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Articles: Business & Finance

It’s no surprise that school districts are as vulnerable to fraud as the private sector or any other segment of government. Crimes in districts include collusion with outside vendors who provide kickbacks to employees, misuse of district-issued credit cards, embezzlement of district funds, and theft of district property.

As a student at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in North Plymouth, Minn., Grant couldn’t decide which he liked better, OxyContin or cocaine, so he took a lot of each. “My mom always told me I was a brilliant scholar when I was sober, but most of the school days I was pretty much up in the clouds,” he recalls.

Notification systems—which use the Internet to enable school administrators to make and send thousands of automated phone calls, text messages and e-mails in minutes—are expanding in popularity in school districts across the country.

It was June 1979 when I became a reporter for my hometown newspaper in Alabama. From the time I was a kid following my grandfather around cotton fields and talking politics with the farmers, it was all I had wanted to be.

In Fort Lauderdale in March, students and teachers were in shock following the news that a three-vehicle accident involving a semi-trailer truck had killed a Broward County Public Schools fourth-grade teacher, as well as injuring her four grandchildren and another teacher. Numerous parents, staff and students passed the scene of the accident, and rumors began flying.

At times such as this, administrators need to have procedures in place to stifle rumors and help the school community manage its grief. These tips can help.

Pitsco’s green projects and products, Lexmark’s paper program, and Lutron Electronics’ Greenovation program are just a few curricular ideas that K12 classrooms are using to help districts save energy and teach students to help save the environment.

I’ve often wondered what the response would be if we asked the kids in our schools to reflect on how their teachers learn. Not on how much they know or how creative they might be, but on how they learn—what their process is,what their passions are. My guess is that few if any of those teachers have made their own learning transparent to their students to any great degree.

With public school districts under more pressure than usual in today’s recessed economy to boost revenue and reduce operational expenses, health benefits have become a prime target in union contracts.

 

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) may be the greatest discovery of the 21st century in understanding the physical makeup of living organisms. It’s also known as genetic code, since it contains the instructions to create a complete functioning organism.

 

The federal stimulus package provides badly needed aid to school districts, allowing them to avoid massive staff and teacher layoffs and injecting them with a healthy dose of funds for many programs ranging from technology to renovation work.

When Tim Marquez graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in the Denver Public Schools, he was clueless on how to get college scholarships. He eventually attended the Colorado School of Mines, where he received a degree in petroleum engineering and became highly successful.

In 2006, he decided to give back to his city by establishing a $50 million challenge grant (it meets every dollar that Denver schools raise) to provide every needy student who applies with a scholarship of up to $6,000 for as long as five years to any Colorado-based university.

 

In 2006, Secaida D. Howell was nearly the 10th superintendent in as many years to lead Bamberg School District Two in Denmark, S.C. He inherited antiquated policies, teacher certifications falling through the cracks, and waning student achievement.

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