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EduClips: Districts Prepare for National Walkout Day; FL Educators Call Out Legislators on Per-Pupil Funding — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

By Andrew Brownstein | March 12, 2018

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 SAFETY COMMISSION — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will chair a new federal commission on school safety, the White House announced Sunday evening, part of the administration’s response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that also includes efforts to improve mental health services and strengthen certain gun control measures. A “wide array of practitioners,” including teachers, will be on the commission, DeVos said, and will seek to identify best practices that are already working in states.

The White House actions come almost exactly a month after the February 14 shooting that killed 14 students and three adults at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and a few days ahead of a nationwide school walkout to honor the victims and press for stronger gun control measures, planned for Wednesday morning. (Read at The74Million.org)

National News

DEVOS — Parkland, ESSA, and That Tweet: Betsy DeVos Had Herself a Week (Read at Politics K-12)

D.C. SCHOOLS — D.C. schools scandal: ‘Tell me that it’s not great and that you’re dealing with it.’ (Read at The Washington Post)

ARMING TEACHERS — Arming Florida school staff could expose them to suits: experts (Read at Reuters)

SCHOOL SAFETY BILLS — Here’s How the Big School Safety Bills in Congress Differ, and Why It Matters (Read at Politics K-12)

District and State News

FLORIDA — Per-pupil funding for South Florida schools is paltry. Carvalho calls out legislators. (Read at the Miami Herald)

NEVADA — CCSD warns students, parents of National Walkout Day ramifications (Read at KTNV)

TEXAS — Texas ‘Get Out the Vote’ Campaign Prompts Lone Star AG to Seek School Emails and Conservative Group to Call for Teacher ‘Whistleblowers’ (Read at The74Million.org)

FLORIDA — Gov. Rick Scott signs gun, school security legislation over NRA opposition (Read at the Tampa Bay Times)

NEW YORK Uncharted Territory: Inside New York City’s School of Last Chances (Read at The Huffington Post)

CALIFORNIA — Report Calls for Pressuring School Districts to Turn Over School Sites to Charter Groups (Read at the Oakland Post)

ILLINOIS — Bob Daiber promises to make schools first priority as Illinois governor (Read at Quad Cities)

CALIFORNIA — California Attorney General Denounces Education Secretary DeVos’s Attempt to Exempt Contractors That Service Federal Student Loans From Complying With State Law (Read at Gold Rush Cam)

NEVADA — Hot-button education issues fire up parents in Clark County (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

TEXAS — HISD expected to have several local, national candidates for superintendent job (Read at the Houston Chronicle)

NEW YORK What’s on deck at the March Regents meeting? A lot of charter school business. (Read at Chalkbeat)

Think Pieces

UNIONS — Between Victory in West Virginia and (Likely) Defeat Before the Supreme Court, Teachers Unions Find Themselves at Historic Crossroads (Read at The74Million.org)

DEVOS — After Demanding Local Control, DeVos Finds That It Limits Her Influence (Read at The New York Times)

SCHOOL SHOOTINGS — TEACHER VOICE: ‘Compassion might not stop a bullet, but it may prevent someone from pulling the trigger in the first place’ (Read at The Hechinger Report)

VIDEO GAMES — Trump’s Violent Video Game Distraction Lags Out (Read at Bloomberg)

LISTENING — Why talking — and listening — to your child could be key to brain development (Read at The Hechinger Report)

SCHOOL SHOOTINGS — Opinion: To prevent school shootings, can mental health be taught? (Read at PBS NewsHour)

Quote of the Day

STAHL: Have you seen the really bad schools? Maybe try to figure out what they’re doing?

DEVOS: I have not, I have not, I have not intentionally visited schools that are underperforming.

STAHL: Maybe you should.

DEVOS: Maybe I should. Yes.

— Exchange between 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Michigan’s low-performing schools. (Read at CBS News)

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