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Science Education Act challenge fails


Shreveport Times – Mike Hasten

BATON ROUGE — Dozens of students, teachers and college professors pushing for the repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act went away disappointed

Senators reject repeal of 2008 Science Education Act‎ – NOLA.com
Louisiana Senate Rejects Repeal of Science Education Act‎ – Gather.com
Louisiana Preserves Science Education Act That Encourages Academic ‎ – Discovery Institute

AK: Parnell plans big cuts to Legislature’s capital budget

By Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press, Anchorage Daily News

Gov. Sean Parnell said Thursday that it is his intent to pare the state capital budget down to $2.8 billion — meaning he’d have to trim nearly a whopping $400 million.

AL: Governor outlines new process for Auburn trustees

By The Associated Press, Montgomery Advertiser

The Auburn trustee selection committee has reopened the process and is taking applications from people who want to serve in any of the nine trustee positions that are available.

AL: Alabama Legislature gives final approval to state budgets

By David White, The Birmingham News

The Legislature this morning gave its final approval to both state budgets for next year — one that could lead to hundreds of layoffs at non-education agencies and one that would provide 1,125 fewer state-funded teacher positions.

AL: State treasurer has plan to smooth out payments from Legislature to troubled PACT program

By Bob Lowry, The Birmingham News

State Treasurer Young Boozer said today legislative leaders are receptive to a plan for the 2012 session that would smooth out payments to Alabama’s Prepaid Affordable College Tuition plan.

AL: Alabama House passes overhaul of teacher tenure law

By Kim Chandler, The Birmingham News

The Alabama House of Representatives tonight voted 56-43 for an overhaul of state tenure law.

AL: New congressional, school board district lines clear hurdle in Alabama Legislature

By David White, The Birmingham News

Plans to redraw Alabama’s seven congressional districts and eight state Board of Education districts in time for next year’s elections sailed through their first legislative challenges Wednesday and face more debate Thursday.

AL: Ala. seeking death penalty in Bishop case

By Travis Andersen, The Boston Globe

Alabama prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the Amy Bishop case, her attorney confirmed last night.

AZ: Arizona eligible for a piece of education grant

By The Associated Press, Arizona Capitol Times (Phoenix)

Arizona is one of nine states eligible for a slice of $200 million in U.S. Department of Education grant money.

CA: Adult education hard-hit by changes in school spending rules, study finds

By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Adult education programs were hard-hit by changes in spending rules for school districts struggling to keep basic operations going during California’s budget crisis, according to a new study released Thursday.

CA: Greater flexibility in spending hurts low-achieving students

By Louis Freedberg, California Watch

A $4.5 billion experiment intended to give schools greater flexibility over state education dollars has resulted in cutbacks in some programs targeting students who need the most academic help.

CA: California may win smaller grant from federal ‘Race to the Top’

By Howard Blume

California and eight other states are in line to receive a consolation prize after falling short in the widely publicized “Race to the Top” competition for federal school-reform grants.

CA: State opens seismic retrofit fund to thousands of schools

By Kendall Taggart, California Watch

State officials voted yesterday to expand access to a $200 million fund created for urgent seismic repairs at California’s public schools.

CA: Deal on CSU, UC foundation disclosures

By Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle

State university officials, who have fought to keep secret the financial details of how campus foundations manage nearly $2 billion, have withdrawn their opposition to public disclosure under a compromise with public records advocates and state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco.

CO: Colorado lands $6 million to fund school turnaround programs

By Yesenia Robles, The Denver Post

The U.S. Department of Education today said Colorado has been awarded $6 million for school turnaround work.

CO: Colorado to apply for education grants

By Staff, The Denver Post

Colorado is one of nine states eligible for a new $200 million phase of Race to the Top funding, the U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday — and state leaders plan to apply.

CT: Malloy details science idea

By Stephanie Reitz, the Associated Press, Waterbury Republican-American

A proposal to overhaul the University of Connecticut Health Center into a bioscience research hub received a mixed reaction Thursday from lawmakers, some of whom praised its job-creation potential while others criticized its $864 million price tag.

CT: State offers low-interest loans for students

By Kathleen Megan, The Hartford Courant

Need a loan for college? Connecticut’s higher education supplemental loan program has $37.8 million in new loan money for the upcoming academic year.

FL: State to close controversial boys’ school rocked by scandals in Marianna

By Ben Montgomery and Waveney Ann Moore, St. Petersburg Times, The Miami Herald

The state-run school for boys in Marianna, which has eluded closure for more than a century despite chronic scandal, is closing June 30 after 111 years of operation.

FL: Third-grade FCAT results hard to compare

By Kathleen McGrory, The Miami Herald

While scores on the third-grade FCAT held steady this year in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, state education officials cautioned Thursday against reading too much into them.

FL: State to release third-grade FCAT scores

By Kathleen McGrory, The Miami Herald

Elementary schools across the Sunshine State will soon learn how their third-graders fared on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests.

GA: Georgia AG enters charter schools case

By Dave Williams, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens asked the state Supreme Court Thursday to reconsider its decision overturning a law allowing the state to create charter schools without the approval of local school boards.

GA: University bristles at low research ranking

By Lee Shearer, The Athens Banner-Herald

University of Georgia researchers are among the least productive in the nation, according to a ranking that compares research spending at 72 major U.S. research universities to the number of journal articles their researchers publish.

GA: University System execs retire, still get paid

By James Salzer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For nine years after he retired as the chancellor of the University System of Georgia, Stephen Portch remained on the state’s payroll, collecting $823,000 as an adviser and consultant, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

GA: Group seeks to boost HOPE revenue through video lottery terminals

By Aaron Gould Sheinin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A coalition of former lottery officials and business interests will launch a statewide campaign today to push video lottery gambling.

HI: NASA picks Hawaii to prep moon base

By B.J. Reyes, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Fifty years after President John F. Kennedy’s famous speech committing the country to landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth, the state and NASA announced a new partnership aimed at involving Hawaii in the next phase of the agency’s manned and unmanned exploration of the moon and deep space.

IA: State-paid preschool is likely to survive, Branstad says

By Staci Hupp, The Des Moines Register

Iowans can expect state-paid preschool to be spared from the budget ax next year.

IA: Iowa budget fight snags Branstad’s preschool plan

By The Associated Press, Quad-City Times

Republican Gov. Terry Branstad said his plan to restructure voluntary preschool for Iowa 4-year-olds remains stalled in the Legislature and changes are unlikely to be in place by the new school year.

ID: Idaho’s system of choosing school trustees isn’t working

By Staff, The Times-News (Twin Falls)

Amid great fanfare, the last Legislature consolidated Idaho elections and limited voting to four dates each year. The current Legislature needs to make a few more election reforms.

ID: Opponents say education overhaul repeal will go to voters in 2011

By The Associated Press, The Times-News (Twin Falls)

Organizers of a bid to dump the education and teachers union overhaul that passed the 2011 Idaho Legislature say they’ve gathered enough signatures to put all three repeal measures on the November 2012 ballot.

ID: Idaho school petitions pass mark

By Chelsea Bannach, Spokesman-Review (Spokane)

More than 47,000 Idaho residents, the required number, have signed each of three petitions to put education reform laws recently passed by the Idaho Legislature to referendum votes next year, according to Idahoans for Responsible Education Reform.

ID: Superintendent Luna announces Students Come First technology task force

By Staff, Idaho State Journal (Pocatello)

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna announced today the 38-member Students Come First Technology Task Force that will help implement the unprecedented investments in classroom technology that are part of Idaho’s education reform laws.

ID: Idaho education agency paid $860 for third panic button

By The Associated Press, The Idaho Statesman (Boise)

Records show the Idaho Department of Education paid more than $800 in March to have a third panic button installed at the agency’s office in Boise.

ID: Luna opposition says reform repeal will be on November 2012 ballot

By Staff, The Times-News (Twin Falls)

The organizers behind an effort to put this year’s state education reforms to a public vote say they’ve accomplished their goal.

ID: Idaho remains near bottom in per-student spending

By The Associated Press, The Idaho Statesman (Boise)

New census data shows data shows Idaho remains near the bottom when it comes to how much public schools spend per student.

ID: Idaho school overhaul foes clear referendum hurdle

By John Miller, The Associated Press, The Idaho Statesman (Boise)

Organizers of a bid to dump the education and teachers union overhaul that passed the 2011 Idaho Legislature say they’ve gathered enough signatures to put all three repeal measures on the November 2012 ballot.

IL: Illinois a finalist for Race to the Top funds

By The Associated Press, Quad-City Times

The U.S. Department of Education announced nine states _ including Illinois _ that did not win grants in the earlier rounds of Race to the Top for grades K-12 can compete for $200 million in grants in the next round. The grants range from $10 million to $50 million.

IL: Senate approves teaching ‘age appropriate’ sex ed

By Deanna Bellandi, The Associated Press, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights)

Legislation requiring sex education classes to discuss contraception in addition to abstinence passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday over objections from some Republicans who want local school boards to decide what material is best to teach.

IN: Controversial fee continues to fund programs

By Eric Weddle, Journal and Courier (Lafayette)

Two years ago Purdue University officials pressed their luck with state lawmakers by not only raising tuition by 5 percent, but also adding a $500 fee to students’ bills.

KS: 20 bills get governor’s signature

By John Hanna, Wichita Eagle

Kansas is launching an initiative to train more engineers, restrict private health insurance coverage for abortion, declare opposition to last year’s federal health care overhaul and strengthen laws against drunken driving.

KS: Brownback challenges life science industry

By The Associated Press, Wichita Eagle

Gov. Sam Brownback said there’s still plenty of room for improvement despite the University of Kansas Medical Center jumping 15 spots in the past five years on a National Institutes of Health list.

KS: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signs measure to increase engineering graduates at KU and other schools

By Scott Rothschild, The Lawrence Journal-World

An initiative to increase the number of engineering graduates in Kansas, which had been dramatically resuscitated at the end of the legislative session, was given final approval Wednesday by Gov. Sam Brownback.

KS: Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signs bill addressing state’s KPERS funding problems

By John Hanna, The Lawrence Journal-World

Gov. Sam Brownback signed legislation Wednesday to inject more taxpayer dollars into Kansas’ public pension system while also requiring teachers and government workers to make concessions on their future retirement benefits.

KY: Kentucky eligible for new round of federal school reform grants

By Staff, The Courier-Journal (Louisville)

Kentucky is one of nine states eligible for a new round of federal Race to the Top grants intended to promote school reform.

LA: Senators reject repeal of 2008 Science Education Act

By Bill Barrow, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

The Senate Education Committee on Thursday spiked an effort to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act that critics assail as a back door to allow intelligent design and the biblical creation story to enter the science curriculum. The 5-1 vote buries Senate Bill 70 by Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans.

MA: A student’s lunar breakthrough

By Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Boston Globe

It’s long been accepted that the moon is dry. No oceans wash its Swiss cheese surface, and lunar rocks and soil samples collected by Apollo astronauts 40 years ago bolstered the case the moon was an arid place.

MA: Councilors push bill to reduce dropouts

By James Vaznis, The Boston Globe

Two Boston city councilors, frustrated that hundreds of city teenagers quit school each year, launched an effort yesterday to persuade the Legislature to raise the legal dropout age in Boston from 16 to 18.

MD: Johns Hopkins receives $10 million to open patient safety institute

By Meredith Cohn, The Sun (Baltimore)

Johns Hopkins plans to use a $10 million gift to launch an institute for patient safety, aiming to reduce medical mistakes that have long troubled health care facilities around the nation.

MD: State school board believes Thornton law needs to be amended

By Liz Bowie, The Sun (Baltimore)

Maryland’s state school board said in an opinion issued Wednesday saying that it believes state law needs to be amended to prevent county governments from reducing their current levels of school funding.

ME: Maine lawmakers loosen teen work rules

By Mal Leary, Bangor Daily News

Gov. Paul LePage is expected to sign into law legislation allowing 16- and 17-year-olds in Maine to work longer hours during the school year, his office confirmed Thursday. But the legislation provoked lengthy debate before being enacted earlier this week, with some lawmakers arguing students need to be students first.

MI: Michigan budget approved in modern record time

By Peter Luke, mlive.com

A 2012 budget that cuts state aid to K-12 schools, universities and municipalities was approved in modern record time this afternoon, four months ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline of the next fiscal year.

MI: Ready for a third ‘Race to the Top?’ State educators want to study chances before applying

By Dave Murray, mlive.com

Michigan educators fell short in the first two rounds of the federal government’s Race to the Top reform competition, but think they might have a shot at a third phase announced today that focuses on early childhood efforts.

MI: Michigan Senate OKs K-12 funding reductions

By Tim Martin, the Associated Press, Lansing State Journal

The Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature is close to wrapping up work on a new state budget that would cut funding for public schools and many other state programs after key votes in the state Senate on Wednesday.

MN: Minn. to apply for next round of Race to the Top

By The Associated Press, Brainerd Daily Dispatch

The Obama administration announced plans to hand out $500 million in education grants aimed at helping young children, and hours later Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said that Minnesota would apply.

MT: Budget austerity taxes Montana college students

By Staff, Billings Gazette

There’s a $22.6 million hole in the Montana University System budget with the appropriation provided by the Montana Legislature.

NJ: Budget gaps, $500M tab among looming obstacles for N.J. lawmakers after Supreme Court ruling

By Staff, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

With six weeks left to crank out a budget and a $500 million bill from the state Supreme Court for the state’s poor school districts, lawmakers are setting out on a possible collision course over state spending.

NJ: Schools case decided, but plenty left unanswered

By Bob Braun, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

New Jersey school finance cases are never simple, but the latest round of standoffs among the three branches of government seems especially confounding.

NJ: Christie slams court on Abbott ruling

By Jane Roh, Asbury Park Press

CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday said a state Supreme Court ruling handed down that morning would drive up taxes in the wealthy Philadelphia suburb he was visiting.

NJ: Is it the rule of law or the rule of lawyers?

By Paul Mulshine, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

The headline on the lead story in this newspaper yesterday was “Poor districts to get $500M more funding.”

NJ: Finger-pointing follows Abbott ruling

By John Schoonejongen, Asbury Park Press

With a Supreme Court decision that orders up another $500 million in funding for low-income school districts and a governor proclaiming that the ball is now in the Legislature’s court, Democratic leaders responded by blaming Chris Christie for ignoring the state funding law and forcing the issue back into their hands.

NJ: N.J. high court’s Abbott ruling means other school districts will still be short funding

By Staff, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling means the state’s 31 poorest districts get to share $500 million in additional state aid.

NJ: Tracing the history of rulings on school funding in poor N.J. cities

By Jeanette Rundquist, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

In 1875, in an effort to get control of a patchwork public school system, the New Jersey state Legislature amended New Jersey’s constitution and made it the state’s responsibility to provide a “thorough and efficient system of free public schools.”

NJ: From unlikely N.J. Supreme Court source, a simple case of applying the law

By Bob Braun, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

It came down to one Supreme Court justice, an unlikely one, to stave off a constitutional crisis, save as much as she could of New Jersey’s commitment to poor school children, and keep alive—for how long, no one knows—the storied independence of the state’s highest court.

NJ: N.J. could win $50M in education funding in new round of Race to the Top competition

By Jessica Calefati, The Star-Ledger (Newark)

New Jersey is among nine states eligible to compete for $200 million in a third round of Race to the Top, a federal competition the state narrowly lost last fall due in part to a costly application error.

NM: Lawmaker wants end to feuding over school audits

By The Associated Press, The Daily Times (Farmington)

Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera continues to draw fire over state auditing of special education enrollment and other public school records.

NV: Teachers union wants more than extending taxes set to expire

By David McGrath Schwartz, Las Vegas Sun

The state’s teachers union isn’t satisfied with walking out of the Legislature with just extending taxes — $712 million — set to expire next month.

NV: Assembly OKs bill to make parents more involved in kids’ education

By Ed Vogel, Las Vegas Review-Journal

A bill to create a state office that will work to increase the involvement of parents in the education of their children was approved Wednesday in the Assembly.

NV: Bill gives borderline pupils bid at diploma

By James Haug, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Liberty High School senior Spencer Hill-Hale dreams of playing college football this fall, but he needed to make the equivalent of a Hail Mary pass to graduate in June.

NY: State ends a practice of rescoring regents tests

By Sharon Otterman, The New York Times

Responding to a suspicious spike in the number of students barely passing high school Regents exams, New York State education officials have ordered schools to end the longstanding but controversial practice of rescoring tests that fall just below the passing grade.

NY: Embattled SUNY aide audit target

By James M. Odato, Times Union (Albany)

State University of New York trustees voted to direct a leading accounting firm to examine links between a private foundation led by embattled Senior Vice Chancellor John J. O’Connor and the public university system.

OH: Quality of teacher training programs at Ohio’s colleges to be rated

By Karen Farkas, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Parents, school superintendents and potential teachers will soon be able to determine the quality of teacher education programs in Ohio’s public and private colleges.

PA: Spending per pupil reached $12,512 in ’08

By Jodi Weigand, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The amount of money Pennsylvania school districts spent per student — $12,512 — was 11th-highest in the nation in 2008-09, according to recently released Census data.

PA: Pa. preschool programs could gain big

By Amy Crawford, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Another $700 million dollars will be awarded to states as part of the Race to the Top education reform program, federal officials announced this week.

PA: School groups warn of ‘financial chaos’

By Bill Schnaker, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pennsylvania’s recession-battered school districts face “financial chaos” and some might not survive if legislation passes requiring voters to approve any tax increase above an inflation index, two schools groups warned Wednesday.

PA: Race to the Top not over for Pennsylvania

By Jodi Weigand, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pennsylvania could win up to $50 million in federal money if it’s among the best of the rest from the Race to the Top grant competition.

PA: Pennsylvania school organizations say districts face tougher choices if voters gain more power to reject property tax hikes

By Jan Murphy, The Patriot-News (Harrisburg)

School budget discussions this spring have been riddled with talk of unpopular cuts, delays and freezes.

SC: SC House rejects private school choice — again

By Seanna Adcox, The Associated Press, Spartanburg Herald-Journal

The latest plan to use tax credits to help parents send their children to private school died by slim margins Wednesday in the South Carolina House.

SC: South Carolina plans to shun federal school money

By The Associated Press, Spartanburg Herald-Journal

South Carolina will not seek millions of federal dollars for its public schools, the state’s Republican education chief said Wednesday as he turned aside a shot at grant money and instead advocated smaller government.

TN: Governor challenges teacher morale claims

By Andy Sher, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Gov. Bill Haslam disputes assertions by the Tennessee Education Association’s president that teachers feel “totally demoralized and disrespected” because of new legislation such as the bill that eliminates educators’ collective bargaining powers.

TX: School finance dance goes on

By Kate Alexander, The Austin American-Statesman

The pursuit of a happy medium on school finance continued Wednesday as a key deadline approached for state House and Senate negotiators.

US: Growth in education spending slowed in 2009

By Winnie Hu and Robert Gebeloff, The New York Times

The nation’s overall education spending grew at a slower pace in 2009 than at any other time in more than a decade, amid deepening state fiscal woes and flatter tax revenues, according to new census figures released Wednesday.

US: 9 states get new chance at federal education aid

By Sam Dillon, The New York Times

Nine states that were also-rans in last year’s Race to the Top school improvement competition will get another chance, the Obama administration announced on Wednesday, though this time $200 million will be up for grabs, compared with $4 billion awarded last year.

US: Government offers $500 million in grants for preschools in NJ, 8 other states

By Frederic J. Frommer, Asbury Park Press

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to hand out $500 million in education grants aimed at helping young children, in the third round of its Race to the Top state competition for federal money.

UT: Utah last in education funding

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

Utah again ranks last in the nation for per-student spending according to U.S. census data from 2009 released this week.

WI: Walker’s plan to split off UW-Madison is dead

By Todd Finkelmeyer, The Capital Times (Madison)

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to award the University of Wisconsin-Madison public authority status is dead, Republican officials confirmed Thursday.

WI: Law is all that matters on records request

By Editorial Board, The Post-Crescent (Appleton)

Some school districts in Wisconsin — and at least one judge — are facing a choice. They have to decide whether to release the names of teachers who took a sick day while massive protests over collective bargaining were happening in Madison.

WI: Teacher resigns over profane email to lawmaker

By The Associated Press, La Crosse Tribune

PESHTIGO, Wis. – The Peshtigo School District has accepted the resignation of a teacher who sent a profane, threatening email to a state lawmaker who supported Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining bill.

WY: Wyoming nears the top in per-pupil education spending

By Jackie Borchardt, Casper Star-Tribune

?Wyoming ranks sixth in the nation for education spending per pupil, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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