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Back to School in Droves

My kids started school yesterday with typical fanfare: new backpacks and lunchboxes and, as they waited for the bus, endless chatter about their teachers and which friends are in their classes.

My daughter and son, who are starting 4th and 2nd grades, respectively, are joining a record number of students entering the nation's public schools this year, nearly 50 million, according to this report by my colleague, Mary Ann Zehr.

"The rising number of Hispanic youngsters in the United States is fueling overall growth in enrollment and is expected to do so for at least two more decades," the story states. The South is seeing the greatest increases.

Some districts have been pushing bond referendums to pay for new schools, and those anticipating enrollment hikes are tackling the financing issues that will follow.

I wonder if such dramatic changes, in both enrollments and demographics, yield much discussion about whether curriculum and instruction need revamping as well. What are your schools doing to address these issues?

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