S.D. education secretary holds pandemic calls each week with K-12 school superintendents

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Weekly talks with heads of South Dakota’s K-12 districts about COVID-19 are open to a state panel that sets regulations for the school systems, the state education secretary said Monday.

Ben Jones told the state Board of Education Standards at its meeting in Aberdeen that approximately 140 to 190 superintendents and others participate in the calls each Thursday. He said the calls had been daily last spring.

The board’s president, former teacher Jacqueline Sly of Rapid City, said board members would like to be able to answer more than “I don’t know” when people ask about South Dakota schools during the pandemic.

“We can certainly do that,” Jones said. He said it was good to have students back in the classrooms taking courses face to face with teachers this fall semester. Classrooms shut down in March and schools switched to online courses to finish spring semester.

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A Rosh Hashanah ritual calls out alleged public school failings in Philly

There is no lake, sea, or stream outside the headquarters of the School District of Philadelphia.

That wasn’t going to stop the performance of a Jewish purification ritual that usually calls for handfuls of breadcrumbs, representing sins or failings, to be cast into a body of water that carries them away.

A trio of rabbis led a Tashlich ceremony Sunday in front of the School District offices, marking the Jewish new year by calling out a litany of ways state and local government have failed city schoolchildren.

“Traditionally, Tashlich is a personal ritual,” said Rabbi Linda Holtzman of the Tikkun Olam Chavurah community as late afternoon shadows began to fall over North Broad Street. “You go to a body of water and symbolically cast out the ways you missed the mark during the past year.

“Anything you want to get rid of, you feel bad about, you toss into

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Trump Calls for ‘Patriotic Education’ to Defend American History From the Left

“I think Donald Trump sees the cultural wars as a pathway to victory,” Mr. Brinkley added. But, he said, “what he sees as a cultural war is just trying to open up the narrative to other peoples’ experiences — not just white males.”

Mr. Trump gave his remarks a campaign twist when he promised to include a statue of Caesar Rodney, who rode 70 miles to Philadelphia in 1776 to cast a tiebreaking vote to declare independence, in a national statuary garden to honor “American heroes” whose creation he ordered in July. Mr. Biden, he charged, “said nothing as to his home state’s history and the fact that it was dismantled and dismembered.

“And a founding father’s statue was removed,” the president added.

Denouncing “propaganda tracts” that “try to make students ashamed of their own history,” Mr. Trump singled out The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, named for the

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Trump calls for ‘patriotic education,’ says anti-racism teachings are ‘child abuse’

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump accused schools of teaching students “hateful lies about this country” and said he would be taking steps to “restore patriotic education” as he continued his opposition to efforts to raise awareness about racial inequalities.

Speaking at what the White House described as a “conference on American history,” Trump said that he plans to sign an executive order soon to create a “national commission to support patriotic education” called the 1776 Commission and that he is directing funding to create a patriotic curriculum for schools.

“Our youth will be taught to love America with all of their heart and all of their souls,” Trump said. The White House declined to say when Trump would sign the executive order.

Trump said the framing of history around race was “toxic propaganda” and “a form of child abuse in the truest sense of those words” — specifically calling out

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State teachers group calls on DeSantis to protect education funding

Contending the reopening of Florida’s schools has not worked well, leaders of the state’s largest teacher union on Friday pressed Gov. Ron DeSantis to improve the situation.

In a letter to the governor, Florida Education Association president Andrew Spar spelled out two steps he said would help stabilize the schools as they struggle with teacher departures, online instruction woes and health-safety concerns.

Florida Education Association president Andrew Spar [ Courtesy of the Florida Education Association ]

Spar asked for a guarantee that the state’s $12.9 billion education budget not be cut, despite multibillion-dollar revenue shortfalls stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. And he proposed continuing the funding protections implemented in the state’s school reopening order, in which per-student money is provided based on pre-pandemic projections rather than current enrollment, which is down statewide.

The association is in the middle of a lawsuit challenging the reopening order.

In an online news conference,

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Florida teacher’s union calls for governor to maintain funding in schools and transparency

President Andrew Spar with the Florida Education Association said Florida school districts are struggling to keep classrooms staffed with teachers adding the pandemic is to blame.

“Create that stability, guarantee no cuts, zero cuts for the education budget. Keep the money that was promised for the 20-21 school year in place,” Spar said.

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Through a letter, Spar called for Governor Ron DeSantis to maintain education funding as it was designed in the 2020-2021 General Appropriations Act.

On Friday Parents from several school districts along with Orange County Public school board member, Angie Gallo, were present during a virtual press conference held by the FEA.

Gallo explained how OCPS is being transparent about COVID-19 cases in schools by launching a new dashboard online for parents and

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Florida’s largest teachers union calls for COVID-19 transparency, funding continuity

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Education Association sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday, pleading with the Republican leader to hold school districts’ funding steady, despite many of them experiencing lower-than-expected enrollment.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran issued an emergency order on July 6 which, among other requirements, allowed districts to receive state FTE funding based on the forecasted enrollment rather than the enrollment gathered in an annual October survey.

During a virtual press conference Friday, the FEA called on the state to extend that financial continuity throughout the rest of the academic year, meaning that any enrollment shortfall that still exists during the annual February survey would not impact the respective district’s FTE-based funding.

“We believe a full school-year approach would assist districts in achieving the goal of retaining and hiring the personnel needed to staff the various ways we are educating students,” FEA President Andrew Spar

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Black Caucus calls for racial equity in education

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus continued to set the stage for its fall legislative agenda Wednesday, calling a news conference and committee hearing to discuss education policy.

Education and workforce development make up one of four pillars on the agenda unveiled by the caucus earlier this month. The others are criminal justice reform, violence and police accountability; economic access, equity and opportunity; and health care and human services.

Caucus members are hosting a series of committees on the various pillars ahead of the fall veto session, which is scheduled Nov. 17 to Nov. 19 and Dec. 1 to Dec. 3. Caucus Chair Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat and Senate Majority leader, said Black Caucus members would like to take the whole session to address items on their agenda.

“Black people matter,” state Rep. Will Davis, a Hazel Crest Democrat and member of a House education appropriations committee, said

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CFAC OKs $150 million for education funding; McGeachin calls for delay but skips meeting to attend Trump fundraiser | Eye on Boise

CFAC, the governor’s Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee, voted unanimously today in favor of restoring the $99 million in school budget cuts and adding $50 million for Idaho families by tapping CARES Act funds, but Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who skipped the meeting to attend a campaign fundraiser with Donald Trump Jr. in Stanley, submitted a letter calling for putting off the vote, saying it was “no small matter” and should be studied more. She was the only one to raise any objections.

Here’s the email McGeachin sent to her fellow CFAC members just 13 minutes before the start of today’s 1 p.m. meeting:

“Dear CFAC Members:

I am not able to participate in the meeting today, but I did want to express my concerns about the proposal before you today. Spending $150 million is no small matter and we have not had an opportunity to review fully the details of

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LG creates battery-powered face mask it calls a ‘wearable air purifier’

LG has unveiled a new face mask which includes built-in fans and filters to create what the company is calling a “wearable air purifier”.

The battery-powered mask includes two H13 HEPA filters, similar to those used in home air purifying products, as well as dual fans and a patented respiratory sensor to adjust the fan speed in line with the wearer’s breathing speed.

Called the PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier, LG says the device enables the user to breathe clean air both indoors and outside.

The battery can last up to eight hours on a single charge, and the device comes with a case which houses UV-LED lights that kill germs between uses, while the case can also send alerts to an LG app to notify the user when the air filters need to be replaced, LG said.

LG PuriCare Wearable Air Purifier 01
The mask includes replaceable air filters (LG)

LG said the mask could help

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