Guest commentary: Schools need funding boost more than ever | Opinion

Most years, the first day of school arrives with anticipation and possibility as students, parents, teachers, and administrators look forward to the hope and promise of a new year.

This year is different. The return to school has engendered uncertainty and even frustration. Each school district is struggling to balance safety and educational quality in a COVID-19 world, and to do so in a way that is best for their own communities.

There are no easy answers. Remote learning may be more successful in protecting the public health, but let’s face it, for the overwhelming number of students, a virtual education is no substitute for traditional, face-to-face learning. It also puts a greater strain on parents juggling jobs while serving as “teacher’s aides” for their children.

But reopening too widely and too soon can put students, teachers, and school workers at risk.

School leaders face this balancing act under public

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Beirut: 1 in 4 children risk dropping out of school warns IRC – Lebanon

Beirut, Lebanon, September 28, 2020 — With 163 schools damaged by the Beirut explosion, at least 1 in 4 children in the city are now at risk of missing out on their education, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) warns.

Over 85,000 pupils were registered at the schools damaged by the blasts and it will take up to a year for the most severely damaged buildings to be repaired.

Although the Ministry of Education is working hard to find spaces for children in new schools, the added disruption this will bring to their lives is cause for serious concern.

  • Those from damaged schools will have long distances to travel in order to reach their new place of study, as well as additional transport costs – something that poorer families will be unable to afford
  • For children using public transport, safety and harassment will be major concerns – especially for those travelling
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We’re ready for Oct. 5 opening

Broward schools are ready to reopen to students, administrators said Tuesday. But many employees still disagree.

The School Board is meeting today to decide whether to accept a proposal from Superintendent Robert Runcie to open schools Oct. 5 for elementary, K-8 and special needs schools and Oct. 12 for middle and high schools. Students have been learning at home since late March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The disease’s spread has eased and the district has prepared to keep schools and employees safe, Runcie said.

“We can’t let perfect stand in the way of good,” Runcie said. “There’s no way to guarantee we’ll have a 100% COVID-free environment.”

The district’s decision to reopen is based on five “gating criteria,” all of which have either been met or should be met by Oct. 5, Chief Safety Officer Brian Katz said. They are:

A move from Phase 1 to Phase 2 in

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High school football, but no in-person classes? Parents wonder what gives at some schools

Ann Arbor parent Beverly Davidson doesn’t want to come across as an “angry monster” or worse yet, an armchair quarterback.

She has two children who had participated in sports at Ann Arbor Public Schools prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but made the decision to hold them back from playing this year.

It’s one of many Michigan school districts that have held off on in-person instruction to stop the spread of the virus but green-lighted student participation in athletics. It’s a prioritization some worry keeps students behind in the classroom even as sports surge forward with similar safety risks.

Davidson sees it as inconsistent.

“I think it sends a conflicting message about safety: It’s not safe enough to go to school, but it’s safe to be in an auditorium playing contact sports,” said Davidson, a social worker who has lived in Ann Arbor for 20 years.

“Not every student in the

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John Tobin: Key moment in the quest for fair school funding | Op-eds

ALTHOUGH largely unheeded in the shadow of COVID-19 and the 2020 election, two simultaneous efforts to resolve New Hampshire’s longstanding school funding and property tax inequities have moved forward during the spring and summer. Both will reach crucial turning points in the coming weeks.

More specifically, the constitutionality of the current school funding system may soon be decided by the New Hampshire Supreme Court, while, after months of research and discussion, the Commission to Study School Funding is preparing its recommendations for long-term reform of the current funding formula and the property taxes used to pay for it.

In March 2019, the Contoocook Valley School District (ConVal) and three other nearby districts filed suit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school funding formula, which provides a base annual grant of $3,709 per student, even though the actual costs school districts incur average $16,000 per student. Because the state fails to

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New report says CT’s method of school funding puts strain on districts with most need | News

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) — A new report put out by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston said Connecticut’s method of school funding is putting more financial strain on the districts with the most need.

The report, done with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), said certain costs and needs are overlooked when distributing funds, including poverty levels and single family homes.

The report suggests too much money goes to the suburbs and not enough to some of the most distressed school districts.

However, that’s been a complaint in Connecticut for a long time, and now the issue is finding a solution.

“The cost of addressing student needs run much higher and property values tend to be much lower,” said Kevin Maloney, spokesperson for CCM.

The state did pass a new formula in 2017 that will begin to slowly shift more money to the lowest performing school districts.

However, this report

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Lawmakers discuss lowering compulsory school age


SPRINGFIELD — Illinois lawmakers may soon consider legislation to lower the state’s compulsory attendance law to include 5-year-olds, a measure advocates see as a way to expand access to early childhood education opportunities, especially among Black and low-income families.

That was just one of the issues discussed Thursday during a virtual joint hearing of the Illinois Senate Education and Higher Education committees, and it’s one that has the strong backing of the Illinois State Board of Education.

“We firmly believe that lowering the compulsory school age to five will ensure that all children have a better opportunity to receive a strong foundation of literacy and reading skills that will set them up for success in all aspects of their lives,” Brenda Dixon, ISBE’s chief research and evaluation director, said during the hearing that was conducted via Zoom.

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Upper Leacock supervisors to discuss library funding after Leola closure | Regional

When: Upper Leacock Township supervisors meeting, Sept. 17.

What happened: Lancaster Public Library’s Leola branch, located in the township’s community building, is closing effective immediately, primarily because it is too small to comply with COVID-19 social distancing requirements. There is also a concern about future funding of the branch with the township’s proposed office move to another location when it will no longer own the community building. Upper Leacock contributes $44,000 cash and rent-in-kind to the annual operating cost of the Leola branch.

Quotable: “Future (library system) contributions will be discussed during the 2021 budget preparation process,” Township Manager Michael Morris said in a phone interview after the meeting.

Veritas Academy: The board modified its lease to Veritas Academy, which rents space in the community building. Veritas will take over the township’s break room, cafeteria and storage area. It will use the additional space to store

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High school apologizes for misgendering & deadnaming trans Homecoming royalty / LGBTQ Nation

An Indiana high school has apologized to a transgender student after they incorrectly listed her as an option for Homecoming King, using her deadname.

“It was embarrassing and it took me back to middle school when that was the hardest time,” student Grace Grabner told Fort Wayne television station WPTA. “It reminded me of everything that happened in middle school and how people treated me.”

Related: Indianapolis Catholic School threatened to expel a gay student for supporting LGBTQ rights

Grabner told the station that she considered switching schools after the mortifying incident.

Northwest Allen County Schools officials blamed a computer error for the mix-up but took full responsibility for not double-checking the list.

“We made a mistake on our end and we apologize profusely that this error happened where we inadvertently took one student who should have been on one list and put them on the opposite list. That was

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School Meals Programs Struggle to Feed Our Children

school meals

Teachers and education administrators sounded the alarms. The spouses and partners of 18 state governors issued pleas. Leadership on both sides of the political aisle brought pressure, some of it decidedly unsubtle. In the end, they combined to strong-arm the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) into extending programs that help get food to the children of poor families in the midst of a pandemic.

What now? Well, sure: another dogfight to try to keep those programs going for the duration of the school year.

For months, the Centers for Disease Control has seen its credibility compromised and eroded by repeated political interference. Now the USDA is in the middle of a bizarre struggle in which nutrition plans for hungry kids – plans largely devoid of controversy – are repeatedly threatened with shuttering.

The programs aren’t perfect, but in places like Las Angeles the effect is still staggering. As of

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