Pandemic school funding debate in South Carolina rekindles Jim Crow-era controversy

<span class="caption">Football players from Lee Central High School in Bishopville, South Carolina, share a meal with players from the Robert E. Lee Academy. Lee County in South Carolina is still segregated.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/footballs-players-from-lee-central-high-school-gather-to-news-photo/458152352?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images">Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images</a></span>
Football players from Lee Central High School in Bishopville, South Carolina, share a meal with players from the Robert E. Lee Academy. Lee County in South Carolina is still segregated. Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images
<span class="caption">Senator Strom Thurmond addresses a classroom in South Carolina, October 20, 1996.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/senator-strom-thurmond-addresses-a-classroom-october-20-news-photo/800757?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Alan Weiner/Liaison via Getty Images">Alan Weiner/Liaison via Getty Images</a></span>
Senator Strom Thurmond addresses a classroom in South Carolina, October 20, 1996. Alan Weiner/Liaison via Getty Images

As schools across America wrestle with COVID-19, the pandemic has fueled a debate over funding for private and public K-12 schools. In South Carolina, the discussion has revived a bitter chapter from the Jim Crow era while highlighting the ways systemic racism has undermined public education in the state.

This summer Education Secretary Betsy DeVos attempted to direct a large share of the US$13.5 billion in federal coronavirus relief to private schools. DeVos did so by basing funding on schools’ total number of students rather than the number of low-income students.

U.S. District Court judges thwarted

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South Carolina Supreme Court justices discuss private school funding lawsuit

COLUMBIA, South Carolina — Meeting in person for oral arguments for the first time since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the South Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments Friday over whether Gov. Henry McMaster has the power to direct $32 million in federal pandemic relief funds to private schools.

A central question of the lawsuit filed against the governor and conservative think tank Palmetto Promise Institute in July is whether the funds — the majority of the $48 million in discretionary education dollars granted to McMaster by the federal Department of Education — are considered public money, and how they can be used.

McMaster unveiled the plan for Safe Access to Flexible Education, or SAFE, grants earlier that month at a religious school in Greenville. The governor said the one-time program would cover about 5,000 grants of up to $6,500 for students to attend private schools this academic year and

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South Carolina unemployment falls, but tourism jobs vanish

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s unemployment picture has improved overall, with 20,000 people finding work and businesses reopening as they adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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But restaurants, hotels and other tourism businesses continue to struggle, having lost more jobs even in the height of the summer season, according to the August unemployment figures released Friday by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

The unemployment rate in South Carolina dropped to 6.3% in August, down from 8.7% in July and 12.8% in April during the peak of the outbreak, the agency said.

The unemployment rate has recovered quicker in this downturn than the Great Recession, where the drop from the 11.7% peak in December 2009 to 6.3% took more than four years, agency director Dan Ellzey said.

“We are by no means back to normal in our state, but these milestones should be acknowledged and celebrated,”

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South Carolina justices reopen courtroom with school funding lawsuit

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Meeting in person for oral arguments for the first time since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the South Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments Friday over whether Gov. Henry McMaster has the power to direct $32 million in federal pandemic relief funds to private schools.

A central question of the lawsuit filed against the governor and conservative think tank Palmetto Promise Institute in July is whether the funds — the majority of the $48 million in discretionary education dollars granted to McMaster by the federal Department of Education — are considered public money, and how they can be used.

McMaster unveiled the plan for Safe Access to Flexible Education, or SAFE, grants earlier that month at a religious school in Greenville. The governor said the one-time program would cover about 5,000 grants of up to $6,500 for students to attend private schools this academic year and help

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Baltimore-based Laureate Education to sell off South American universities, Walden University

Baltimore-based Laureate Education Inc. is selling off much of its higher education network in Latin America with the planned sale of universities in Brazil, and also is exiting the U.S. market with a sale of Walden University.



a man wearing glasses and a suit and tie: Baltimore, MD-11/14/17 - Eilif Serck-Hanssen is president and CEO of Laureate Education Inc.


© Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun/The Baltimore Sun/TNS
Baltimore, MD-11/14/17 – Eilif Serck-Hanssen is president and CEO of Laureate Education Inc.

The international higher education company said Sunday it has agreed to sell its Brazilian operations to Ser Educacional S.A., a Brazil-based network of educational institutions, in a deal valued at $724 million at the current exchange rate and share value.

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In addition, the company announced Friday it plans to sell Walden University, an online college considered a pioneer in distance learning that offers doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and graduate certificate programs. Laureate plans to sell Walden, its only U.S. business, to Adtalem Global Education Inc. for $1.5 billion in cash.

It

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Education groups in South Dakota say containing coronavirus a ‘nightmare’

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Representatives of South Dakota school boards, administrators and teachers told lawmakers on Wednesday that trying to manage coronavirus infections among students and staff has so far been a “nightmare.”

As the number of coronavirus infections in schools has grown, administrators have found themselves trying to balance keeping schools open, protecting students and staff and considering the legal liability they could face if they don’t do enough to prevent infections, said Wade Pogany, the director of the Associated School Boards of South Dakota.

Administrators have taken on the extra work of assisting contact tracing investigations from the Department of Health to keep track of which students could be exposed to someone with an infection. Pogany called an “overwhelming process” that has heaped stress on school staff trying to keep classrooms open.

“It’s just a nightmare,” he said.

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Urban Green Jobs along Atlanta’s South River

It’s a Monday, and Stephanie Williams is delighted to be at work, pruning, weeding, planting, and restoring the yard of a local elderly woman.

“For the past year, she hadn’t been able to get outside and take care of her yard. Everything was overgrown. She hadn’t had any help in a while,” says Stephanie. “When we left, she was finally able to see her yard and her home for the first time in a long time. That moment, with her standing there laughing and smiling, that was my most favorite moment.”

Stephanie has dedicated much of her professional life to uplifting her community, and in recent months, she has been giving back and learning new skills as a trainee with Urban Green Jobs, a workforce development initiative co-created by HABESHA, Inc. and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). The initiative was launched in 2017, but HABESHA has been a fixture in Atlanta

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Amazon to offer 1,300 new jobs as it expands across South Florida

Amazon says it has more than 1,300 jobs to fill in South Florida as part of a North American hiring spree that would add 100,000 employees to the corporate payroll.

The hiring effort is part of a continent-wide campaign to add tens of thousands of full-time and part-time workers at distribution facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada, the Seattle-based company said Monday.

Amazon said only that the local jobs would be in the “Miami area,” without specifying how many of those jobs would be in Broward and Palm Beach counties. A company representative in Orlando didn’t respond to questions about the jobs’ locations.

The new employees would buttress a workforce of 30,000 people in Florida, the company said in the statement.

Florida, with its population of more than 21.4 million people, third largest in the nation, has been a major business development target of Amazon since early 2018. when

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Skills development for the women and youth of South Africa

In the first quarter of 2020, South Africa’s unemployment rate climbed to 30% – the highest it has been since 2008 – as the number of unemployed people increased by 344,000 to an all-time high of 7.1 million.

This is according to Trading Economics, and is based on the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) – which also indicated that employment decreased by 38,000 to 16.4 million.

South Africa’s unemployment rate has been persistently high, and sadly the main driver of economic growth – the youth, aged 15–34 years – has been affected by it the most as they account for 63.4% of all unemployed South Africans in 2020.

What’s more is that although South Africa has made great strides for equal gender representation in the labour market, women are still underrepresented at under 50%.

Reasons for unemployment

While 2020’s increase in unemployment is largely attributable to

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Facing funding shortfall, South Colonie Central School District considers layoffs and furloughs

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As schools reopen, many districts are not just grappling with health concerns, they are also dealing with a shortfall in funding. Some, especially those in lower income communities, are are forced to layoff teachers and non-instructional staff, too.

In the South Colonie Central School District, Superintendent Dr. David Perry told NEWS10’s Anya Tucker they will have to make some very tough decisions, which will impact everyone in their schools.

Perry said he is ready for a new, albeit different kind of school year. But even before they open their doors, he is forced to find ways to trim the fat from a budget that’s already in an emaciated state.

“It’s going to lead to the potential for layoffs. Its just how soon those layoffs come, in all areas. Not just instructional, across the board,” said Perry.

He’s not alone. Many districts are looking at drastic cuts

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