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Articles: Budget

Jennifer Spring, superintendent of Cohoes City School District near Albany, New York, received a phone call from a local senior center in fall 2016 inquiring if any of her high school students could help senior citizens learn technology.

Since January 2017, junior and senior honors student have spent about an hour each Tuesday afternoon helping seniors set up laptops, operate smartphones, archive digital photos and organize email inboxes.

Richard Culatta, a longtime ISTE member and past recipient of the ISTE “Making IT Happen” award, is the new CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education.

Richard Culatta is the new CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education.

Years ago, educators at Fremont Middle School in Illinois provided students with engaging projects. But not until the 2015-16 school year did teachers have designated areas where students could work on assignments comfortably or have access to digital technology. 

Nearly 4,000 K12 schools have been fitted with solar installations as of 2014, according to the “Brighter Futures” report for the U.S. Department of Energy, based on data from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Every morning, principals in the West Bridgewater School District in Massachusetts get on the PA system to lead students through a few minutes of mindful breathing exercises.

Six Springfield, Massachusetts, middle schools, flagged as close to failing by the state two years ago, seized an unusual opportunity to run themselves.

After the Great Recession, the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township in Indianapolis knew it had to prepare students for a new world of work skills and knowledge.

Pre-K programs for students with special needs vary widely in quality and scope. Some states and districts have long included students with special needs in pre-K classes alongside their more typically developing peers.

SCHOOLS SOURCE: Pew Research Center, "Overall Number of U.S. Immigrants Holds Steady Since 2009"

School districts in Los Angeles and other sanctuary cities are bracing for an impact from President Trump’s executive order to withhold federal support from sanctuary cities.

Metro Nashville Public Schools has 25 data specialists and managers considering data. Even one person focused on data is a step forward. (GettyImages.com: Alex Doubovitsky)

K12 education lags behind U.S. business and industry when it comes to using data to improve outcomes, says a 2016 report by the Center for Data Innovation.

SEAT BELTS MAKE THEM SIT—New Hanover County Schools in North Carolina is adding seat belts to some buses as part of a state study. Ken Nance, transportation director, says just having students staying put in their seats reduces distractions to bus drivers, two of whom are pictured above.

More districts are adding seat belts to their bus fleets, following the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s 2015 recommendation that “every child on every school bus” needs a seat belt. 

Interest in virtual reality is becoming an increasing reality in public schools as ed-tech companies offer more cost-effective devices.

As we face a new year with a new president, Newsletter Editor Ariana Fine looked back on 2016 to consider the biggest and most influential stories in K12 education. 

James Sullivan is a director in the dispute advisory practice at Sikich LLP, and is the former inspector general for the Chicago Board of Education.

Even as school districts try to allocate more resources for the classroom, state and local financial struggles limit available funds and increase the pressure on districts to get more done with less. Still, at a time when financial responsibility should be paramount, misconduct remains far too common.

The number of children enrolled in schools has risen by about 1.1 million since the recession. (Click to enlarge)

Schools still feel the effects of post-recession budget cuts eight years after the economic crisis reached its zenith. A study by the Center on Budget and Policy Studies showed that 25 states in 2014 were spending less per student than before the recession.

Superintendent Michael Kuzniewski has increased graduation, testing and proficiency rates.

For decades, the J. Sterling Morton High School District in the Chicago suburbs was in bad shape. In 2008, when Michael Kuzniewski became superintendent, he vowed to change all that, with help from a new school board.

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