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A bill making its way through the Florida legislature would make it mandatory for schools to offer classes on religion. The bill would require schools to offer the courses as an elective, and they would cover topics such as the New and Old Testaments of the Bible and Hebrew scriptures. Read more>>

Under the Oklahoma City School district’s new policy, school personnel are not legally allowed to administer medical marijuana to students, but the district will provide a private location for a caregiver to administer to students at school. Employees cannot use or possess marijuana while at school or during school hours, even if they have a medical marijuana license. Read more>>

Arizona Daily Star
The Arizona governor announced he will again ask lawmakers to approve his school safety plan, including a controversial provision to allow judges to take guns away from people considered dangerous. Read more>>

In his State of the State speech, Gov. Eric Holcomb talked about making teacher pay competitive with surrounding states. He proposed having the state pay off a pension liability that schools currently pay. He also announced the creation of a Teacher Pay Commission to develop a plan in time for the 2021 legislative session. Read more>>

A new South Carolina bill could require high school students to pass a personal finance class to graduate. The bill would require students to take a half-credit personal finance course with an end-of-year test to pass. Read more>>

Associated Press via The State
Nearly 5,500 students who received scholarships last year through Illinois’ taxpayer-funded private school scholarship program will have to apply again as the program enters its second year, program officials said. Read more>>

Opinion & Analysis

The Hechinger Report
Shaming students is keeping schools from teaching them. It actually works very well, but it runs the great risk of alienating students, moving the problem underground, and away from the supports a student needs to thrive. Read more>>

Often it’s the incremental changes, not the huge innovations, that ultimately transform systems. So while competency-based education in its most radical form may not end up being a viable solution for many schools, elements of the reform may make a big difference for educators and students where these conversations are happening. Read more>>

Industry News

Common Sense
The Digital Citizenship Curriculum for grades 6–8, available for free to all schools through the Common Sense Education platform, takes on the authentic concerns that students face in their lives, giving them the skills they need to succeed as digital learners and leaders. The concerns include sexting, tech addiction, cyberbullying and more. Read more>>

Illustrative Mathematics/Kendall Hunt
Illustrative Mathematics is partnering with Kendall Hunt Publishing Company to be its exclusive distributor of its IM Certified digital curriculum. Kendall Hunt customers will have access to IM 6–8 Math as an open educational resource along with high school curriculum such as Algebra 1, Geometry and Algebra 2 Math courses. Read more>>

NEC Display Solutions of America, Inc.
The five new models provide between 3700 and 4000 lumens and offer XGA, WXGA or WUXGA resolution. These models offer increased brightness, better connectivity, network capability and longer lamp life. Read more>>