington’s request to be exempted from that particular requirement of the federal No Child Left Behind Act since the state lost its waiver from the federal law.

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Florida school district opens first dedicated wellness center

The 5,000 employees of Leon County's school district, one of the larger employers in North Florida, will now have their first wellness center on Lively Technical School's campus. Funds for the building and equipment came from the stored Florida Blue dollars in order to save taxpayer money.

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New Calif. law restricts full-contact football practice for high school teams

A newly signed law in California will prohibit football teams at middle and high schools from holding full-contact practices that exceed 90 minutes a day, limit the number of full-contact practices during the season to two per week and prohibit contact practices during the off-season. The restrictions, which take effect January 1, 2015, are designed to help reduce concussions and other serious brain injuries.

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My Brother’s Keeper initiative gets over $100 million boost

Six months since the launch of My Brother’s Keeper — the president’s effort to address the state of young minority men — Obama announced new partnerships with public and private groups to the tune of about $104 million, including many high school outreach programs.

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Massachusetts district has spent more than $1 million on security

The city of Springfield has allocated well over $1 million for security maintenance and further enhancements recently, including equipping schools with cameras, door buzzers and other security equipment and personnel.

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Back-to-school shopping sprees are a thing of the past

Back-to-school shopping is no longer a frenzied one-day spending spree. Families are spending more, but they are doing so over a longer period of time as they search for the best deals. Families are expected to spend $670 on average on back-to-school shopping, up 5 percent from last year.

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Texas board approves paid trips to charter schools

The state Board of Education has given approval for its members to take all-expenses-paid trips touring out-of-state charter school networks seeking approval to operate in Texas. The fact-finding missions will be funded by private foundations or individual donors — not taxpayers or the charter schools themselves.

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New KIPP charter venture turns school into community hub

The KIPP charter school chain's newest campus in southwest Houston is launching a community-building model designed to break the cycle of poverty by working with other nonprofits to provide everything from good schools to health care and, ultimately, mixed-income housing.

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Iowa district's new school bus cameras questioned

Critics say newly installed stop-arm cameras on Iowa City school buses violate the city’s traffic camera ban that, when adopted in 2013, was considered rare and possibly unique nationally. At minimum, they said these cameras, which help identify motorists passing school buses illegally, violate the spirit of the law.

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