What is known about the Valentine’s Day slayings at a South Florida high school suggests the carnage was planned with chilling precision: The alleged shooter — armed with an assault-style weapon — pulled a fire alarm and waited as his victims began pouring into the halls. view article arw

Dallas ISD said Thursday, in an effort to ease the uncertainty that many families throughout the county, including those in Dallas ISD, face due to the recent changes to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), Dallas ISD launched a web page with resources and information for those who are impacted. view article arw

A Louisiana middle school teacher arrested at a school board meeting during an altercation caught on camera this week said she is "appalled" that her "voice was silenced." "I planned to hear concerns or watch a vote take place about the superintendent's contract," Deyshia Hargrave, an English language arts teacher at Rene A. Rost Middle School in Kaplan, Louisiana, recounted in a Facebook video posted by Louisiana Association of Educators today. "My voice was silenced during audience concerns for the superintendent. By silencing my voice, they've also taken away, or tried to take away, my first amendmentright to speak. And I'm appalled at this and you should be too." view article arw

The city deputy who handcuffed and arrested a Louisiana teacher during a school board meeting caught on video this week was sued in 2012 for alleged excessive force against a 62-year-old man, according to court records. Reginald Hilts was accused, along with another officer, of shoving retired police officer Bruce Falcon, 62, up against a building and slamming his head on a concrete slab during a city ordinance dispute about overgrown grass on a lot in September 2011, according to the lawsuit.  view article arw

About 100 people rallied Thursday in Abbeville, La., in support of an elementary school teacher who was forcibly handcuffed and removed from a school board meeting Monday night after questioning a superintendent’s pay raise. Waving signs heralding free speech and chanting “Stand by Deyshia,” supporters gathered in light rain on behalf of Deyshia Hargrave, whose removal from the meeting was captured in a video that attracted national attention. view article arw

The Louisiana teacher whose widely viewed arrest at a school board meeting sparked online outrage has returned to work even as fallout from the incident rages on. Gov. John Bel Edwards said he saw nothing on videos of Deshia Hargrave's arrest that warranted her rough treatment. Meanwhile, the superintendent of Vermilion Parish Schools said he, his staff and his family have received death threats. Hargrave returned to the classroom Wednesday. The local prosecutor said he won't pursue charges against Hargrave, who was appalled by her treatment and grateful for support from students, parents and others. A rally of support for the teacher was planned Thursday afternoon. view article arw

The School Improvement Grant program may be toast, thanks to the Every Student Succeeds Act, which scrapped dozens of education programs. But that doesn't mean the money is gone. Some states still have SIG dollars, which last went out in fiscal year 2016, available to spend. So what can they do with that money? States and districts essentially have two options, according to a letter sent to states this week from Jason Botel, the acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education. view article arw

A Louisiana teacher who was handcuffed and arrested during a school board meeting said she was still shaken two days later — and is still waiting for an apology. "I was seriously panicked. I've never been handcuffed in my life,” middle school teacher Deyshia Hargrave said in an interview with NBC News. Hargrave was handcuffed, arrested and booked into jail after bringing up the issue of teacher salary and a raise that was included in a new contract for the district superintendent during a Vermilion Parish School Board meeting on Monday. view article arw

New funding data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows Oklahoma remained 48th in the nation in per-student education spending.  Oklahoma's per-student spending is $1,668 behind the regional average of $9,744. A year ago, the regional gap was at about $1,500. (Region includes Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas.) "This isn't difficult math. We're striving to compete with neighboring states for jobs and businesses while failing to keep pace with their investments in education," said Shawn Hime, executive director of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.  view article arw

If you're like most Americans, you don't have a 529 college savings plan. If you're like most Americans, you don't even know what it is. All the more reason to keep reading. That's because, with the new tax law, Republicans have made important changes to 529 plans that will affect millions of taxpayers, not just the ones saving for college. Before that news, though, a quick primer. view article arw

This article is old but contains useful information.- js  Congressional Republicans, traditional defenders of states’ rights, will deliver an unexpected one-two punch to state tax systems if the current version of their tax bill becomes law as expected.  The tax plan, negotiated behind closed doors, includes an expansion of 529 savings accounts and the partial elimination of state and local tax deductions. These changes will provide new avenues for people to avoid state income tax that states never envisioned. And those states will have a hard time making up the difference.  The first blow would come from expanding 529 college savings accounts, which offer tax advantages to encourage families to save money for college, to cover K-12 expenses, such as private school tuition and home schooling costs. view article arw

Promotion of religion is "engrained" in a Louisiana school district, a parent said in a federal lawsuit, and her family has been shunned and criticized for objecting to religious activities. Christy Cole's lawsuit seeks a court declaration that the Webster Parish School District's practices are unconstitutional, and an order blocking them and retaliation against her family. "The Coles have been hissed at, shunned, and had their religious beliefs questioned by school officials," said the lawsuit, filed Monday in Shreveport. "The family has been made to feel like outsiders and second-class citizens within the school community because they object to the schools' religious activities." view article arw

An Oklahoma superintendent resigned Tuesday amid an investigation of accusations that several school administrators failed to promptly report the sexual assault of a 16-year-old football player by several teammates. Bixby Schools Superintendent Kyle Wood resigned at a special school board meeting as pressure has mounted from some community members who have previously blasted board members for refusing to take any action on the assault case. Wood had been superintendent for more than 11 years, overseeing one of the state's largest school districts with more than 6,000 students and a powerhouse football program that's captured three state championships in the past four years.  view article arw

Two more students died Friday from their injuries after a regional train sliced open a school bus in southern France, bringing the overall death toll to six. Authorities in the Pyrenees-Orientales region announced the new deaths a day after the horrific crash at a crossing close to the Spanish border. French media said the dead were two 11-year-old girls. view article arw

TALLAHASSEE — School voucher advocates on Wednesday recommended increased oversight of private schools that take state-backed scholarships, including more campus visits by state inspectors, new rules aimed at preventing schools from falsifying fire inspections and requiring more schools to turn in financial reports.  The suggestions came during a House education subcommittee hearing prompted by an Orlando Sentinel investigation in October that examined how the state is sending nearly $1 billion this year to 2,000 private schools that operate with little oversight. view article arw

The Ohio Supreme Court said on Wednesday it will not temporarily halt the state's efforts to recoup $60 million from one of the nation's largest online charter schools, which says it could soon be forced to close in the middle of the school year. The state reduced monthly payments to the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow to start recouping money while ECOT challenges how the Ohio Department of Education tallied student logins to determine the school was overpaid. ECOT has said it will run out of cash and close in early 2018 if the court doesn't intervene, noting that it doesn't have the "safety net" of local tax dollars that traditional public schools receive. The school said such a closure would affect almost 12,000 students and eliminate over 800 jobs. view article arw

While some are saying a Colorado teacher’s allegedly threatening notes to his students should be taken as a joke, others, including the school district, want the matter taken seriously. Kris Burghart, an eighth-grade teacher at Otho E. Stuart Middle School in Commerce City, CO, was placed on administrative leave starting Tuesday. view article arw

A new anti-voucher majority on a suburban Denver school district board voted Monday night to eliminate a program enacted by an earlier conservative-dominated board to help public school students attend secular and religious schools with taxpayer-funded vouchers. The Douglas County school board voted on a resolution to end the voucher program and years of litigation that reached the U.S. Supreme Court and reflected the national debate over publicly-funded school choice. view article arw

Schools looking to implement social-emotional learning programs have several funding options available to them through the Every Student Succeeds Act, according to a new report, which identifies 60 evidenced-based programs that fit ESSA requirements. view article arw

Despite recent signs of gradually increasing spending on schools, many states today are devoting significantly less money to K-12 education that they were nearly a decade ago. That’s the conclusion of a new analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which finds that in 29 states, total state funding per student on K-12 education—when adjusted for inflation—remains lower than it was during the 2007-08 school year, before the “Great Recession” took hold. view article arw

A self-described political “rookie” and “huge” supporter of Donald Trump from North Richland Hills announced Thursday he will join the field of GOP candidates challenging Texas Republican Ted Cruz in the March primary. “I’m a huge Trump supporter and I plan to support Trump’s America First agenda,” said Thomas Dillingham, 43, a technology professional and father of three, who has worked for the Birdville school district. view article arw

Backers of Arizona's sweeping new universal school voucher law are set to face off in court with opponents who collected enough signatures to block it until the November 2018 election. Voucher supporters argue that problems with the referendum asking voters to overturn the law mean it should be thrown out and the law allowed to take effect. Lawyers representing the grassroots group that collected signatures over the summer say voucher supporters have no right to sue. They will ask a judge Friday to dismiss the lawsuit. view article arw

Education officials in Texas put a lot of work into the Every Student Succeeds Act state plan that they submitted to the Department of Education. We can all learn from what they included and what they chose not to include.  The Texas plan is supported by the strategic priorities of the Texas Education Agency (TEA). These priorities include: (1) recruiting, supporting, and retaining teachers and principals; (2) building a foundation of reading and math; (3) connecting high school to career and college; and (4) improving low-performing schools. TEA acknowledges these priorities require support and therefore list three prerequisites referred to as “enablers” for effective implementation of these strategies. These enablers include: (1) increased transparency; (2) ensuring compliance; and (3) the strengthening of organizational foundations. view article arw

There is a growing and disturbing trend of anti-intellectual elitism in American culture. It's the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility. Susan Jacoby, author of The Age of American Unreason, says in an article in the Washington Post, "Dumbness, to paraphrase the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, has been steadily defined downward for several decades, by a combination of heretofore irresistible forces. These include the triumph of video culture over print culture; a disjunction between Americans' rising level of formal education and their shaky grasp of basic geography, science and history; and the fusion of anti-rationalism with anti-intellectualism."  view article arw

A Mississippi school district has been ordered to desegregate its schools after what the Justice Department called a five-decade-long legal battle. The Cleveland School District, about two hours northwest of Jackson, was told that it must consolidate its schools in order to provide real desegregation for students in the city of about 12,000. view article arw