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News Update

People Watch

Vallas Heads to Conn.

After serving as superintendent in New Orleans, Paul Vallas was hired as interim superintendent at Bridgeport (Conn.) Public Schools. Vallas began on Jan. 2 and has been charged with developing a turnaround plan for the district within a year.

A Better Budget

After finding that the state’s predicted revenues were higher than originally projected due to employment gains, Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper proposed restoring $89 million to the K12 education budget next year, which he had originally planned to cut.

All Eyes on Hawaii

Hawaii’s state superintendent of education, Kathryn Matayoshi, admits the state got off to a slow start in implementing its Race to the Top plans and timelines. The state is at risk of losing $75 million in federal funds if it fails to meet further deadlines.

Social Media Policies

In July 2011, Missouri banned teachers from connecting with students via social media. Kent King, executive director of the Missouri State Teachers Association, fought the bill with the MSTA. Lawmakers have since dropped the universal ban.

Fighting Failing Schools

Failing schools and youth violence were predominant themes in Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter’s inaugural speech in January. Nutter promised to tackle both problems in his second term as an “economic imperative for [the city of Philadelphia].”