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Indiana Vouchers Prompt Thousands to Change Schools

Weeks after Indiana began the nation's broadest school voucher program, thousands of students have transferred from public to private schools, causing a spike in enrollment at some Catholic institutions that were only recently on the brink of closing for lack of pupils.

It's a scenario public school advocates have long feared: Students fleeing local districts in large numbers, taking with them vital tax dollars that often end up at parochial schools. Opponents say the practice violates the separation of church and state.

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LAUSD Launches Wellness Campaign?Are You ?In??

School lunch programs have been under a fierce attack since the wellness wave hit the nation with First Lady Michelle Obama?s Let?s Move campaign, says Dennis Barrett, director of food services at Los Angeles Unified School District. But according to Barrett, the U.S. Department of Agriculture put stricter guidelines on food, such as reduced sodium and increased portion sizes of fruits and vegetables, over five years ago.

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Miami-Dade?s 2012 Playbook for the New School Year

In August, as the back-to-school clothing and supplies were hitting the stores, Miami-Dade County (Fla.) Public Schools launched its own new ?product line of services? to its student clientele, including additional magnet schools, a conservatory for the arts, salad bars, and new technology and online digital tools for students. This ?ritual of reinvention? is a signature program of Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, as he?s unveiled similar plans each year since joining the district in fall 2008.

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Appointment as Utah District's Leader 'Novel,' 'Shocking'

OGDEN -- The Ogden School District appointed one of its own members as superintendent Monday night.

On Sept. 7, Ogden School Board member Brad Smith will become superintendent and district CEO, replacing Noel R. Zabriskie, who gave the board his notice last week and ends his job Sept. 6.

"I am excited to undertake what for me will be a great challenge," Smith said at a special meeting of the board, noting that he is a lawyer, not an educator.

"I don't perceive this as my life's calling, but I am excited."

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Atlanta District Plans to Turn Over Confidential Material in Cheating Probe

Atlanta school board members Monday voted to waive legal privacy rights in connection to a high-profile cheating scandal, a signal the district once criticized for its secrecy is now attempting to fully cooperate with a criminal investigation.

About 20 computer hard drives of information between board members, senior-level employees and staff attorneys will be turned over to the grand jury, said Superintendent Erroll Davis. The information was requested as part of two expansive subpoenas submitted by the Fulton County Grand Jury.

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Portland Public Schools Superintendent, Officials Accused Of Violating Election Laws

Eight Portland, Oreg. school officials, including the Portland Public Schools Superintendent Carole Smith, have been accused of breaking state election laws by trying to convince voters to support a $548 million construction bond.

The eight district leaders, among them the district's top lawyer and chief financial officer, all played some role in the production and distribution of materials that were biased to advocate the bond, though the materials did not provide information to voters on how taxpayers would be affected, according to the Oregonian.

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Educating a New Generation of Students about 9/11

Ten years may have passed, but the memory of Sep. 11 remains vivid in the minds of those who lived through it. Although students may have been very young or not yet born, when the World Trade Center was attacked, educators have found ways to memorialize at their schools and in their curriculum. Building fragments, particularly, have made their way around New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. A steel beam from the North Tower was delivered to Barnegat Township (N.J.) School District and will be displayed at the district?s high school.

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Celebrate the Freedom to Read During Banned Books Week

Sep. 24 to Oct. 1 is Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read and create awareness to protect access to books, says Barbara Jones, Director of American Library Association?s Office for Intellectual Freedom, the group behind Banned Books Week. Local communities across the country celebrate Banned Books Week to emphasize the importance of our First Amendment rights and give kids the opportunity to read barred stories.

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Los Angeles Unified Gives Insiders First Chance at New Charter Campuses

The Los Angeles Board of Education made a major change in its controversial, 2-year-old policy allowing charter groups and other outsiders to take over new campuses. The board unanimously agreed Tuesday to give teachers and administrators first chance at those schools.

If inside groups' plans are unacceptable, then charter operators, who mostly run schools that are nonunion, and others can apply.

The rules remain the same, however, for existing, low-performing schools; any group can compete for those campuses.

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Wisconsin Teacher Retirements Double After Cuts to Benefits and Collective Bargaining

MADISON, Wis. -- When students return Thursday for the first day of school across Wisconsin, many familiar faces will be gone, as teachers chose retirement over coming back in the wake of a new law that forces them to pay more for benefits while taking away most of their collective bargaining rights.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press under the state's open records law show that about twice as many public school teachers decided to hang it up in the first half of this year as in each of the past two full years, part of a mass exit of public employees.

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