One cash-strapped school district in Georgia is considering an unorthodox way to avoid budget cuts—asking teachers to donate their raises. Officials in Fayette County, Ga., might ask teachers to voluntarily donate a pay raise to aid their cash-strapped district, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The local school board decided they had nothing to lose when writing the letter asking for the donation this week. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” board member Dr. Bob Todd told the newspaper. Board Member Janet Smola added, “I think it’d be silly if we didn’t ask the question.” The proposal asks teachers to ...


California public school teachers have at least one piece of job security in these turbulent economic times. A new state law took effect on January 1 protecting teachers from “being dismissed, suspended, disciplined, reassigned, transferred or otherwise retaliated against for acting to protect a student's speech,” according to The Sacramento Bee. The Journalism Teacher Protection Act comes after First Amendment advocates documented 16 instances in two years in California of newspaper advisers being disciplined for student content. The law closes a loophole to a 2006 bill that protected students from censorship and punitive measures by administrators, but provided no protection ...


Elementary and middle schools nationwide are putting a new spin on parent-teacher conferences by asking students to lead them, according to the New York Times. In many schools, this non-traditional model has proved beneficial. At Tefft Middle School in Streamwood, Ill., only 75 parents attended conferences five years ago, compared with 525 parents attending the student-led conferences this year. Mark Heller, principal at Plano Middle School in Plano, Ill., garnered an 82 percent attendance rate by using the new model and providing parents with flexible meeting times. For parents who recently immigrated to the U.S., having students attend conferences ...


Over 500 national board-certified teachers in Florida’s Broward County school district are still awaiting a $10,000 incentive promised to them under the district’s Effective Teacher Program, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. The program provides money to bring teachers with national board certifications to Title I schools in the district. The district has reportedly been unable to pay the incentives due to a shortfall in the federal funding that it expected to receive this year. The delay has created some serious financial problems for teachers that were relying on the extra money. Sharon Hepburn, a Broward school district ...


A group of students in Montgomery County, Md., have begun tricking local speed cameras in order to get citations sent to innocent drivers, including teachers and fellow students, reports DailyTech. In a prank that has been dubbed "the pimping game," students replicate a license plate by printing it on glossy paper with a downloaded font similar to that on Maryland plates. They then tape the fake plate to the back of a car and speed past one of the cameras. A few days later, the unsuspecting owner of the real license plate receives a $40 ticket in the mail. Edward ...


A kindergarten Christmas show at the Murrayville Elementary School in Wilmington, N.C., generated an unlikely church-state controversy when a mother at the school complained about its inclusion of the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The parent objected to the song’s “religious overtones,” reportedly complaining in particular about its use of the word “Christmas.” As a result the song was temporarily pulled from the program line-up. After many other parents complained about the decision, however, school officials give the matter further study. “School board members, administrators and attorneys listened closely to the song's lyrics and decided the song was ...


In 2000, the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank, filed a complaint with the state of Washington alleging that the Washington Education Association illegally spent nonunion member fees on political campaigns, according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer. The state eventually sued the union and on December 4, 2008, the WEA settled with the state. The WEA agreed to return $240,000 to nonunion members who paid fees between 2003 and 2007 and another $735,000 to the state. In 2007, in a related case, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state requirement that teachers’ unions must get ...


To the disappointment of some of her supporters, a teacher subject to controversial computer-pornography charges has settled her case. For Julie Amero, surrendering her teaching license was well worth the price to end a four-year nightmare. In October 2004, as a 7th grade substitute teacher in Norwich, Conn., Amero was charged with accessing pornographic Web sites and exposing students to sexual images, according to the Norwich Bulletin. Amero’s defense contended that she didn’t call up the images intentionally, saying that she was new to e-mail at the time and was being bombarded by pop-up ads as a result ...


After a year-long courtship, 28-year-old Melody LaLuz and 30-year-old Claudaniel Fabien sealed their wedding vows with a kiss. Their first kiss. According to the Chicago Tribune, the bride and groom teach abstinence courses to Chicago public school teenagers and made a commitment to practice what they preach. While dating, in addition to abstaining from kissing, the two made sure they were never alone. They watched movies together, but remained vertical rather than lying down or cuddling on the couch. Fabien found other ways to show his affection—such as cleaning LaLuz’s car and washing the dishes. "It really tested ...


Some private New York City schools are scaling back their student community service requirements as a result of questions about how students view them, reports The New York Times. The volunteering requirement, to complete as many as 100 hours by graduation, has become commonplace for college-bound students, particularly over the last fifteen years. But community service coordinators at some New York City private schools say that instead of instilling a sense of compassion or volunteerism, students have become obsessed with stocking hours. According to critics, such a hefty requirement can also motivate students to lie about their service and, if ...


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