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EduClips: Bill Comes Due for TX Special Education Funding; A Chaotic Year for Success Academy’s First High School — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

EduClips is a roundup of the day’s top education headlines from America’s largest school districts, where more than 4 million students across eight states attend class every day. Read previous EduClips installments here. Get the day’s top school and policy news delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for the TopSheet Education Newsletter.

Top Story

SCHOOL SECURITY — The response to the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was immediate. Students across the country, led by Stoneman Douglas survivors, walked out of school to call for gun control. President Donald Trump alternately mused about more gun control and the need to arm teachers. Major retail outlets stopped selling guns.

In the halls of capitols across the country, lawmakers were opening state pocketbooks. Legislators in at least 26 states poured at least $950 million into school safety programs this year in the wake of the Parkland shooting and additional shootings in Maryland, Texas, and elsewhere.

The amounts ranged widely by state, from $300,000 in Missouri to $400 million in Florida. They include only what’s being spent this year, though some states allocated a larger amount over a few years. Most of the money was spent on security upgrades and school resource officers, but the tally also includes funding allocated for mental health programs, violence prevention, emergency planning, and anonymous phone and texting tip lines. (Read at The74Million.org)

National News

COURTS — How Do You Get Better Schools? Take the State to Court, More Advocates Say (Read at The New York Times)

POLL — In the Aftermath of Teacher Strikes, More Americans Support Educator Raises, Poll Finds (Read at The74Million.org)

INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS — Back to school: Is the United States falling behind on education? (Read at PolitiFact)

MINECRAFT — Minecraft: Education Edition is coming to iPad (Read at TechCrunch)

District and State News

TEXAS — Texas Saved Billions Cutting Special Education. Now the Bill Comes Due (Read at Bloomberg)

NEW YORK — Behind the scenes, Success Academy’s first high school spent last year in chaos. Can Eva Moskowitz turn it around? (Read at Chalkbeat)

PUERTO RICO — Puerto Rico Opens First Charter School Amid Controversies (Read at NBC News)

CALIFORNIA — Candidates pack field to replace former L.A. Unified school board member Ref Rodriguez (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

PENNSYLVANIA — Philadelphia School District Helping First-Year Teachers Learn ‘Philly Slang’ in New Handbook (Read at 3 CBS Philly)

NEVADA — Cellphones are a problem in Clark County classrooms (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

NEW YORK — Richard Carranza’s back-to-school checklist: less paperwork, clearer lines of responsibility, and a hard look at gifted programs (Read at Chalkbeat)

CALIFORNIA — California community colleges urged to plan now for fewer students in remedial courses (Read at EdSource)

ILLINOIS — Illinois School Resource Officers to Undergo Training (Read at NBC Chicago)

FLORIDA — Lawyers to get their 20 minutes in Florida’s long-running education equity suit (Read at the Tampa Bay Times)

Think Pieces

EDUCATION RESEARCH — New education research? A good chance it’s from North Carolina. (Read at Chalkbeat)

DATA — Parton: 3 Ways States Are Committing to Using Data to Meet Their Education Goals for Students Under ESSA (Read at The74Million.org)

GRADUATION — Cities where the fewest people graduate from high school (Read at USA Today)

SCHOOL SUPPLIES — 5 Teachers Share What They Actually Buy for Their Classrooms (Read at the Huffington Post)

HIGHER EDUCATION — It’s time to tell students what they need to know (Read at The Washington Post)

Quote of the Day

“Wit/Witout: How to order fried onions on your cheesesteak, meaning with or without the onions. (Ex. Whiz wit means you will be getting a cheesesteak, smothered in cheese whiz and topped with fried onions).” —from the School District of Philadelphia’s guidebook to “Philly slang” for first-year teachers. (Read at 3 CBS Philly)

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