One teacher testified that she was fired for telling state investigators about the cheating that was happening.
The superintendent of the Jennings, Mo., School District, Tiffany Anderson, said the decision to close schools was based on concern over "heightened anxiety" in area.
The award to victims settles about 150 legal claims from former students who had been subjected to lewd acts by 3rd-grade teacher.
Fifteen of the 36 schools that are eligible this year to return to the Orleans Parish School Board, which ran the city's schools before Hurricane Katrina, have voted against doing so. More boards will make the decision by the end of the year.
The districts will get 24-hour notice if the decision is released on a weekend and three-hour notice if it is released on a weekday.
The ruling brings a 21-year-old legal battle over school funding to an end and orders state lawmakers and school districts to craft an agreement on South Carolina's K-12 funding formula.
The Montgomery County, Md., school district scrapped references to religious holidays from its school calendar after repeated requests to close schools on Muslim holidays.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals released a set of recommendations for federal, state and local school officials that outline concrete steps it says will improve policies and practices to protect student data.
Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue took the witness stand during the Atlanta cheating trial earlier this week, saying that educators in the district must have been collaborating to inflate student performance.
The new policy comes as the district approved an agreement with federal civil rights officials to drive down disproportionate rates of discipline between minority students and their white peers.