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The News & Observer
State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson announced several changes that the state Department of Public Instruction will make for testing to reduce the amount of stress on students and teachers. Changes include state exams with fewer questions, allowing students to leave the exams sooner and easing rules requiring exam proctors. Read more>>

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Gov. Brian Kemp unveiled plans to devote $69 million in one-time funds for school security grants. The school safety plan will include $30,000 for each of the state’s 2,294 public schools. Gov. Kemp also wants to put a mental health counselor in all 343 state public high schools. Read more>>

The Charlotte Observer
The federal government’s budget stalemate is causing lunches to shrink at one North Carolina school district. Vance County Schools officials announced that lunch menus will be more minimal in order to conserve food and their current funding. Fresh produce, bottled juices and water, and ice cream are among the items being excluded. Read more>>

The Post and Courier
The Oconee County School District could become the first in South Carolina to move toward year-round education. It is considering adopting a modified calendar for the 2020-21 school year that would shorten summer vacation from 11 to seven weeks and create two-week holidays at the end of every nine-week grading period. Read more>>

Opinion & Analysis

The Huffington Post
Union leaders have framed the LAUSD educator strike as a fight for the future of public education. But for teachers on the ground, it’s about getting day-to-day help so they might be able to pay more individual attention to their students. Read more>>

The Roanoke Times
When it comes to solar schools, rural communities have one potential advantage over urban ones: They might have more land to set up a solar array big enough to put schools into a “net positive” energy situation. However, solar-powered schools are not a magic solution that will pay to replace every outdated school. It’s unclear just how much those energy sales might produce, especially as the price of solar power goes down. Read more>>

The New York Times
A study shows the Asian-American gender academic gap starts later, giving educators insight into how to help boys of all races and pointing to the influence of social pressures. The study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that the gap is largely because of something external: their school environments and peer influences. Read more>>

Industry News

Capstone is working with Amazon Alexa to offer its You Choose Books on Alexa-enabled devices. The project launches with a library of 50 You Choose Adventures titles for ages 8-12, from global discovery and space exploration to extreme sports and epic history. Read more>>

NXTBoard has announced a new partnership with Mesquite ISD in Texas, where the district will use NXTBoard’s board management software to ensure effective roll-out of its Accreditation Evaluation System. Read more>>

Learning A–Z/Cambium Learning Group, Inc.
Learning A-Z’s Raz-Plus ELL Texas Edition has been included in the Texas State Board of Education 2019 Proclamation Adoption list for English language arts and reading instruction for grades K5. Read more>>

Construction Watch

WFTS, Tampa Bay Times, The Express-Star
Polk County Schools launched a new program intended to teach students more about life in construction. Another Florida district in Pinellas County is investing $158.5 million in construction projects across nine campuses. In Oklahoma, the Amber-Pocasset School District is proposing a $23.49 million bond to help with construction and security projects. Read more>>