Oh, To Be a Teacher in Wisconsin

The showdown in Wisconsin over fringe benefits for public employees boils down to one number: 74.2. That’s how many cents the public pays Milwaukee public-school teachers and other employees for retirement and health benefits for every dollar they receive in salary. The corresponding rate for employees of private firms is 24.3 cents.

AL: A new look — State GOP leaders have new priorities

By Sebastian Kitchen, Montgomery Advertiser

Priorities for the new Republican leadership in the Legislature are varied: balance budgets, fight illegal immigra­tion, push for charter schools, promote state’s rights and help small business.

AL: Alabama Legislature — Bigger class sizes, state agency layoffs possible this session

By David White, The Birmingham News

A state education budget that could bring bigger class sizes to schools this fall and a state General Fund that could trigger layoffs at noneducation agencies next year likely will dominate debate in the session of the Legislature that starts Tuesday.

AR: As state looks to alter higher ed, chief leaves  Registration Required

By Evie Blad, Northwest Arkansas Times

Arkansas’ higher-education chief Jim Purcell will leave the job he’s held for three years to take a similar position in Louisiana.

AZ: Some bills fail to pass 1st stage

By Alia Beard Rau, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

Arizona lawmakers proposed 1,337 bills this session, but several hundred have failed to get past the first stage of hearings.

AZ: Phoenix protesters in support of Wisconsin workers

By The Associated Press, Arizona Capitol Times (Phoenix)

A few hundred protesters gathered in Phoenix to support Wisconsin workers protesting their governor’s proposal to limit union rights.

AZ: Senate bill goes wrong way on Higher-ed reform

By Staff, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

Make higher education more affordable, create a distinct identity for each university and raise productivity – those are the right goals for Arizona. But the Legislature is reaching for the wrong tool.

AZ: SB 1070 hampers police, UA forum told

By Brady McCombs, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

The passage of SB 1070 in Arizona was the latest step in a decade-long effort by anti-immigrant groups nationwide to push local law enforcement into immigration enforcement, a leading expert on policing and racial profiling said Thursday.

AZ: University faculty speak out against guns on campus

By Becky Pallack, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)

A group of Regents’ professors is strongly opposing SB 1467, a bill that proposes to allow the concealed carry of firearms on university campuses in Arizona.

AZ: Unlike Wisconsin, ‘collective bargaining’ doesn’t exist for Arizona’s teachers

By Michelle Reese, East Valley Tribune

As Wisconsin teachers and other public union workers take on Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his plans to end collective bargaining, Arizona teachers wonder: Could there be an impact here?

CA: Schools yet to get business backing for tax extension

By Louis Freedberg, California Watch

Even as Republican lawmakers insist they won’t vote to place the tax extension sought by Gov. Jerry Brown on a special election ballot this June, over 150 California school districts across the state have passed resolutions backing such a measure.

CA: Report — UC, K-12 districts flunk public records test

By Deia de Brito, California Watch

The majority of California’s K-12 school districts are failing to comply with the state Public Records Act, according to a report released yesterday by the nonprofit group Californians Aware.

CT: Coupon users furious over proposed tax

By The Associated Press, The Hartford Courant

Devotees of coupons and discounts are angry at Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to slap a new sales tax on the original price of a good or service rather than the discounted price.

CT: Task force to herald plans to close gap in Conn. schools

By Angela Carter, New Haven Register

State Sen. Toni Harp, D-New Haven, today will hold a press conference on recommendations to close Connecticut’s achievement gap.

CT: Malloy pursuing federal dollars during DC visit

By Deirdre Shesgreen,

WASHINGTON — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made an in-person pitch to top White House officials Friday for federal help with two major state projects: a $1 billion high-speed rail line and the planned expansion of the UConn Health Center’s John Dempsey Hospital.

CT: Malloy nominates eight for State Board of Education

By Grace E. Merritt, The Hartford Courant

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Friday put his stamp on the State Board of Education by nominating a diverse combination of seven new members. He also reappointed an existing member.

CT: Malloy wants to vet non-faculty hires by colleges and universities

By Jacqueline Rabe,

Concerned that the state’s public colleges and universities are spending too much on administration, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wants to require that all non-teaching hiring at the state’s public colleges and universities be approved by his budget office.

GA: HOPE vote coming in House

By Walter C. Jones, The Augusta Chronicle

The General Assembly hits the halfway point today as it holds its first five-day week of the session.

GA: HOPE bill moving swiftly through House

By Laura Diamond, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia lawmakers Thursday fast-tracked the proposed overhaul of the popular lottery-funded HOPE scholarship.

GA: Overhaul of HOPE advances

By Shannon McCaffrey, The Associated Press, The Athens Banner-Herald

A sweeping overhaul of the state’s lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship rapidly moved through the Georgia General Assembly on Thursday as two House panels signed off on the plan only two days after it was introduced.

GA: Perdue gives papers to Russell Library

By Staff, The Athens Banner-Herald

Former Gov. Sonny Perdue is giving his personal and official state papers to the University of Georgia’s Richard Russell Library for Political Research and Studies.

GA: Editorial — Don’t expect much from school-funding study

By Staff, The Athens Banner-Herald

A bill that would create the State Education Finance Study Commission was approved handily by the Georgia House of Representatives earlier this week. House Bill 192 now must make its way through the Georgia Senate.

HI: More kids in need of low-cost lunch

By Mary Vorsino, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

The number of Hawaii public school children eligible for free and reduced-cost lunch, a key indicator of poverty, has risen 20 percent — or by more than 13,500 children — since 2007.

IA: Iowans — Public workers should chip in

By Jennifer Jacobs, The Des Moines Register

A majority of Iowans want to require all government employees to pay at least $100 a month toward their health insurance coverage.

IA: Approve preschool program Iowans can afford

By Staff, The Des Moines Register

Once government gives people something, it’s hard to take it away. That is the case with universal preschool in Iowa.

IA: Legislators draft rules to allow schools to experiment outside building

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa

Two rural legislators are drafting new state rules they hope will allow more Iowa schools to experiment with courses that originate from somewhere outside the traditional school building.

IA: Tuition hike hits lab programs

By Jens Manuel Krogstad, The Des Moines Register

The state Board of Regents is scheduled to vote next month on tuition increases — and students in some programs will likely see increases of up to 40 percent.

IA: Critics — Branstad plan would cut middle-class preschool enrollment

By Mary Stegmer, The Des Moines Register

Visitors to the Iowa Statehouse got a behind-the-scenes look Saturday at the early childhood education program at the center of a legislative funding debate.

IA: Top GOP donor among 3 regent nominees

By Jens Manuel Krogstad and Tom Witosky, The Des Moines Register

State Board of Regents nominee Bruce Rastetter, a top Republican donor and fundraiser, will likely enjoy bipartisan support in the Iowa Senate when he and two other nominees announced Friday face confirmation.

IA: Bill that would force school consolidation doesn’t get far

By O. Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa

A bill that would have forced some small Iowa schools to close down and merge with a neighboring district has failed to clear even an initial hearing in the Iowa Senate.

IA: Dems — GOP preschool plan leaves families in the lurch

By Tony Leys, The Des Moines Register

Democratic legislators accused Republicans today of trying to pull the rug out from under parents who have already signed their children up for preschool for next fall.

IA: U.S. Education Secretary to speak at Iowa Education Summit

By Staff, The Des Moines Register

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be the keynote speaker at Iowa Education Summit on July 25-26 in Des Moines, officials announced today.

IA: Iowa House Democrats oppose Branstad’s preschool program

By James Q. Lynch, Quad-City Times

Gov. Terry Branstad’s proposal to provide scholarships to low-income families who enroll 4-year-olds in preschool would destroy a successful program, House Democrats warned Thursday.

ID: Idaho’s education reforms attract computer makers

By Jessie L. Bonner, The Idaho Statesman (Boise)

As Idaho looks at education reforms that could place laptops in every high school, computer companies are already eyeing what could become a lucrative contract with the state.

ID: Idaho Senate passes 2 out of 3 school reform bills

By Jessie L. Bonner, The Idaho Statesman (Boise)

The Idaho Senate passed legislation Thursday to eliminate tenure for new teachers and restrict collective bargaining, while also voting on a separate bill to introduce merit pay.

ID: Legislation would change aspects of teacher pay

By Ben Botkin, The Times-News (Twin Falls)

A shakeup of Idaho’s public education system got a big boost Thursday in the Senate. After a marathon five-hour session, the Senate passed two of three reform bills with votes of 20-15 on Thursday, giving more traction to State Superintendent Tom Luna’s “Students Come First” education overhaul push.

IL: Illinois demonstrators back Wisconsin unions

By Kiera Manion-Fischer, Quad-City Times

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered Saturday in front of the Illinois Statehouse to show solidarity with state workers in Wisconsin.

IL: Rally in Springfield to support unions

By Kurt Erickson, The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale)

Illinois union members and other activists are expected to rally at the Illinois Statehouse Saturday as part of a national protest over efforts to weaken union rights.

IL: Union supporters rally in Carbondale

By Stephen Rickerl, The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale)

CARBONDALE, Ill. — In a show of solidarity with public employee unions in Wisconsin, local union members and supporters gathered to voice their opposition to a measure that they say is an attempt to bust unions.

IL: UI graduate students show support at labor rally in Wisconsin

By Tim Mitchell, The News-Gazette (Champaign)

URBANA, Ill. — Some University of Illinois graduate students showed their support for their counterparts at the University of Wisconsin this weekend by taking supplies to graduate students who are rallying at the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison in an effort to keep their collective-bargaining rights.

IL: Schools chief says Illinois needs to consolidate districts

By Andrew Thomason, Illinois Statehouse News, The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale)

Illinois Superintendent of Education Chris Koch says the state needs to consolidate school districts, a move that could save millions of dollars.

IL: Auburn school construction plans stymied by tax law

By Amanda Reavy, The State Journal-Register (Springfield)

AUBURN, Ill. — A dispute with the Illinois Department of Revenue means $7.8 million worth of badly needed building repairs in the Auburn School District will have to wait.

IL: Senator’s proposal would eliminate tuition waivers for children of state university employees

By Kiera Manion-Fischer, Herald & Review (Decatur)

State university employees would no longer get a discount on their children’s tuition under a proposal backed by a top state Republican.

IL: State budget shortfall hits Morton East day care center for students’ kids

By Vikki Ortiz Healy, Chicago Tribune

A day care center set up amid the first-floor classrooms at Morton East High School allows teenage mothers and fathers to remain students while they tackle an even tougher subject: how to be young parents.

IL: First blow to Emanuel team

By Rick Pearson and John Chase, Chicago Tribune

A veteran politician Rahm Emanuel named to his mayoral transition team resigned her high-level state job last summer and paid a fine for conducting political business on state time, according to a newly filed ethics report.

IL: Ex-state rep quits Emanuel team over ethics violation

By Monifa Thomas, Chicago Sun-Times

A member of Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel’s newly appointed transition team resigned Friday after failing to disclose ethics violations from a previous state job.

IL: Ill. Senate prez — Local districts should cover teacher pensions

By Kurt Erickson, The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale)

Local school districts could get hit with a multi-million dollar bill under a pension cost-shifting plan being floated by a top state Democrat.

IL: Bill to make home-schoolers register tabled

By Brent Stewart, The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale)

Sharee Langenstein of Murphysboro and three of her daughters received an important lesson in representative government on a Feb. 15 trip to Springfield.

IL: School recess requirement fails to pass state House

By Kiera Manion-Fischer, The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale)

A proposed law that would have required all elementary schools in Illinois to provide at least 10 minutes of daily recess fell four votes short in the Illinois House Thursday.

IL: Chicago students lag in science

By Joel Hood, Chicago Tribune

A new national study on science proficiency indicates Illinois students are on par with their peers across the U.S., but Chicago students are lagging well behind counterparts in other large urban school districts.

IN: Assembly stuck in neutral

By Jon Seidel, Gary Post-Tribune

It wasn’t really a big surprise. Tension had been building for lawmakers at the Indiana Statehouse for weeks. Teachers and unions kept showing up with instructions to “give ‘em hell” about charter school and right-to-work bills.

IN: Rehearsal’s over — ISTEP starts today

By Dan McFeely, The Indianapolis Star

ISTEP testing begins this week at Indiana schools, and hopes are high that the estimated 510,000 Hoosier students — armed with sharpened No. 2 pencils — will continue to fill in the correct circles and improve on their scores.

IN: Will state’s top court settle school vouchers?

By Scott Elliott, The Indianapolis Star

Even before it became ensnared in the legislature’s political standoff, a bill that would allow parents to use public dollars to send their children to private schools had begun to stir debate over an important question: Is it constitutional?

KS: A look at how labor laws work in Kansas laws

By Andy Hyland, The Lawrence Journal-World

Teachers in Wisconsin continue to express their anger over being stripped of their collective bargaining powers.

KY: Storms rake Kentucky, house reported collapsed

By The Associated Press, Bowling Green Daily News

Storms moving through Kentucky are causing damage and delaying schools.

KY: Kentucky House advances bill on for-profit schools

By Bruce Schreiner, The Associated Press, The Courier-Journal (Louisville)

The task of regulating some of Kentucky’s larger for-profit schools would shift to the same council that oversees the state’s public universities under a bill passed by the House on Thursday.

LA: Ark. official approved for La. education job

By Jordan Blum, The Advocate (Baton Rouge)

Arkansas higher education chief Jim Purcell was unanimously hired Thursday as Louisiana’s new commissioner of higher education as anticipated.

LA: Ruling allowing SUNO-UNO merger study will be appealed, former state Sen. Cleo Fields says

By Jan Moller, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

An ongoing Board of Regents study on the potential merger of Southern University at New Orleans with the University of New Orleans can proceed after a judge late Thursday denied an injunction sought by Southern University students.

MD: City science scores near bottom of urban districts nationwide

By Liz Bowie and Erica L. Green, The Sun (Baltimore)

Only a small fraction of Baltimore’s fourth- and eighth-graders — just one in 20 — can be considered proficient in science, according to the results of a rigorous national test released Thursday.

MI: Don’t let emergency financial managers dismiss elected officials

By Staff, The Detroit News

Michigan needs to pump up its emergency financial manager law, but the reforms passed by the House are a tad too strong. Some of the muscle must be taken out before a final bill is signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

MI: Ready for college? Parents need to know the truth, state superintendent says

By Blake Thorne,

GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. — Most Genesee County high school students who graduate this spring won’t be ready for college, according to new data released this week from the Michigan Department of Education.

MI: Website measures how well Michigan schools are preparing students for college

By Monica Scott,

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Is your school graduating students who are ready for college and work?

MI: MSU prepared for state aid cuts

By Maureen Groppe, Detroit Free Press

WASHINGTON — Michigan State University prepared for a big drop in state funding, but not one as deep as the budget cuts proposed last week by Gov. Rick Snyder.

MI: Public retiree health costs must be confronted

By Staff, The Detroit News

Many of Michigan’s local governments have made retirement promises to their employees that they probably can’t keep.

ND: House idles key N.D. engine of growth

By Tom Dennis, Grand Forks Herald

In North Dakota, the House of Representatives just clamped down and tightened the screws on the North Dakota University System’s growth.

ND: Don’t put higher ed’s burden on tuition

By Staff, The Bismarck Tribune

Everybody gets it. Certain members of the North Dakota House of Representatives have a bone to pick with the chancellor and the state Board of Higher Education.

ND: A Sioux title raises logo questions

By Chuck Haga, The Forum (Fargo)

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Say the University of North Dakota men’s hockey team cruises to another national championship this spring and in the moments after the final buzzer a team trainer hands out new shirts and caps bearing the title and … what?

ND: Legislature debates whether to expand or disband Centers of Excellence

By Dale Wetzel, The Associated Press, The Bismarck Tribune

While the North Dakota House voted Thursday to abolish the state’s “centers of excellence” grant program for colleges, the Senate endorsed a $16.5 million expansion of it aimed at providing money to entrepreneurs and researchers.

ND: North Dakota Legislature eyes education overhaul

By Teri Finneman, The Forum (Fargo)

North Dakota lawmakers have created a proposal that would overhaul the state’s education system.

ND: 7 advance in NDSU provost search

By Staff, The Forum (Fargo)

Seven candidates will advance in the North Dakota State University provost search.

NJ: Riding high — on hot air on

By Tom Moran, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

It came as joyous news to learn from Gov. Chris Christie last week that New Jersey is now a “national model” that other states are rushing to copy. Who would have guessed? Wall Street just downgraded the state’s credit rating. Property taxes, already the nation’s highest, are still rising. And cops and teachers are being laid off by the bushel.

NJ: Christie administration threatens to withhold approval of Parsippany schools budget

By Staff, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The Christie administration delivered an ultimatum today to the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education: rescind Superintendent LeRoy Seitz’s contract or the state will not approve the school district’s budget.

NJ: Top teachers in N.J. hashing out their own reforms

By Eugene Paik, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

While Gov. Chris Christie seeks to reform the state’s education system, New Jersey’s reigning “teachers of the year” are banding together to find their own ways to improve schools.

NJ: Gov. Christie honors N.J. civil rights leader, pushes education reform

By Ginger Gibson, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

Gov. Chris Christie signed a proclamation today recognizing Trenton civil rights crusader Edith Savage Jennings as part of a Black History Month event.

NM: Bill to end social promotion of third-graders clears committee

By Robert Nott, Santa Fe New Mexican

Despite the fact that no one quite knows what the program will cost or how it will be financed, the House Education Committee voted 10-1 Saturday to pass a bill preventing third-graders who cannot read from moving on to the fourth grade.

NV: Bill would ban smoking on college campuses

By Benjamin Spillman, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Smoking would be banned on every state college and university campus in Nevada under a bill that has been proposed in the Legislature.

NV: Lawmaker panels to review education budgets, gun permits, election reforms, energy

By Sandra Chereb, The Associated Press, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Legislative money panels hit the road for hearings on education budgets as the Nevada Legislature kicks off week four. Legislators also will take up election reforms, gun permits, green energy measures and juvenile services.

NV: Democrats could put tax increase issue on 2012 ballot

By Benjamin Spillman, Las Vegas Review-Journal

The Legislature’s Democratic majority could raise cash to spend on education, social services and other programs as early as Jan. 1, 2013, without support from any Republican lawmakers, the endorsement of Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval or a statewide signature drive.

NV: Group attacks Sandoval’s teacher salary cut proposals

By Ed Vogel, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Gov. Brian Sandoval has shown “contempt” for public school teachers by proposing to cut their pay by 12 percent to 20 percent, the state teachers union leader said Thursday.

NV: Democrats open round in battle over state funding

By David McGrath Schwartz, Las Vegas Sun

Democratic lawmakers made their opening proposals to reform Nevada schools Thursday, giving a taste of the carrots they’ll be dangling in front of the Republicans they hope will join them in voting for a tax increase this session.

OH: Is it really a secret that Jim Petro is set to replace Eric Fingerhut as chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents?

By Michael K. McIntyre, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

In what may likely be the worst-kept secret in Columbus, Gov. John Kasich is expected Monday to name former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro to overs universities and community colleges as chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents.

OH: Welcome reversal — Barring union-friendly school-building rules will stretch tax dollars

By Staff, The Columbus Dispatch

The Ohio School Facilities Commission did taxpayers a favor Thursday by reversing a Ted Strickland-era policy that has allowed organized-labor interests to pressure school boards into spending more than necessary on building projects.

OH: Fingerhut’s exit is a loss to Ohio

By Brent Larkin, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Eric Fingerhut figured out early on he wasn’t wanted in the Kasich administration.

OH: Lawmakers have to make it easier for politicians to say no

By Thomas Suddes, The Columbus Dispatch

No suspense in this movie: Ohio’s GOP-run Senate will, likely this week, pass a bill to crimp the power of unions that represent Ohio public employees, including teachers and cops.

OH: Public workers should be able to bargain

By Joseph Slater, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Collective bargaining rights for public employees are now under attack in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states. These attacks are misguided.

OH: Go to college to learn what Senate Bill 5 will do

By Maria Maisto and Matthew Williams, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Rather than speculate about what might happen if Senate Bill 5 eliminates public employee collective bargaining in Ohio, legislators should study what has actually happened as a result of one group of public employees having been denied this right for the past 28 years.

OH: Teachers unions outlawed in some states

By Joanne Huist Smith, Dayton Daily News

Teachers working for Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools haven’t gotten a raise in two years.

OH: Ohio colleges must prove spending need

By Christopher Magan, Dayton Daily News

If public colleges and universities want to spend money to expand, school officials will have to convince members of the state’s Controlling Board that the proposed expansion will benefit Ohio’s economy and lead to the creation of jobs.

OH: OU plans cuts to plug likely $33M budget gap

By Encarnacion Pyle, The Columbus Dispatch

Rather than hunker down and wait to see how bad the financial storm gets, Ohio University has created a deficit-reduction plan to help it weather two more tough years – even before the state budget has been released.

OH: Kasich selects Petro as next chancellor

By Julie Carr Smyth, The Associated Press, The Columbus Dispatch

Former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro will be the state’s next higher-education chancellor, the Associated Press learned yesterday.

OH: Kasich touting plan for ‘charter universities’

By Cliff Peale, The Cincinnati Enquirer

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is promoting a plan for “charter universities” that would exempt colleges from multiple state regulations as long as they meet certain conditions, while continuing to receive taxpayer money.

OH: Study — Schools need to share services

By Jessica Brown, The Cincinnati Enquirer

As school districts throughout Ohio brace for potentially crushing state funding cuts, a locally-funded study is recommending structural changes in how districts handle everything from payroll to school bus routes.

OH: Suburban school district reps meet with hopes to save state funding

By Joe Noga, Sun News, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

With one eye on Columbus, representatives from more than a dozen suburban school districts gathered Thursday night at North Olmsted Middle School to talk state funding and discuss solutions to a potential 15-20 percent cut in education dollars in the upcoming two-year state budget.

OH: State panel, under Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s direction, prohibits school districts from requiring union-scale wages on contruction projects

By Joe Guillen, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

A state panel that oversees school construction stripped school districts Thursday of the authority to require contractors to pay union-scale wages or to require the use of union workers through project labor agreements.

OK: Oklahoma-based school improvement program recognizes schools

By Megan Rolland, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City)

The Oklahoma-based program Great Expectations named 71 Oklahoma schools “models” of the professional development program at an awards ceremony Wednesday at University of Central Oklahoma.

OK: Some Oklahoma college students choose not to use alcohol

By Darla Slipke, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City)

Oklahoma State University sophomore Emily Handy is more likely to spend her Friday nights watching movies with friends than out partying.

OR: Oregon University System will consider whether to reorganize scattered chancellor’s office

By Bill Graves, The Oregonian (Portland)

Oregon’s chancellor, the state university system’s chief executive, has homes in two cities, staff on three campuses and a dramatically eroding budget that is prompting leaders to question whether his office should be reorganized and possibly consolidated in Portland.

PA: Statewide public school test results visible online

By Eleanor Chute, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For the first time in Pennsylvania, the public now can see not only how public schools and districts statewide fared on state tests but also whether their students moved ahead or fell behind in reading and math.

PA: School vouchers- What your lawmakers are saying

By Jan Murphy, The Patriot-News (Harrisburg)

A move to give parents taxpayer-paid vouchers to send their children to a school of their choice continues to gain traction in Pennsylvania.

PA: Pennsylvania lawmakers suggest amendments to school voucher bill

By Jan Murphy, The Patriot-News (Harrisburg)

Lawmakers are lining up behind the idea of giving parents taxpayer-paid vouchers to send their children to schools of their choice.

RI: Board votes to dismiss all Providence teachers

By Linda Borg, The Providence Journal

After two hours of contentious discussion, the School Board voted 4 to 3 Thursday night to send out termination notices to each of the city’s 1,926 public school teachers.

SC: SC superintendent to discuss charter schools on TV

By The Associated Press, The State (Columbia)

South Carolina’s public schools chief will discuss charter schools live on South Carolina Educational Television.

SC: Budget plan cuts education, health care

By John O’Connor, The State (Columbia)

The loss of federal stimulus money means S.C. colleges, schools and health care agencies will have to trim their budgets, according to a $5 billion spending plan for the state approved Wednesday night.

SD: Lt. Gov. Michels lauds local property tax freeze

By The Associated Press, Rapid City Journal

Lt. Gov. Matt Michels (MY’-kuhls) says a proposal to let school districts freeze their property taxes could help ease education cuts at a state level.

TN: Phil Bredesen — Focus on schools and jobs

By Phil Bredesen, The New York Times

Every governor is like the captain of a ship, the steward of a large and sprawling state government. He has to navigate through the crosscurrents and remain focused, despite the wind and waves, on those few things that really count.

TN: Memphis City Schools Supt. Kriner Cash seeks 6-day classes, accelerated graduation

By Jane Roberts, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis)

Regardless of who’s in charge of Memphis City Schools next year, Supt. Kriner Cash is moving on an ambitious plan to begin six-day weeks for elementary school children, fast-track graduation options in high schools and the utilization of new technology.

TX: Texas Education Agency — Black students more likely to be kicked out of classrooms for incidents not warranting removal  Registration Required

By Tawnell D. Hobbs, The Dallas Morning News

Black students in Texas are much more likely to be kicked out of their regular classrooms than children of other races when the decision is left up to school administrators, according to state data from the last three years.

TX: UT chancellor concerned about proposed handgun law allowing guns on campus

By Erin Mulvaney, The Dallas Morning News

University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa is warning Gov. Rick Perry against a measure to allow guns on college campuses, citing the opinions of parents, students, faculty, law enforcement and mental health professionals.

TX: Senate bill aims to ease pressure on school districts about teacher layoffs

By Erin Mulvaney, The Dallas Morning News

A group of lawmakers wants to allow school districts to delay teacher layoffs until they see exactly how much state leaders will cut public education funding.

TX: No easy answers for deep budget cuts in education

By Kate Alexander, The Austin American-Statesman

Here’s one way Texas legislators could trim the state’s tab for public education by nearly $10 billion: lop off 48 days from the school year.

TX: Senate bill aims to ease pressure on school districts about teacher layoffs

By Erin Mulvaney, The Dallas Morning News

A group of lawmakers wants to allow school districts to delay teacher layoffs until they see exactly how much state leaders will cut public education funding.

TX: Do Texas schools spend too much on administration?

By Morgan Smith, The Texas Tribune

Beaumont Independent School District is the 64th largest in Texas. It is also the home of the state’s highest-paid public school administrator.

US: What we learned in the statehouse

By Bill Ritter Jr., Mark Sanford, Bill Richardson and Phil Bredesen, The New York Times

With America’s governors gathering in Washington this weekend to discuss their ailing state budgets and other common problems, the Op-Ed editors asked four departing state leaders to single out difficulties their successors face — and to provide guidance on how to conquer them.

US: Lawmakers debate effect of weapons on campus

By Marc Lacey, The New York Times

PHOENIX — Along with the meaning of life and the origin of the universe, college students across the country have another existential question to ponder: the wisdom of allowing guns in class.

US: Governors look for means to cope with budgets

By Robert Pear, The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Democratic governors warned Saturday that federal budget cuts could crimp a fragile economic recovery, and governors of both major parties asked the Obama administration to give them more flexibility in running education and health care programs so that they could cope.

US: State lawmakers battling with public-sector unions

By Diane Stanford, Kansas City Star

Distressed state budgets. A public opposed to tax increases. Republican majorities in state legislatures that sense political opportunity. Those ingredients combined this week to create a toxic stew for public unions in particular and organized labor at large.

UT: Lawmakers want say in how civics is taught

By Molly Farmer, Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

A sometimes heated discussion over the civics and American history concepts students learn in Utah schools is ramping up as the Legislative session winds down.

UT: Pulling the plug — A perfect storm is brewing that could change higher education

By Sara Lenz, Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

In front of hundreds of students, faculty and staff this month, Matthew Holland laid out the dire financial situation at Utah Valley University.

UT: Bill to keep school districts from paying teachers on union leave passes House

By Molly Farmer, Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

A bill that would restrict school districts from paying teachers who take time off for union obligations passed the House on Wednesday and now moves to the Senate.

UT: Utah House amends, shelves repeal of in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants — for now

By Dennis Romboy, Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)

After the Utah House tweaked a bill aimed at repealing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants Thursday, its sponsor abruptly pulled it from consideration — at least for the afternoon.

VA: Va. lawmakers end annual session with increased spending on schools, health care

By Rosalind S. Helderman and Fredrick Kunkle, The Washington Post

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia General Assembly adjourned its annual legislative session Sunday evening after adopting revisions to the state’s two-year budget that provides the first spending increases for schools and health care since the economic downturn began.

VA: Va. legislators unanimously adopt $80 billion budget

By Julian Walker, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk)

Millions in state funding that local school systems feared they would lose was preserved in the compromise state budget adopted Sunday evening. The revised two-year spending plan features roughly $75 million more for public education than the introduced budget.

VA: Gov. Bob McDonnell says education funding grew six times faster than enrollment

By Jacob Geiger, PolitiFact, Richmond Times-Dispatch

The governor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, in a story that ran Feb. 20, that K-12 education funding has grown six times faster than enrollment over the last decade. We graded McDonnell’s math.

WA: Washington should stick to proven state math standards

By Clifford F. Mass, The Seattle Times

If our state Legislature takes no action this session, Washington state will drop its new, improved math standards for an untested experiment: Common Core “national” standards that have never been used in the classroom and for which assessments have yet to be developed.

WA: ‘Retire-rehire’ targeted

By Jordan Schrader, The Olympian

At a time when state government is slimming down its work force, there’s broad agreement in Olympia that public employees shouldn’t be able to draw a state pension and a salary at the same time.

WA: State university presidents paint grim picture on budget cuts

By Katherine Long, The Seattle Times

Fewer Washington state students would be admitted to the state’s universities, and more high-paying out-of-state students would be accepted.

WA: Documents detail financial abuse in Seattle schools program

By Steve Miletich, Linda Shaw and Bob Young, The Seattle Times

A former Seattle Public Schools manager ran a rogue contracting operation within district offices, replete with overbilling, ethics violations and intimidation of critics, according to documents released by the state Thursday.

WI: About 600 stalwart protesters allowed to stay in Capitol overnight

By Patricia Simms and Gena Kittner, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

Hundreds of protesters remained at the state Capitol overnight without incident and were not arrested, after police spent most of Sunday meeting with union leaders and encouraging protesters to leave voluntarily and peacefully.

WI: Capitol camp-out continues

By Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Faced with several hundred drum-beating, dancing and chanting demonstrators who refused to leave the state Capitol after the doors were shut at 4 p.m. Sunday, police decided to let the crowd spend the night and continue the protest against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.

WI: Budget stalemate as strong as ever

By Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Who will blink first? Neither side is budging in Wisconsin’s epic fight over union rights, but at some point the dispute must come to a head. And Tuesday could prove to be a crucial day.

WI: Give public employees a stake in economic revival

By Tom Still, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

During his Tuesday night “fireside chat” about Wisconsin’s budget woes and his plan to dramatically curb the influence of public-sector unions, Gov. Scott Walker aptly referred to public employees as the state’s “partners in economic development.”

WI: Divorce, Madison style

By Staff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Are the University of Wisconsin System and its Madison campus headed for divorce court? Can this marriage be saved? Should it be saved?

WI: You heard it here first — Tax the rich and solve budget shortfall

By Marc V. Levine, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

One of the most pernicious myths surrounding the Wisconsin budget showdown is Gov. Scott Walker’s claim that the state is “broke,” there is nothing to negotiate and the only solution is to mandate massive reductions in public employee compensation and to abolish their collective bargaining rights

WI: Child care center online rating system attracts kudos, critics

By Doug Erickson, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

After years of planning, Wisconsin began rating child care centers and posting the results online, drawing mixed reactions from child care providers.

WI: Legislators move to repeal mascots law

By Kevin Hoffman, Janesville Gazette

WHITEWATER, Wisc. — Republican lawmakers this week introduced a bill to repeal legislation that granted the state schools superintendent authority to force school districts to change racially based nicknames.

WI: Walker interested in splitting other schools from UW System

By Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday he supports spinning off not just the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a separate authority, but a number of other campuses as well.

WI: UW-Madison chancellor won’t back split without tuition control

By Sharif Durhams, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin told the Board of Regents on Friday that if a plan to split UW-Madison from the UW System did not give her campus more control over tuition, then she wouldn’t back it.

WI: Faculty uneasy over plan to split UW

By Kevin Hoffman, Janesville Gazette

JANESVILLE, Wisc. — UW-Madison leaders insist transfer agreements with other universities won’t change if the flagship campus splits from the statewide system, but local educators remain skeptical.

WI: Public workers prepare for strike, but experts disagree on lawfulness of action

By Gina Duwe, Janesville Gazette

School districts and unions are making plans in case strikes are in their future, but educators and law experts disagree on whether the provisions in the state budget repair bill would make public employee strikes legal.

WI: Layoff notices stun teachers

By Darryl Enriquez, Janesville Gazette

DELAVAN, Wisc. — The uncertainty of Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial budget repair bill and his pending biennial budget has caused some school districts to scramble and get preliminary notices into teachers’ hands by the end of this month.

WI: As impasse continues, schools eye layoffs

By Patrick Condon, Janesville Gazette

Wisconsin school districts are warning teachers that their contracts might not be renewed as Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to cut nearly all public employees’ collective bargaining rights remains in limbo.

WI: Administrators tentative on breaching their silence on repair bill

By Staff, Janesville Gazette

Don’t go there. That was the message from many Rock County city managers and school superintendents about the state budget repair bill and how it would strip public employees of most of their collective bargaining rights.

WI: Rep. Joe Knilans says he agonized over budget-repair bill vote

By Jim Leute, Janesville Gazette

JANESVILLE, Wisc. — Rep. Joe Knilans said his vote early Friday in support of Gov. Scott Walker’s contentious budget repair bill was the most difficult he’s cast in his eight-week Assembly career.

WI: Wisconsin Capitol protesters strive for peaceful message

By Ben Jones, Green Bay Press-Gazette

For days, demonstrators have marched with signs that say, “GOVERNOR WALKER: THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING.”

WI: Wisconsin Capitol protests may end, but movement is just starting

By Ben Jones, Green Bay Press-Gazette

As difficult as it is to evict hundreds of determined protesters from the Capitol, more difficult still will be stopping their movement.

WI: Protesters at Capitol get ‘positive nudge’

By Steve Contorno, Green Bay Press-Gazette

Maybe it was a symbolic victory. Maybe it was much more. But for the hundreds of protesters who thought they were going to be forcibly removed from the Capitol on Sunday evening by authorities, getting to stay another night was a tally in the win column.

WI: Lines of communication open, Democratic senators say

By Don Walker, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) said Saturday that he has been in contact with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) as a means of breaking the impasse over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.

WI: Could a general strike happen here? Experts say maybe

By Pat Schneider, The Capital Times (Madison)

The confrontation between labor and politics at the Wisconsin Capitol was just starting as workers in Egypt who left their jobs and took to the streets toppled a government, and it wasn’t long before activists in Madison began invoking the spirit of that uprising.

WI: In national appearance, Walker questions sincerity of unions

By Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday the quick passage of local union contracts around in the state in recent weeks shows public workers aren’t committed to paying more for their retirement and health care.

WI: Anatomy of a protest — From a simple march to a national fight

By Dan Simmons, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

On Feb. 7, with Wisconsin united in the afterglow of a Green Bay Packers victory in the Super Bowl, brand-new Gov. Scott Walker convened a dinner meeting of his Cabinet at the Governor’s Mansion.

WI: Wisconsin — A house divided

By Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

LA CROSSE, Wisc. — Not for decades, perhaps not since the ’60s, has an issue galvanized opinion here like Gov. Scott Walker’s full-frontal challenge to public employee unions.

WI: State’s insurance plan still generous

By Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The standoff in Madison on collective-bargaining rights largely has overshadowed that state employees effectively will be taking a significant pay cut under Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.

WI: Protesters jam Capitol Square, deriding budget bill

By Bill Glauber and Don Walker, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

With a light snow falling and tens of thousands of voices rising, demonstrators jammed the state Capitol and surrounding square Saturday in a massive protest against Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.

WI: Many city officials think union limits go too far

By Erin Richards, Amy Hetzner and Tom Tolan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In the budget-repair bill looming in the state Legislature, Gov. Scott Walker has described a proposal to sharply limit most public unions’ ability to bargain as a gift to local officials in tight financial times.

WI: On teachers unions, the devil is in the details

By Robert Maranto, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

National Public Radio recently ran a story comparing the protests by teachers unions in Madison to the struggle for democracy in Egypt and Bahrain, by implication comparing Gov. Scott Walker to Hosni Mubarak.

WI: Walker eyes raid on employee insurance fund

By Mike Ivey, The Capital Times (Madison)

Gov. Scott Walker has always dismissed the idea of using segregated funds to help balance the state budget.

WI: Those other parts

By Staff, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The public has focused, with good reason, on collective bargaining restrictions in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill. But other items deserve more scrutiny, and to get it, they should be stripped from the bill and debated separately.

WI: Schultz compromise still best

By Staff, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

Are Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature capable of a “thoughtful approach” to ending their budget stalemate? Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, thinks so.

WI: Senate leader Fitzgerald’s wife gets layoff notice

By The Associated Press, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

Among those receiving preliminary layoff notices this week is the wife of Republican Senate Majority leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau. Lisa Fitzgerald is a counselor in the Hustisford School District.

WI: Tempers explode as Assembly passes controversial budget repair bill

By Todd Richmond, The Associated Press, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly took the first significant action on their plan to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers, abruptly passing the measure early Friday morning before sleep-deprived Democrats realized what was happening.

WI: Uproar on the Assembly floor — and outside

By Jason Stein, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Democratic lawmakers in the Assembly exploded and jumped to their feet late Thursday after Republican lawmakers moved the budget repair bill toward a vote on final passage.

WI: Janesville high schoolers walk out in protest of budget cuts

By Ann Marie Ames and Frank Schultz, Janesville Gazette

JANESVILLE, Wisc. — The Janesville high school students who walked out of classes Wednesday are thinking about how to save courses being considered for cuts, but officials offered them no reason for hope.

WI: Janesville schools official wants to set example if bill passes

By Frank Schultz, Janesville Gazette

JANESVILLE, Wisc. — The superintendent of Janesville public schools would pay more for her pension and health insurance if a bill imposing those payments on state workers becomes law.

WI: Area teachers, union members hold demonstrations on Green Bay area bridges

By Alex Morrell, Green Bay Press-Gazette

Area teachers and union members gathered at a few bridges in Green Bay and De Pere on Thursday to protest Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill and request a “bridge to resolution.”

WI: Madison School District preparing hundreds of teacher layoff notices

By Matthew DeFour and Gena Kittner, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

The Madison School District and others across the state are scrambling to issue preliminary layoff notices to teachers by Monday due to confusion over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill and the delay of the state budget.

WI: Assembly agrees to deal ending debate; Senate Dems still absent

By Scott Bauer and Todd Richmond, The Associated Press, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison)

Wisconsin state troopers were dispatched Thursday to find at least one of the 14 Senate Democrats who have been on the run for eight days to delay a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to strip collective bargaining rights from nearly all public employees.

WI: Budget-repair bill approved in early-morning vote

By Jason Stein, Steve Schultze and Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

After a bitter, 61-hour debate that was the longest in living memory, the sleep-starved state Assembly voted in just seconds early Friday to approve a watershed proposal repealing most union bargaining rights held by public workers.

WI: Barrett offers alternative to budget-repair bill

By Larry Sandler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett called Thursday for clearing the legislative logjam in Madison with a bill that would focus on restructuring state debts and public employee benefits, while setting aside the contentious issue of slashing government workers’ bargaining rights.

WI: School districts prepare for layoffs ahead of Walker’s budget proposal

By Amy Hetzner and Erin Richards, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The first tremors of what could be coming when Gov. Scott Walker releases his 2011-’13 budget proposal next week are rippling through Wisconsin school districts, where officials are preparing for the worst possibilities and girding for fiscal fallouts.

WY: Wyoming House alters student concussion bill

By The Associated Press, Casper Star-Tribune

The House drastically changed a bill dealing with prep athletes who suffer concussions. Senate File 38 was amended in the House on Friday. It faces one more House vote.

WY: Underperforming Wyoming schools focus of amendment

By Joan Barron, Casper Star-Tribune

The 70 underperforming K-12 schools in Wyoming will be the initial focus of a new education accountability program, state House members said Friday.

WY: Wyoming Board of Education undergoes significant change

By Jeremy Pelzer, Casper Star-Tribune

Gov. Matt Mead nominated seven new members — including two former gubernatorial candidates — for the state Board of Education this week.

WY: Wyoming House- No pay for school board members

By Joan Barron, Casper Star-Tribune

School board officials are performing a volunteer, public service and should not be compensated, a majority of Wyoming House of Representatives members concluded Thursday.

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