Top News

Change in New York law might encourage school mergers

A New York State Association of School Business Officials report shows that since 2010, about 30 school districts have studied merging but failed to complete the process for a variety of reasons. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has offered incentives to encourage districts and local governments to merge or share services to become more efficient.

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Pennsylvania voters favor using a school funding formula

A statewide poll showed public support for using a formula to distribute state school funding. Education advocates say that a proposed commission to examine the issue is a critical first step. State funding for education is currently distributed with factors, weights and targets changing on an annual basis.

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New Jersey district sued over "under God" in pledge

A family is suing a New Jersey district and its superintendent, seeking to have the phrase "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. The lawsuit, filed by the undisclosed family and the American Humanist Association, claims that the practice of acknowledging God discriminates against atheists, in violation of the state's constitution.

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Teachers and parents planning arts-focused school

Vision Quest Community School, a new teacher-led Rochester elementary school in New York, is being planned and created by a coalition of parents and teachers. Their proposal is for an arts-rich curriculum emphasizing active learning in long school days and providing a transition to the School of the Arts.

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Washington law means new graduation requirements for seniors

A new law is getting rid of a 2008 state-mandated graduation requirement for seniors to complete a yearlong culminating project. However, local school boards will ultimately be allowed to decide whether to keep the senior project for the class of 2015 and beyond.

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International Baccalaureate program grows to five more Illinois schools

Chicago is adding the International Baccalaureate model to five more elementary and middle schools this fall. The expansion covers about 1,500 students and will provide updated art, science and library facilities and training for teachers and staff.

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Penn. district revises recovery plan after finding $11 million

Harrisburg revised its district recovery plan after finding $11 million in its coffers. As a result, employees will receive a payment covering the 5 percent salary cut taken this year and full-day kindergarten will continue. The tax increases originally anticipated when the district believed it was facing a $4.5 million deficit will not occur.

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Virginia county creates plan to up graduation rate

After reviewing graduation rates, Campbell County administrators realized a good number of students who were held back in elementary or middle school took the opportunity to legally leave school after they came of age. Plans to increase the graduation rate include a new junior high summer school program and high school credit classes at the middle school level.

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New York to pick up most local school tax increases

Although districts across New York will be asking voters to approve budgets with tax hikes, the state will send rebate checks to most property owners. The rebates will be paid only in districts that keep tax increases below a state-set tax cap of nearly 2 percent. Approximately 94 percent will stay under the cap.

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$129 million school finance bill signed in Kansas

A state school finance bill has been signed that will send millions of dollars to schools and end mandatory due process hearings before experienced teachers can be fired. It allocates $129 million to close gaps in the capital outlay fund and the local option budget fund.

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