April 2011 Archives

Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Synder, unveiled a plan for sweeping changes in everything from early childhood to school choice and teacher education.

Indiana laymakers have approved a major school voucher bill, which will be sent to the desk of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is the subject of major presidential buzz.

Teach for America, which trains and places young college graduates in schools, will be able to place its teachers in Ohio's schools, thanks to a new law signed by Gov. John Kasich.

Republicans are pushing voucher proposals in states across the country, many of which would dramatically increase public access to private school funds.

Education Sector, a Washington think tank, has created an online tool that allows the public to examine how states are using $3.5 billion in federal School Improvement Grants.

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, that typically looks favorably on school choice, sees a potential financial downside to a measure supported by Gov. Mitch Daniels and Republican lawmakers.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has proposed the creation of a board that would oversee K-12 spending in the state, which has argues would create more coherent policy from early childhood education through college.

Indiana's state Senate has approved a measure that would create access for middle-income families for private-school vouchers. As it stands, it's one of the most ambitious voucher proposals ever offered in the states.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute releases its blueprint for reauthorizing No Child Left Behind. It calls for more competitive funding to states and schools, and more flexiblity on how states can meet high academic goals.

Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, considered a Republican presidential hopeful, signs into law a measure curbing teachers' collective bargaining rights.

A standoff between Oklahoma's state schools chief and the board of education has resulted in two top aides in the department being paid through a nonprofit foundation.

The group "Chiefs for Change," an effort by top state education officials to promote stronger testing, standards, teacher evaluation, and school choice, adds five more members.

Most of the attention in the $4 billion federal Race to the Top competition has focused on contentious efforts to create new approaches to paying and evaluating teachers, develop charter schools, and create common standards. But the states that won the $4 million competition are also using the money to experiment with other, smaller-scale efforts to improve schools.

Governors in several states are pursuing proposals that would give them more power over school issues, in some cases by removing it from state boards or consolidating agencies.

Georgia, which walked away a $400 million winner in the Race to the Top competition, has used a portion of its award to create a mini-competition among its districts and schools.

Illinois lawmakers, teachers' unions, and advocacy groups are touting a deal that they say will make it easier for districts to hire and retain qualified teachers, and dismiss poor-performing ones.

Texas would be able to secure $830 million in federal emergency education aid under the federal budget deal now working its way through Congress.

The legislation is one of several measures to private taxpayer funds to cover students' private school tuitions under debate in statehouses this year.

Making changes to pension systems isn't a cure-all for state budget woes, and in fact won't be of much help in the short term, argues one conservative author.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants to cut state spending on schools over the next two year. Some say the result of those cuts will be massive school layoffs, but others say those fears are exaggerated.

A Tennessee bill that seeks to allow teachers to help students "analyze, critique, and review," scientific topics cleared the House of Representatives. Critics say it targets evolution, specifically.

Estimates of coming school layoffs, if projected state budget cuts go through, range from a couple thousand to tens of thousands, depending on the state.

Republicans von legislative victories in Ohio and Wisconsin to strip teachers of many collective bargaining rights. But those measures now face legal and political challenges.

States and school districts are finally reaching the "funding cliff"--the point at which $100 billion in economic stimulus money runs out. Many are expected to be forced to make major cuts to programs and personnel.

The race between incumbent Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser and challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg is being billed as a fight over Gov. Scott Walker's controversial collective bargaining law.

A new analysis shows that states tend to raise taxes at the end of recessions, in an effort to recover lost revenue. Will lawmakers and governors do the same in 2011?

Minnesota lawmakers consider legislation that would loosen requirements for superintendents to lay off newly hired teachers first. The measure also seeks to prevent further adoption of Common Core standards.

An Indiana bill is being described as offering vouchers to middle-class families. Supporters say it could become the broadest voucher program in the country, if it gains final approval by the legislature.

Ohio lawmakers have approved a measure that would limit teachers' and other public employees' collective bargaining rights. But union officials are vowing to pursue a referendum to overturn it.


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