Steven Blackburn

Parents can now pay with checks using school transaction systems and can download apps that send push notifications for new or overdue fees. While most platforms schedule payments or store receipt and balance information, some systems allow multiple people to make payments for a student instead of limiting transactions to one person. One portal provides access to private online communities to chat with other members. Read more>>

Newsweek

Just before winter break, San Diego USD officials informed students, employees and anyone else affiliated with the school that technicians and police discovered a gaping security breach that could have exposed the Social Security numbers, birthdates, and possibly payroll and benefits of as many as 500,000 people. Read more>>

WJZ

Gov. Larry Hogan is expanding a program that offers high school students career training in tech, along with the opportunity to earn a degree. New legislation would remove the caps on the number of schools allowed to offer the Pathways in Technology Early College High school program, also known as PTECH, and remove the timeline that said no new schools could be added until 2022. Read more>>

The Monitor

Fifth-graders from three rural Edinburg CISD elementary schools now have laptops and secure access to hot spots at home thanks to a $150,000 Technology Lending grant from the Texas Education Agency. It is part of an effort to provide internet access in areas where coverage is not widely accessible and laptops might not fit into the family budget. Read more>>

The 74

New tools use artificial intelligence to search for potential threats on students’ social media profiles and to scan school-issued laptops in search of keywords that could spell trouble. While the tools promise to protect kids, they also pose questions about how far schools can encroach on students’ privacy in the name of keeping them safe. Read more>>

Honolulu Star-Advertiser via Associated Press

The Hawaii Department of Education is rolling out an online database to track the estimated $868 million backlog of repair and maintenance projects in the public school system. The database will show when money is appropriated and allocated for projects, when contracts are awarded, and how much of each contract has been paid. Read more>>

The Detroit News

A $423,600 donation from tech billionaire Elon Musk’s foundation will provide Google Chromebooks to all seventh- and eighth-grade students in Michigan’s Flint Community Schools. The donation comes as the district explores a new high-tech-focused junior high school and moves forward with a 1-to-1 technology initiative. Read more>>

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