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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England’s state schools suffering biggest fall in funding since 1980s, says IFS

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Photograph: Michael Kemp/Alamy

State schools in England have suffered their worst decline in funding since the 1980s, with secondary schools and those in the most deprived areas the worst affected by the era of austerity, according to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The decline that began after the Conservative-led coalition government took office in 2010 is so deep, the additional £7bn pledged by the current government will not be enough to reverse the cuts by 2023, leaving school spending 1% lower than in 2009-10, the IFS notes.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said the research exposed the scale of government underfunding of education over the past decade and the largest cuts to school spending in more than 40 years.

“This is a historic failure of the nation’s children. It is also striking that despite government rhetoric of ‘levelling

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Advocates raise concerns about funding cuts on 33rd anniversary of Willowbrook State School’s closure

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Advocates for the developmentally disabled gathered at the site of the former Willowbrook State School on Thursday to raise concerns about funding cuts.

Rally attendees, including parents and some former employees of the institution, raised concerns about a possible “return to Willowbrook” if New York is either unable or unwilling to adequately fund programs across the state.

Laura Kennedy, a parent advocate who has a developmentally disabled daughter, addressed the crowd gathered for the 33rd anniversary of Willowbrook’s official closure by former Gov. Mario Cuomo and called on his son to adequately fund the needed services.

“We are here today as advocates to express our fears and frustrations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration for their continuing neglect of people with developmental disabilities,” she said. “We gather here to protest the draconian budget cuts he has implemented and continue to implement.”

At least 100 attendees

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NY teachers union files lawsuit over state withholding school aid | Politics

He added that the state is awaiting federal help to offset an estimated $62 billion revenue loss over a four-year period. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said New York needs at least $30 billion in aid to erase a budget deficit that he says is due to the pandemic. 

“In fact, the state has paid nearly 100% of funds to school districts,” Klopott said. “We will work with our partners in government to address any remaining gaps in federal assistance and, in the absence of federal funding, any future actions will take school district need into consideration — NYSUT should stop with the nonsense and lies, and focus on Washington and the federal funding we need, not distract attention.” 

Later in the day, the state Division of Budget announced that no school funding would be withheld in September. But NYSUT noted that there has been funding withheld over the last few

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Share Of Positive COVID-19 Cases As Texas Reopened Was Higher Than Originally Reported, New State Calculations Show

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By Shawn Mulcahy, The Texas Tribune Sept. 16, 2020

State health officials published new data this week that showed the state’s coronavirus positivity rate was higher in the spring than originally disclosed, even as public officials cited the data to justify business reopenings during the pandemic.

The Department of State Health Services announced a new method Monday for calculating the positivity rate, or the proportion of positive tests, and conceded that the previous method obscured the extent of viral transmission by combining old and new cases. The new formula relies on the date a coronavirus test was administered, rather than the date it was reported to health officials and verified as a case.


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As Texas prepared for the first phase of reopening in late April, Gov. Greg Abbott repeatedly pointed to the state’s positivity rate, even as the number of new cases and deaths

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Teachers union sues state over school funding

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) – New York’s largest teachers union is suing the state over reductions in school aid.

a pencil and paper: School money

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School money

The lawsuit filed in Albany County Supreme Court by New York State United Teachers seeks the release of state money withheld in July, August, and September.

The filing also seeks an injunction against withholding or delaying future school funding payments.

In the meantime, the state’s budget director has said there are no plans to slash finding until after November’s election.

The reason for potential cuts is loss of state revenues because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has threatened to cut aid to schools and local governments by 20 percent unless the federal government delivers an aid package to make up the loss.

NYSUT says a 20 percent cut to school districts is potentially “catastrophic.”

“With the loss of state funding driving cuts

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Editorial: We recommend Michelle Palmer in District 6, State Board of Education

Long-time history teacher Michelle Palmer was troubled when the Texas State Board of Education approved a social studies curriculum that describes Moses as an influence on the Founding Fathers.

The Aldine ISD teacher saw the 2018 decision as a particularly egregious example of the board incorporating historical inaccuracies into textbooks and curricula used to teach 5.4 million Texas public school students.

“Moses was not much of an influence on Thomas Jefferson. He was not much of an influence on many of the Founding Fathers,” Palmer told the editorial board. “I find it very troubling that they have that as a standard that is supposed to be taught to our 13- and 14-year-old eighth graders.”

Even more troubling: It was part of a pattern for the 15-member state board of education, which is more often guided by conservative ideology than by good curriculum design.

That history motivated Palmer, 50, to run

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Stark County workforce development plan gets state funding – News – The Repository

State funds will help the Greater Stark County Urban League fund a program to guide low-income, underemployed workers to better positions.

CANTON Several local agencies, led by the Greater Stark County Urban League, will partner in a workforce development program aimed at addressing poverty and unemployment.

The Urban League will receive a $389,000 grant, spread over the next two years, to hire three “employment navigators,” who will recruit job candidates and monitor their progress. Candidates will receive assistance in different areas to help them be successful employees.

Kim Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) and Diane Robinson, Urban League president and chief executive officer, led a host of local and state officials who announced the program during a virtual meeting on Tuesday.

“This is a case management program that we believe in and we know it works,” Hall said.


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Another state adds online absentee voting option for military and overseas U.S. citizens

As the U.S. grapples with concerns about mail delivery during the pandemic, thousands of military and overseas citizens voting by absentee ballot in South Carolina will for the first time be able to cast their ballot through an online portal — from mobile phones, laptops, iPads or other devices.

Within a week, South Carolina election officials will update their website to include a link to the online portal for voters protected under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, said Chris Whitmire, spokesman for the South Carolina State Election Commission. These voters are commonly referred to as UOCAVA voters.

In 2016, 8,621 UOCAVA voters in South Carolina requested absentee ballots, including 4,615 military voters and 4,006 U.S. citizens overseas, Whitmire said.

Four other states offer online ballot return for all UOCAVA voters: Arizona, Colorado, North Dakota and West Virginia.

For military absentee voters, 25 states allow email return of

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State school funding formula too generous to wealthy districts, report says

“This research and analysis shows that there’s a massive scale of inequity that’s baked into the current state aid formula,” Ed Lambert, executive director of the business alliance, said in a phone interview.

Lambert said the formula was intended to put more money into needy districts to help offset limited local funding and “fulfill the constitutional requirement to make sure that all students were getting access to a high-quality education.”

“Over time what has happened, and what the report points out, is that additions and/or changes have been made … to expand parts of the formula in ways that allowed all communities to benefit, whether they had the capacity to fund education on their own or not,” Lambert said.

State Representative Alice Peisch, co-chairwoman of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education, said in a phone interview Sunday that “at the end of the day, the overwhelming majority of the funds

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