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Articles: Laws

Educators know that most dyslexic students will need interventions and accommodations throughout school, but best practices continue to evolve as more is learned about this reading disability.

Many states have enacted laws and guidelines spelling out how schools can help students with dyslexia.

Such laws vary by state.

According to understood.org, a website on learning and attention issues founded by 15 nonprofit organizations, they generally address issues such as:


Link to main story: How schools are disrupting dyslexia

States that require recess in elementary school

Connecticut: 20 minutes of supervised recess daily, preferably outdoors

Indiana: Daily physical activity that may include the use of recess

Missouri: Minimum of one 20-minute recess period


Link to main story: Lawmakers requiring more recess in schools

Many schools offering recess provide 15 to 25 minutes of unstructured play daily. (Gettyimages.com: monkeybusinessimages).

A small but growing number of states are requiring school districts to provide recess. Pending legislation in Massachusetts would require schools to provide at least 20 minutes of daily recess in K5.

SHORTAGE SOLUTION?—The Vail School District in Arizona has taken advantage of a new state law that allows it to hire instructors who have expertise in certain fields but who don’t have traditional teaching credentials.

Fourteen teachers in Utah’s Ogden School District reached the classroom via a nontraditional, perhaps looser route.

The Illinois State Board of Education will determine each district’s financial status before distributing funds, in light of the revamping of state education funding. (Gettyimages.com: frankramspott).

Illinois has revamped state education funding to provide extra support to economically challenged K12 districts.

With U.S. businesses of all sizes competing on the global stage, foreign language classes—and the teachers who teach them—are vanishing from K12 schools.

Only about 10 percent of the U.S. population speaks a language other than English proficiently, and just 15 percent of public elementary schools offer language instruction, according to The American Academy of Arts and Science.

Curious to know what you can and cannot teach in a religious studies class in primary, middle, and secondary schools?

You can find a few resources below.

The First Amendment Center offers an extensive collection of papers, books and other materials for educators to know what they can and cannot do, by law, in public schools.


Link to main story: Schools are teaching, not preaching

CONTENT CHECK—Jodi Ide, a teacher at Brighton High School in Utah,  says  parents have never complained about  the content in her world religion class—and no students have ever changed faiths. (Deseret News / Laura Seitz).

Teaching about religion is not only permissible, but is gaining traction as a way to promote greater understanding in a world of conflicting dogmas.

Laura Carno is the founder and executive director of FasterColorado.com, an organization that provides firearms training to school staff who are authorized as armed first responders. Deborah Gordon Klehr is the executive director of the Education Law Center in Pennsylvania.

As more states consider allowing staff to be armed in the classroom, we present two perspectives.

Here are five strategies that school administrators are adopting to support the rising demand for special education.

In just the last few months, several districts and states have eliminated tests and cut assessment time to make room for instruction and reduce stress.

Maine led the nation in 2012 in becoming the first state to require that students demonstrate proficiency in academic areas to earn a high school diploma. (Gettyimages.com: qingwa).

Eighth-graders in Maine in the 2017-18 school year will be the first to adhere to proficiency-based standards.

Districts faced with hard-to-fill vacancies—in math, science and bilingual education, among other subjects—look for candidates abroad, often with help from recruiting agencies

The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), which helps schools find resources to teach the subject, is among several organizations campaigning for state bills that would mandate media literacy instruction in public schools. 

“The goal is not to create cynical people who don’t trust anything—it’s about creating informed skeptics,” says Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, NAMLE’s executive director. “The core is prompting learners of all ages to think critically and immediately ask, ‘Oh, how do you know that’s true?'”

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