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School districts have been planning for the 2020-21 school year with a growing consensus that the most likely scenario would be a mix of in-school and virtual learning. But now, with coronavirus infection rates rising, South Carolina’s top education official says reopening school buildings will be “extremely difficult” if a rise in covid-19 cases is not stemmed — and other states are likely to be in the same position.South Carolina State Superintendent Molly Spearman just released final recommendations for districts to consider as they plan for the new school year even as the state is experiencing a sharp rise in covid-19 cases. More than 1,000 were reported on Monday, adding to a sharp spike in June. view article arw

Palisades Charter High School has a lot of history. When launched in 1961, it was the most expensive high school in the LA City School system. The state grabbed the farm property through eminent domain; previous residents included the daughter if Francis X. Bushman, and Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. Members of the Class of '65 were the basis for What Really Happened to the Class of '65?. By 1989, 20/20 aired an episode about the school, characterizing the school as both high academic performance and high drug and alcohol abuse. view article arw

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is planning to pull federal support for some coronavirus testing sites across the nation at the end of the month, including seven in Texas, where confirmed cases of COVID are spiking.  An array of Texas officials from the city of Houston to the state legislature and Congress are urging the White House to rethink the move, warning of “catastrophic cascading consequences” of pulling federal support for testing sites, four of which are in Harris County and administer thousands of tests per day. Houston officials say the sites won’t close, but keeping them open without federal help will drain much-needed resources as the city works to expand testing and build a contact tracing network. view article arw

The nonprofit, nonpartisan “In the Public Interest” joined forces with Parents United for Public Schools in Oakland to investigate whether charter schools in that city were double-dipping, taking public school money and also taking federal funds intended for small businesses. Their conclusion: Oakland charters have collected close to $19 million that was intended for small businesses. view article arw

RICHMOND (CBS19 NEWS) -- Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced on Wednesday that the Virginia Department of Education will use the $23.9 million state set-aside from the federal CARES Act to help schools with support.  The funding will help vulnerable students, make up missed instruction, and protect the health and well-being of students and staff during the three phases of the school reopening plan and after, according to a news release from VDOE. view article arw

RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Virginia Department of Education released a statement on the guidance from Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane, Ed.D., issued to help the 132 school divisions in Virginia.  When reopening schools, each school division will implement the phased approach aligned with the phases that are outlined in 'Forward Virginia.'  Lane and Governor Ralph Northam announced this on Tuesday at a press conference. Northam's administration released a statement on the reopening phases shortly after. Click here for the story. view article arw

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, defiant amid criticism that she is using the coronavirus to pursue a long-sought agenda, said she would force public school districts to spend a large portion of federal rescue funding on private school students, regardless of income. Ms. DeVos announced the measure in a letter to the Council of Chief State School Officers, which represents state education chiefs, defending her position on how education funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, should be spent. view article arw

Texas Education Agency officials are advising school districts to follow controversial federal guidance on a key section of the coronavirus relief law, which some education advocates believe will result in private schools getting millions of dollars more at the expense of public schools.  The guidance, issued in late April by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ administration, delivers added financial support from the $2 trillion CARES Act to private schools across Texas, many of which are expecting to lose students and money as families tighten their budgets during the coronavirus pandemic.  However, some public school leaders believe Devos, a strong supporter of private schools, is misinterpreting the federal coronavirus relief law to their detriment. While the ultimate impact of the guidance on Texas schools is not known, public schools likely stand to lose and private schools stand to gain tens of millions of dollars. view article arw

As our country and communities begin to pivot from the initial phase of fighting the horrifying impact of COVID-19 toward the future, we hope education and other leaders will remain focused on realities brought into stark relief over the past six weeks. COVID-19 has forcefully called our attention to glaring inequities in many areas of life, including education. We have two choices. We can ignore the obstacles that have only gotten more perilous for poor, black and brown students. Or, we can own up to inequities and forge new pathways rooted in racial justice and a genuine commitment to the well-being of all children. view article arw

PARIS (AP) — Just one week after a third of French schoolchildren went back to school in an easing ofthe coronavirus lockdown, there's been a worrying flareup of about 70 COVID-19 cases linked to schools.  Some schools were opened last week and a further 150,000 junior high students went back to the classroom Monday as further restrictions were loosened by the government. The move initially spelled relief: the end of homeschooling for many hundreds of thousands of exhausted French parents, many whom were also working from home.  But French Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer sounded the alarm Monday, telling French radio RTL that the return has put some children in new danger of contamination. He said the affected schools are being closed immediately. French media reported that seven schools in northern France were closed. view article arw

What was Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) talking about Tuesday when he was arguing with leading public health expert Anthony S. Fauci about reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic? Paul aggressively questioned Fauci during a hearing of the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about coronavirus-related issues. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, defended himself in his usual measured tone.  During the exchange about schools, Paul, an ophthalmologist, offered his opinion on medical details, disagreeing with many researchers on the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 80,000 Americans in the past few months. Paul is the only senator to contract covid-19, the disease the virus causes, but has since recovered. view article arw

Texas has learned a lot about itself — and its education system — through the coronavirus crisis.  We’ve learned how critical education is to parents’ work schedules, to civic engagement, to children’s security and wellbeing, and to sports and culture. Texas’ schools and universities have proven to be foundational to economic and community life — our society will not feel truly reopened until students return to school.  In the meantime, educators and administrators have scrambled to ensure students can learn without being in school. Many districts have been creative in connecting students with high-speed internet connections and hardware. Teachers have worked to provide remote instruction and structure. Kitchen staff and other workers have provided food and other needs for out-of-school students. And parents have stepped in to support day-to-day teaching, filling a critical gap at a critical time. view article arw

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A little long-awaited breaking news for you this morning: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos yesterday released new rules governing how K-12 schools and colleges must address campus sexual misconduct under Title IX. Mark Keierleber has the story, reaction and what’s next.  While many districts are still figuring out how to teach remotely, several have moved on to the next step — returning selected students to their classrooms. Zoë Kirsch looks at 20 districts in Wyoming and Montana that are reopening the schoolhouse doors. view article arw

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There is still uncertainty on when next year's school year will start for children here in California. Tuesday the Governor said it could start in late July. Today though, the state's superintendent voiced concerns about that. view article arw

California classrooms could reopen with modifications as soon as late July, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday, bringing a new wave of anxiety for parents, teachers and students.  Newsom laid out the possible change, the earliest proposed start date yet, as part of a reopening plan that would allow retailers and manufacturers to restart likely within weeks. Child care and summer schools along with parks, trails and other outdoor spaces may also be allowed to reopen. view article arw

Two senators — one Republican and one Democrat — are urging Education Secretary Betsy DeVos not to gut the federal special-education law during the coronavirus crisis but instead to grant “narrow and targeted” flexibility to school districts that are operating remotely.  Congress, in its recent $2 trillion economic stimulus package known as the Cares Act, included a requirement that DeVos report back by late April on whether she needs congressional approval to provide school districts with waivers to the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act during the pandemic. DeVos has not said publicly whether she will ask Congress for new authority to provide waivers from IDEA to school districts. view article arw

As countries around the world grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, the richest ZIP code in the US — a private island off the coast of Miami — has snapped up 1,800 antibody tests for its residents and staff.  Business Insider talked to Fisher Island staff and residents, parsed through reports from news outlets, and viewed letters signed by the island's medical director to piece together the story of how the island obtained antibody tests as the rest of the country reports testing shortages.  According to The New York Times, the island paid the University of Miami Health System (UHealth) $17 per test for 1,800 tests, for a total of $30,600.  Residents and essential workers on the island have said that testing has already begun, and that aside from stepping outside to get tested or to pick up essentials, people spend the rest of their time hunkered down in $3 million condos. view article arw

After a period of confusion caused by the U.S. Department of Education, school districts are rushing to get teaching and learning online. But because of that confusion, they lost a full month of preparation and planning.   In mid-March, the department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) was sending a stark message: “If a school district closes its schools and does not provide any educational services to the general student population, then a school would not be required to provide services to students with disabilities during that same period of time.” view article arw

Many Wise County school districts are in the process of filing for reimbursements through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for costs incurred due to COVID-19.  Alvord, Bridgeport, Decatur and Paradise school districts indicated they will be submitting applications to FEMA. Boyd, Chico, Northwest and Slidell officials said they are not seeking funds at this time.  The Texas Education Agency has urged districts to apply for the funds available after the declaration of the nationwide emergency in March. According to a FEMA press release, reimbursable expenses include emergency operation center costs; training specific to the disaster; and disinfection of public facilities. The TEA stated the costs to deliver online classes are not eligible.   (20) view article arw

LOUISIANA — From Calcasieu Parish School Board - As of today, April 15, Governor John Bel Edwards has officially closed school buildings for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. In accordance with that order, our students will not be returning to our classrooms this year.  While we are disappointed that we will not return, we know this decision was made with the safety of all stakeholders in mind. view article arw

Leaders from 16 states will serve on a new regional Education Recovery Task Force to help states determine the best strategies for re-opening K-12 public schools, providing each student with the support they need, and planning for a possible COVID-19 resurgence and future emergencies, the Southern Regional Education Board announced today.  The SREB Education Recovery Task Force will be co-chaired by Virginia State Superintendent of Public Instruction James F. Lane and SREB President Stephen L. Pruitt and will convene its first meeting next week. view article arw

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told states on Monday they could repurpose existing K-12 education funding to help schools handle the mass shift to distance learning during the coronavirus crisis — but the move does not address a call made by the nation’s governors for rapid disbursement of billions of dollars in new federal relief aid.  The National Governors Association sent a letter to DeVos late Friday asking her to send more than $30 billion allocated in the Cares Act, a $2 trillion aid package to boost the tumbling economy, to schools and governors within two weeks. 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