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EduClips: Oakland Needs to Close Schools and Reform Fiscal Practices to Stay Solvent, Grand Jury Says; Chicago Opens Office to Handle Sexual Abuse Cases — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

By Andrew Brownstein | June 28, 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.

Note: EduClips will be taking a vacation, returning on the morning of Monday, July 16. Watch for a special edition of EduClips to appear Monday, July 2, outlining some of the major recent stories affecting America’s 15 largest school districts.

Top Story

TEACHERS UNIONS — The Supreme Court in a sweeping decision Wednesday upended the way public-sector unions do business, ruling that dissenting employees cannot be compelled to pay any dues, and that union members must affirmatively opt into membership — rather than requiring dissenters to opt out.

Forcing dissenting employees to pay dues violates First Amendment protections against compelling speech, Justice Samuel A. Alito wrote for the majority in the 5-4 decision that was both highly anticipated and widely expected.

“Compelling individuals to mouth support for views they find objectionable violates that cardinal constitutional command, and in most contexts, any such effort would be universally condemned,” Alito wrote. (Read at The74Million.org)

National News

TEACHERS UNIONS — ‘Preparing for the worst’: Unions brace for loss of members and fees in wake of Supreme Court ruling (Read at The Washington Post)

SCOTUS Justice Kennedy Retiring From High Court, Had Deep Imprint in Education Arena (Read at Education Week)

VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS Vocational Programs Get Boost From Congress (Read at The Wall Street Journal)

District and State News

CALIFORNIA Oakland Unified needs to close schools and reform fiscal practices to stay solvent, county civil grand jury concludes (Read at EdSource)

ILLINOIS — Chicago Public Schools to Start Office to Handle Abuse Cases (Read at U.S. News and World Report)

TEXAS — Texas schools armed 33 staff members through School Marshal program (Read at Chron)

ILLINOIS — State Board of Education appoints monitor to improve CPS special education services (Read at the Chicago Tribune)

NEW YORK — How is Carranza’s big shake-up going over? So far, educators are optimistic. (Read at Chalkbeat)

FLORIDA — Miami-Dade is an A-rated school district. Will voters decide to pay teachers more? (Read at the Miami Herald)

TEXAS — Texas education board calls Mexican-American studies by its name (Read at the Houston Chronicle)

CALIFORNIA — After Supreme Court loss, school-employees unions gird for fight to keep their members (Read at the Los Angeles Times)

PENNSYLVANIA — Kindergarten coders: When is too early to put kids in front of screens? (Read at The Philadelphia Inquirer)

NEW YORK Want flies with that? City Council pols say give school cafeterias letter grades (Read at the New York Daily News)

NEVADA — Fast track programs helps get teachers in the classroom (Read at Las Vegas Now)

Think pieces

JANUS ROUNDUP:

  • Weisberg: By Forcing Unions to Confront Some Deep-Seated Problems, Janus Loss Could Prove a Win for Them and Their Members (Read at The74Million.org)
  • Is This Supreme Court Decision The End Of Teachers Unions? (Read at NPR)
  • The Supreme Court’s Decision on Union Dues Will Have Profound Consequences (Read at Education Week)
  • Walsh: The ‘Veil of Destitution,’ Increased Activism, and Proving Their Relevance — Union Strategies for Retaining Members Post-Janus (Read at The74Million.org)
  • OPINION: What the Supreme Court’s union decision really means for teachers (Read at The Hechinger Report)

Quote of the Day

“Compelling individuals to mouth support for views they find objectionable violates that cardinal constitutional command, and in most contexts, any such effort would be universally condemned.” —U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, ruling for the 5-4 majority in Janus v. AFSCME that dissenting employees cannot be forced to pay public sector union dues. (Read at The74Million.org)

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