U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Tuesday her department would give Texas schools more than $174 million in federal grant money to help with the cost of educating students displaced by Hurricane Harvey. It's part of $359.8 million in new federal grants being offered to 21 states and territories that worked with students displaced by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, as well as the 2017 California wildfires. view article arw

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced today a total of approximately $359.8 million in new federal assistance for 20 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands under the Temporary Emergency Impact Aid for Displaced Students program (Emergency Impact Aid). The program assists with the cost of educating students displaced by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria or the 2017 California wildfires. "The impact of natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires goes beyond the disaster area. The effects are felt nationwide, especially in those communities that take in displaced students and families," said Secretary DeVos. "This additional funding will ensure schools serving displaced students are able to meet their unique needs under such difficult circumstances." view article arw

ABBEVILLE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana school superintendent whose hefty pay increase led to the videotaped handcuffing of a complaining teacher has been put on paid administrative leave. South Louisiana news outlets report Jerome Puyau (PEE'-oh) was placed on leave Monday night after the Vermilion Parish School Board voted to investigate a list of complaints by his critics. Puyau has been Vermilion's superintendent since 2013.  view article arw

Former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says that political decisions about education "don't reflect" a desire to have better schools and teachers, saying that Americans "never vote on education." In his new book "How Schools Work" out on Tuesday, writes that the American education system "runs on lies." view article arw

If President Trump moves to merge the Departments of Labor and Education, as the Office of Management and Budget proposes, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos could be the nation's last education secretary. CBS News "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan will sit down on Sunday with Arne Duncan, who was education secretary under President Barack Obama, to ask him what he thinks about the possibility. Duncan is the author of a new book called, "How Schools Work." view article arw

The ability for every child to obtain a free, quality public education is a foundational principle of American society. This principle is based on the belief that everyone should be given the opportunity to learn and have an equal chance for achievement and success. While most will not dispute the value of education, some challenge the value of public education. They contend that only through competition will public schools improve, and that options such as religious schools, private schools, and charter schools run by non-profit and for-profit corporations are systemically better than public schools run by locally elected school boards. view article arw

Unlike any other state, Michigan faces potentially serious consequences for its dismal record in special education. Rather than wait for federal officials to intervene to help students, Michigan should look to other states for dramatic changes.  As reported in The Detroit News, the U.S. Department of Education singled out Michigan among the 50 states for failing to adequately serve children with special needs.  view article arw

It’s a shameful and heartbreaking mental image from the past: minority children being turned away at the schoolhouse door, denied an opportunity for a quality education for no other reason than the color of their skin. Yet that painful image of injustice is not as far in the past as you might think. In fact, it’s happening today in Hartford, Connecticut, where African-American and Hispanic children are told they cannot attend the city’s world-class magnet schools, even when there is available space. view article arw

As most of us learned early in elementary school, July 4 is remembered as the day that we celebrate U.S. independence from England. It’s a day that celebrates the liberties and freedoms we have. Regrettably for minority groups, the date is not without its ironies. For example, even with their enthusiastic patriotism, anchored in the U.S. War of Independence itself, it’s been a long, hard-fought struggle for Mexican-descent people. view article arw

North Carolina gives out public money to private and religious schools with little or no oversight. Do not be surprised that some people take advantage of the open cash register and help themselves to taxpayers’ money that should have done to public schools. This is what Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos hopes to see in every state. In the latest case of embezzlement, the former headmaster of a Christian school was indicted on multiple counts of stealing $134,000 of public money. view article arw

FBI leaders and local law enforcement officials are studying shootings in schools to piece together trends and come up with ways to prevent future violence, officials said. The FBI on Wednesday hosted a daylong seminar at its headquarters for dozens of officials to discuss common warning signs of shooters, information sharing among law enforcement and response plans by schools. view article arw

The Pentagon said Thursday that federal authorities could place up to 20,000 children in tent cities on three military installations in Texas and one in Arkansas. The Department of Health and Human Services has not settled on where to temporarily place the children, unaccompanied minors who have arrived at the Texas-Mexico border on their own, said Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. view article arw

For the last two decades, Pennsylvania’s political leaders have attempted to improve schools in Philadelphia without spending money. In 2001, Governor Thomas Ridge turned to Chris Whittle and his Edison Project to study the school system and create a reform plan. That December, the state of Pennsylvania disbanded the local school board and assumed total control of the district. Since then, citizens of Philadelphia have endured – with minimal input – a relentless school choice agenda and the loss of public schools in their neighborhoods. view article arw

The White House plans to propose merging the Department of Labor and the Department of Education on Thursday, both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Postreported. The proposal would allow the administration to focus its efforts on student vocational training under one department, according to the Washington Post Congress would need to approve any such overhaul of federal agencies.  The Department of Education was created by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, and has since been a subject of ire among conservatives.  view article arw

In contemporary education policy debates in the United States, school voucher programs and school privatization—the entry of many private for-profit corporations and nonprofit and other organizations into the education arena—are under the spotlight. Following in the footsteps of several prior administrations, the current federal administration is actively supporting vouchers and privatization as ways to expand school choice for American parents and students. Some state governments have followed suit. view article arw

The AP (6/5, Danilova) reports that in an appearance before a Senate subcommittee, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said a federal school safety commission that was created after the Parkland, Florida school shootings will not examine the role of guns in school violence. DeVos is quoted as saying, “That is not part of the commission’s charge per se.” The Post says there has been “criticism by Democrats and some educators that the panel...was focused more on distracting public attention rather than truly addressing gun violence.” The Washington Times (6/5, Munoz) reports that, “asked if the commission was comparing the rate of school shootings in other nations with the same amount of video game usage, Mrs. DeVos...responded, ‘not per se.’” Sen. Pat Leahy replied, “So, we’ll look at gun violence in schools but not look at guns. It’s an interesting concept.” 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