- Florida Legislature passes expansion of tax credit scholarships
Minutes after a dramatic 20-20 tie shot down Florida’s parent trigger bill, the state senate voted 32-8 – and virtually without debate – to support an expansion of tax credit scholarships for low-income students.
- School Threatens to Remove Student From Honors Society Over Church Work
A Virginia high school is threatening to remove a student from the National Honor Society because she completed her community service work at a local church.
- 6th Circuit to hear TN playground Bible case
The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio has agreed to weigh the arguments in a case involving elementary students who were prevented from reading the Bible on the school’s playground during recess. Samuel and Tina Whitson, parents of Knoxville (TN) student Luke Whitson, filed suit in June 2005, claiming Karns Elementary School principal Cathy Summa violated their son’s First Amendment rights by stopping the Bible studies.
- Partners in ‘slime’ – Feds keep buying ammonia-treated ground beef for school lunches
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s continued purchase of so-called pink slime for school lunches makes no sense, according to two former microbiologists at the Food Safety Inspection Service. The USDA, which plans to buy 7 million pounds of Lean Beef Trimmings from BPI in the coming months for the national school lunch program, said in a statement that all of its ground beef purchases “meet the highest standard for food safety.” USDA officials also noted that the sole role of the food inspection service is to determine the overall safety of the nation’s food supply, not to make judgments on a product’s relative merits. Made by grinding together connective tissue and beef scraps normally destined for dog food and rendering, BPI’s Lean Beef Trimmings are then treated with ammonia hydroxide, a process that kills pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli. But Zirnstein and Custer say that the USDA now finds itself in the odd position of purchasing a product that has recently been dropped by fast-food giants McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell.
- Top 10 Reasons to Support Governor Jindal’s Education Reform Package
The governor’s bold education reform plan includes vouchers for students in under-performing public schools, performance-based tenure, and tax credits for individuals and businesses to sponsor tuition for the schools that best meets a child’s educational needs. Louisiana schools are failing and it is time our elected officials stand up for the interests of our children and against the status quo.
- [Sign the Petition] Tennessee parents need the “parent trigger”
Thousands of Tennessee children are stuck in failing schools throughout the state. This injustice must be addressed right now. Parents with children at persistently failing schools deserve the right to take action and force change. The Tennessee House Education Subcommittee will be voting next week on legislation which would give parents this right. I [Mike Carpetner, TN State Director, StudentsFirst] will be at the vote and want to deliver a petition to the subcommittee that shows [TN] residents support this legislation. Please sign the petition now! The legislation would enable parents with kids in Tennessee’s lowest performing schools to sign a petition that demands major transformative change at the school. If 51% or more of the parents sign the petition, the district would be obligated to implement the change. This policy, known as “parent trigger,” has been enacted in several states throughout the country this year. But there are members of the subcommittee that don’t want to empower the parents to make sure their kids get the education they deserve. No child should be stuck in a failing school and no parent should be left without options in that situation. Please sign our petition and empower Tennessee parents to take action on behalf of their children. Your support is critical. Thank you for taking the time to defend the interests of Tennessee children.
- Amid tax hike whispers, Register talks schools spending needs
Ahead of a budget season when a property tax hike appears to be on the table, Metro Director of Schools Jesse Register tried to make the case Tuesday night for significant education investments to increase pay for teachers and fix dilapidated schools. Register said the district is facing more than $185 million in “unmet capital needs,” pointing specifically to Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet School, long one of Metro’s highest-achieving schools, which nonetheless lacks a functional gym. n the next budget, he said he hopes to raise starting salaries for teachers to $40,000 — an approximate $5,000 bump — while “compressing” teachers’ pay schedule over their first five years.