Texans in more than 100 counties can begin applying for federal assistance to help them recover from last week's massive winter storm that caused widespread power outages, water disruptions and building damages from burst pipes.  And the number of counties whose residents qualify for such aid could grow "as more work is done to evaluate need," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.  Gov. Greg Abbott's office announced Monday 31 additional counties whose residents can apply for assistance. That is in addition to the 77 counties President Joe Biden's administration included in a major disaster declaration this weekend. (You can find the counties whose residents can apply here). view article arw

After a monthslong push to defund the police in California’s largest public school system, trustees of the Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday approved a plan to cut 133 police positions, ban the use of pepper spray on students and divert $25 million to programs supporting students of color. view article arw

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco resorted to the “drastic step” of suing its own school district Wednesday to try to force the reopening of public schools for in-person learning. “It’s a shame it has come to this,” said City Atty. Dennis Herrera, whose office is seeking an emergency order to compel the district to act. “The Board of Education and the school district have had more than 10 months to roll out a concrete plan to get these kids back in school,” Hererra added. “So far they have earned an F.” The litigation shows the deep divides in San Francisco over continued school closures and the actions of its elected school board amid the COVID-19 pandemic.    (05) view article arw

WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is pleased to celebrate Black History Month with the release of new educational resources, available free of charge for use in classrooms nationwide. view article arw

The reminders of pandemic-driven suffering among students in Clark County, Nev., have come in droves. Since schools shut their doors in March, an early-warning system that monitors students’ mental health episodes has sent more than 3,100 alerts to district officials, raising alarms about suicidal thoughts, possible self-harm or cries for care. By December, 18 students had taken their own lives. The spate of student suicides in and around Las Vegas has pushed the Clark County district, the nation’s fifth largest, toward bringing students back as quickly as possible. This month, the school board gave the green light to phase in the return of some elementary school grades and groups of struggling students even as greater Las Vegas continues to post huge numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths. view article arw

President Joe Biden scored points among most advocacy organizations with his choice of Miguel Cardona for education secretary. But some don’t feel as positive about Cindy Marten, the San Diego Unified superintendent tapped for the deputy education secretary post. They point to her views on charter schools, which line up with those of the teachers unions. And the local NAACP chapter thinks Marten hasn’t done enough to reduce racial disparities in school discipline. Nina Rees, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, said, "Cindy Marten is a curious pick for a deputy secretary of education nominee, given the Biden administration’s call for unity, racial equity and support for working families.” Linda Jacobson reports. view article arw

Several years ago, Project Baltimore began an investigation of Baltimore’s school system. What they found was an utter disgrace. In 19 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, out of 3,804 students, only 14 of them, or less than 1%, were proficient in math. In 13 of Baltimore’s high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math. In five Baltimore City high schools, not a single student scored proficient in math or reading. Despite these academic deficiencies, about 70% of the students graduate and are conferred a high school diploma — a fraudulent high school diploma. 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