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Latest Education News

A collection of the most recent education journalism, curated by EWA staff. 

A collection of the most recent education journalism, curated by EWA staff. 

Latest News

Congressional Democrats Seek to Sharply Curtail Restraint, Seclusion of Students

Democrats on Capitol Hill are seeking to ban the practice of isolating students in special rooms or otherwise secluding them in schools that receive federal funds, and to limit when students can be physically restrained. 

The Keeping All Students Safe Act would also require schools to notify parents within 24 hours when their child has been physically restrained, and to require states to collect and publish data on restraint and seclusion, including reports of injuries or death. 

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Florida Voters Are Saying Yes When School Districts Ask for More Money. Is That a Good Thing?

Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins takes a clear message from last week’s election, which saw many Floridians vote to tax themselves more to help public schools meet rising costs.

People see the challenges firsthand and “they know they want better,” he said, referring to tax referendums that won approval in Hillsborough and seven other Florida school districts.

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At the State Level, Democrats Had a Good Election Night — but Not a Great One. Did #Red4Ed Fizzle?

After a spring awakening of teacher strikes, the 2018 midterms have delivered Democrats the U.S. House of Representatives and seven new governorships — including in Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Kansas, and Maine.

For observers of education and politics alike, the key questions are these: How did the #Red4Ed movement, with its swarms of T-shirted educators organizing over school funding and teacher pay, influence this year’s historic election results? And with the mini-epoch of conservative reform fading, in which direction will Democratic officeholders move policy?

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Money the Top Education Theme in State Midterm Elections

Funding was the prime education theme in this year’s state midterm elections, fueling debates over teacher pay and more money for local schools, as well as testing voters’ appetite for tax hikes to raise that money.

Now comes a reckoning for a new crop of governors who face political and structural hurdles in delivering on their promises of more school aid, as well as for teacher and other activists whose efforts to push through revenue increases fell short in several states.

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‘Education Is a Winner by a Landslide’: Teachers Cautiously Optimistic After Evers’ Win

After what one teacher described as a “a long slog” for public schools under the eight-year administration of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, public school teachers and advocates felt optimistic watching one of their own — Tony Evers — defeat Walker Tuesday night.

“It was exciting knowing that Tony was a lifelong educator,” said Reshanna Lenoir-Beckfield, a third-grade teacher at Olson Elementary School, a Madison School District school located in Verona. “We really wanted Walker gone for a long time.”

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Election 2018: NC Teachers Break GOP Legislative Supermajority

“Remember, remember, we vote in November!” teachers shouted in May as they marched on the streets of Raleigh and in the General Assembly’s gallery, drowning out state lawmakers as they opened the legislative session.

Organizers of the historic May 16 teachers march in Raleigh say the words of the protesters became reality this week when North Carolina voters elected enough Democrats to break the Republican supermajority in the state legislature.

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Wisconsin Needs $2 Billion More to Cover Programs and Schools, Report Says

Incoming Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and state lawmakers would need to come up with more than $2 billion just to keep doing what the state already does and provide a healthy increase to schools, according to a new report. 

Such a budget situation would be difficult in any year but could prove particularly tricky with split control of state government for the first sustained period since 2011.

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Democratic State Gains Could Spark More Scrutiny of Student Loan Industry

It’s not just newly empowered House Democrats who might be pushing back on Trump administration higher education policies come January. A slew of Democratic wins in state capitals in Tuesday’s elections increases the likelihood that more states will pass laws to crack down on companies collecting federal student loans — in defiance of the Trump administration’s efforts to stop them.

Democrats flipped six state legislative chambers this week, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They also picked up seven new governor’s seats.

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Two School Board Candidates Critical of IPS Win Election, Incumbents Ousted

The final absentee ballots from Tuesday’s midterm election were counted Thursday evening, sealing the victory of Indianapolis Public School board of commissioner candidates Susan Collins and Taria Slack.

The two are critics of the IPS administration and ousted incumbent first-term board members Mary Ann Sullivan and Dorene Rodriguez Hoops. Sullivan, a former board president, championed the reforms designed by IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee the past four years. 

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Wisconsin School Referendums Break Records in ‘Landslide for Public Education’

Wisconsin taxpayers voted to pour at least $1.3 billion more into their local public schools on Tuesday, raising their own property taxes in most cases to pay for it and making 2018 another record year for school district referendums.

Capping an election cycle in which education issues dominated the governor’s race, voters approved 77 referendums by school districts asking to borrow money for capital projects or exceed their state-mandated revenue limits to maintain or expand programming. They rejected just five, totaling almost $44 million.

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What’s Next for Education in Idaho? Big Changes Loom in Legislature

With the election behind, eyes are about to turn to the legislature’s organizational session next month.

That’s because what happens next for education will be shaped by leadership changes coming to the House Education Committee and the budget-writing Joint-Finance Appropriations Committee. Depending on how the dominos fall, changes could come to the Senate Education Committee as well.

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School Choice Advocates Double Down on Vouchers After Prop. 305 Loss

Less than a day after the crown jewel of their school choice policies was crushed at the ballot box, prominent school choice advocates doubled down by calling for the Arizona Legislature to promote school choice and vouchers laws. 

Both the Goldwater Institute and American Federation for Children issued statements backing school choice in the hours after voters rejected by a 65-35 margin Proposition 305, a massive expansion of school vouchers. 

Member Stories

Nov. 2 – Nov. 8
Here's what we're reading by EWA members this week

Education reporters were busy covering midterm elections this week. For The Chronicle of Higher Education, Eric Kelderman examines the consequences of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s ouster.

With a new governor soon to take the helm in Tennessee, the Commercial Appeal’s Jennifer Pignolet explores what’s next for education. 

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Parkland Activists Took on the N.R.A. Here’s How It Turned Out.

After the shooting massacre at a high school in Parkland, Fla., survivors found themselves taking on the National Rifle Association as they crisscrossed the country rallying young adults to register and vote against candidates opposed to gun control.

On Tuesday, the Parkland students got a dose of political reality.

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How Many Teachers Ran for Office in 2018?

Even before the election, pundits were calling 2018 “the year of the teacher.” 

The Christian Science Monitor and the Associated Press both said an unprecedented number of educators sought political office this year. “The teacher strikes pushed a record number of educators to run for office,” wrote Vox, in an article noting that “more than 1,000 teachers will be on the ballots across the country.”

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Immigrant Students Find Hope In Soccer, But Some States Won’t Let Them Play

 In Honduras, Carlos Chirinos-Padilla said, it was too dangerous to run. Soccer games were short and confined to the street in front of his house. Drug cartels roamed the neighborhood, he said, sometimes forcibly recruiting his neighbors, sometimes murdering them. Carlos and a group of other boys stole space and time when they could, but the violence left little room for dribbling.

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Colorado Amendment 73, Tax Increase For Public Education, Has Failed

Voters rejected Amendment 73, which would have raised money for Colorado’s public schools by increasing income, corporate and property taxes.

Great Education Colorado director and measure supporter Lisa Weil said she knew Amendment 73 would be an uphill battle.

“Adequate funding, fighting for equitable funding and making sure that every student has the opportunities they need to thrive, we know that that’s not about one day. It’s not about one election. It’s not about one year. It is a movement,” Weil said.

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Disappointment Largely Prevails for Teacher Caucus in Oklahoma

For politically active teachers and parents, the defeat of gubernatorial candidate Drew Edmondson was the night’s biggest disappointment.

There were other disappointments, too. Two sitting lawmakers who are former educators lost re-election: Rep. Karen Gaddis, D-Tulsa, and Rep. Donnie Condit, D-McAlester.

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How Teacher Unrest Failed to Shake Up the States in the Midterms

The nation’s largest teachers union declared a “major victory” in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but the reality is far more mixed and, in some cases, deeply disappointing for educators.

The #RedforEd movement that rocked some state capitals earlier this year — which unions sought to harness as thousands of educators demanded better school funding and salaries — didn’t break through in Republican strongholds.

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Dallas, Richardson and Frisco Voters Approve School Tax Increases

Voters on Tuesday approved tax ratification elections intended to raise more money for schools in Dallas, Richardson and Frisco ISDs, according to unofficial results.

The Dallas and Richardson school districts will each get an additional 13 cents on their maintenance and operations tax rate, placing it at the state maximum of $1.17.

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Walz, a Former Teacher, Wins Minnesota Governor’s Race

Timothy J. Walz, a Democrat from Mankato, will be the 41st governor of Minnesota after defeating Republican Jeff Johnson in Tuesday’s election.

“Hello, one Minnesota!” Walz, a congressman from southern Minnesota who served 24 years in the National Guard and worked as a high school teacher and coach, proclaimed in his victory speech. “Our democracy is strong tonight.”

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Arizona Proposition 305 Results: Voucher Expansion Handily Defeated

A grassroots group of parents successfully overturned the massive school voucher expansion supported by the state’s Republican establishment, as the “no” vote on Proposition 305 won by a wide margin, the Associated Press has projected. 

The “no” vote victory on Prop. 305 has major implications for the school-choice movement in Arizona and nationally, as the state has long been ground zero for the conservative issue and Republican leaders have crowned the Empowerment Scholarship Account expansion as a national template.

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Illinois’ Next Governor J.B. Pritzker Faces 8 Education Issues, Starting With Funding

Steinmetz High School in northwest Chicago, where Emily Jade Aguilar graduated last year, had just four school counselors. In a school of more than 1,200 students, that simply wasn’t enough.

“We need more mental health resources in our schools,” said Aguilar, who spent Election Day knocking on doors with Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, “to have at least a safe space for 15 or 30 minutes where I could let someone know what is going on.”

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Programmed for Success

If you’re an 18-year-old student with no children, two college-educated parents and only one task over the next four years — to get a degree — it might not be that difficult to navigate registration, find time to get to the bookstore, or stay late after class for extra help, all leading to a high likelihood that you’ll graduate.

But if you’re a single parent with a full-time job, or the first person in your family to go to college, and are perhaps attending part-time, it’s a different story.

Latest News

With a Schools Superintendent Running the State, What Lies Ahead for Wisconsin?

Wisconsin’s top school official will now take over as that state’s governor, and that could mean increases in public school funding, along with better relations with teachers and organized labor.

State Superintendent Tony Evers, a Democrat who has been elected three times to that job, declared his victory in the very close race over incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker, tweeting “A change is coming, Wisconsin.”

Evers’ supporters were ecstatic.

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In Wisconsin, Scott Walker Loses to Tony Evers

After upending Wisconsin politics and infuriating liberals across the country, Gov. Scott Walker narrowly lost his bid for a third term Tuesday to Tony Evers, the leader of the education establishment Walker blew up eight years ago. 

The Associated Press called the race for Evers about 1:20 a.m. Wednesday based on unofficial returns.

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Governors, State Chiefs, and Ballot Measures: What Voters Decided

Education spending. Teacher pay. School choice. School safety. A sitting state school superintendent challenging a sitting governor. K-12 education played a huge part in the 2018 midterm elections, especially at the state level. Here’s how election night shook out when it came to selected, high-profile races of interest to educators:

Latest News

Allegheny County Voters Veto Proposed Tax Hike to Establish $18 Million Children’s Fund

Voters across Allegheny County narrowly rejected a ballot initiative on Tuesday that would have raised property taxes by a quarter mill to funnel $18 million annually to children’s programs.

With 97 percent of precincts reporting, preliminary results showed county residents voted 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent to reject the tax hike that would have created the Allegheny County Children’s Fund. The rejection came despite a months-long, million-dollar campaign promoting the fund that was financed largely by local nonprofits.

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Miami-Dade Voters Say ‘Yes’ to Property Tax Hike to Pay Teachers, Hire School Police

Before any precincts reported — just early voting and mail-in ballots counted — Superintendent Alberto Carvalho declared victory for the Miami-Dade school referendum question.

“It’s won,” he said. The early tally was quite a divide: About 70 percent — the overwhelming majority of Miami-Dade County voters — approved a four-year property tax hike to pay teachers more and hire enough school police officers to staff every school.

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How a Tax Regulation Could Cripple School Vouchers

The IRS has proposed limiting the federal deduction of contributions made to charitable organizations. The move is an attempt by the White House to target a handful of states – most of them wealthy and Democratic – seeking a way around the limits on state and local tax deductions included the new tax overhaul.

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After the Protests, Marches and Walkouts, Will Students’ Activism Turn Out Voters?

They walked out of class by the hundreds of thousands. They spoke in front of a few fellow students in classrooms and in front of millions on television. They marched on Washington and on large cities and small towns across the country.

The demonstrations against gun violence led by high school and college students this year in many ways opened the door for a generation of young activists and participants who found their voice and tackled a scourge that had taken the lives of their peers.

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Accuracy Question Plagues Midterm 2018 Education Coverage

While we wait for the results of today’s voting, let’s take a few minutes to consider media coverage of education issues leading up to Election Day 2018.

No doubt, there has been a lot of midterm-focused education coverage in the past few weeks and months – much of it quite interesting and useful.

But it hasn’t been as accurate as it should have been at times — in particular when it comes to writing about the “record number” of educators running for office, which has become something of the dominant narrative in the last few weeks.

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Bill Lee Is Tennessee’s Next Governor. Here’s How He’ll Begin to Shape Education.

A political novice, Republican businessman Bill Lee has defied conventional wisdom to become Tennessee’s next governor. Now he’ll have to show that he can govern, too, over a state that has pioneered education reforms for a decade and climbed national rankings on student achievement.

Lee touted his outsider and business background in cruising to victory Tuesday over former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. A native of tony Williamson County, south of Nashville, he has run a 1,200-employee company there with annual revenues of $250 million.

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Care About Education? On Election Day, Watch These Races With Us

Education won’t be top of mind for all voters on Tuesday. But in some parts of the country, schools are at the heart of intense political battles.

In Wisconsin, teachers unions are hoping a former educator will oust their longtime foe, Scott Walker. In Arizona, a school voucher program is on the ballot — though school choice advocates aren’t happy about it. And across the country, local school board races, dozens of governors’ elections, and the fight for Congress are all set to shape education policy for years to come.

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Unlike in U.S., Most European Students Learn a Foreign Language

Students throughout the United States and Europe face many similar tasks throughout their education, from preparing for exams to writing papers. But there are glaring differences when it comes to foreign language education – or lack thereof – and the result is that far lower shares of American students study a foreign language.

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What Education Wonks Are Watching on Election Day

Tomorrow is Election Day, in case you haven’t been conscious lately. While education may not be a top issue driving people to the polls (according to one POLITICO/Morning Consult poll) and may have been far overshadowed by health care on the campaign trail, it has been a talker in many state and federal races.

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Survey: 18- and 19-Year-Old Voters Are Suburban, Liberal and Energized by Parkland

Young voters are in the spotlight this election as onlookers wonder if they will turn out in larger numbers than in the past. Just 22 percent of young people voted in the 2014 midterms, the lowest rate of any age group.

A new survey from the Education Week Research Center set out to better understand the youngest of youth voters, 18- and 19-year-olds. Results from more than a thousand respondents showed many young voters are suburban, identify as liberal and cite school shootings as their top concern.

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The Midterm Elections and Education: What to Watch For

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the 2018 election is on Tuesday. So what are the big issues? Which state races should you be paying attention to? What about congressional races? And what will the outcome of the election mean for the Every Student Succeeds Act and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos?

We’ve got you covered.

Republicans are expected to retain control of the Senate, although education is playing in some tight races. The massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is an especially hot issue in Florida.

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Okla. Candidates Differ on Teacher Pay in First Year

Republican Kevin Stitt wants a teacher pay increase included in next year’s state education budget, while Democrat Drew Edmondson is willing to hold off for at least a year on another salary increase for educators, the gubernatorial candidates said Wednesday.

In its proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget, the state Board of Education included $440 million in new annual spending for the school funding formula, school counselors, alternative education programs and other support services.

The department’s proposed budget does not include an increase in teacher pay.

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Teacher Residencies Train Few Teachers. California May Change That.

Sending would-be educators into schools for a year of intense, hands-on training alongside their academic coursework is a concept that’s excited a lot of people who want to improve how teachers learn to teach.

But enthusiasm for these teacher residency programs has largely outstripped their ability to expand, especially because many charge little or no tuition.