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EduClips: Special Ed Advocate: Chicago Sought ‘Ways to Reduce the Level of Service’; Santa Fe High School Students Return to Class — and More Must-Reads From America’s 15 Biggest School Districts

By Andrew Brownstein | May 30, 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

TEACHER STRIKES —This spring’s historic teacher uprising, which emptied classrooms and rocked statehouses for three months, just claimed its first political casualty.

In Kentucky’s state legislative elections last week, House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell — a promising young Republican who enjoyed the patronage of U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell — was defeated in the GOP primary by Travis Brenda, a high school math instructor and political unknown. Shell had spearheaded a controversial law to trim teacher retirement benefits, which led thousands of protesters to descend on the state capitol in April.

Captured in Twitter posts and videos on Facebook Live, the spontaneous demonstration unfolded as just one of a relay-style procession of labor actions that hasn’t been seen in recent decades. Beginning in late February, and heading straight into the end of the school year, a torch has been passed from West Virginia to Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina: Teachers have walked off the job, pulled on red T-shirts, headed for their state capitols, and extracted significant concessions.

Other than perhaps the groundswell of activism around gun control following February’s Parkland massacre, it is the biggest education story of the year. But could it become part of the biggest political story of the year? (Read at The74Million.org)

National News

TX SCHOOL SHOOTING — Less than two weeks after Santa Fe shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott to announce school safety plan Wednesday (Read at the Texas Tribune)

TEACHER PAY — As Educators Across America Demand Better Pay and Greater Education Spending, Delaware Has a Novel Proposal: Money to Help Teachers With Their Student Loans (Read at The74Million.org)

DEVOS — State Restrictions on School Choice Earn Betsy DeVos’s Ire (Read at Education Week)

TX SCHOOL SHOOTING — Texting About His Day at School, a Santa Fe Student Describes a ‘Nervous’ Return (Read at The New York Times)

UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS — Civil Rights Groups Are Pressing Betsy DeVos to Affirm a Supreme Court Decision That Protects Undocumented Students’ Education. Here’s the Backstory on Plyler v. Doe (Read at The74Million.org)

District and State News

ILLINOIS — Ahead of state report, special ed advocate says Chicago Public Schools sought ‘ways to reduce the level of service’ (Read at the Chicago Tribune)

NEW YORK — Violence-plagued Bronx high school looks to Craigslist for security help (Read at the New York Daily News)

FLORIDA — Florida prepares suspicious activity reporting app for schools (Read at the Tampa Bay Times)

CALIFORNIA — Candidates for governor of California share their thoughts on education (Read at EdSource)

ILLINOIS — Suburban districts spending millions on lobbying organizations (Read at the Chicago Daily Herald)

HAWAII — Volcanic Ash Swamps Hawaii School, Turning Tennis Court Gray (Read at the Associated Press)

PENNSYLVANIA — Charter school staffer suspended after bringing gun to school (Read at The Philadelphia Inquirer)

FLORIDA — A Coral Gables High student made threats posing as a classmate, police say (Read at the Miami Herald)

NEVADA — Editorial: Competitive pressures and the Clark County School District (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

VIRGINIA — Virginia student sues school system, alleging mishandling of sexual assault report (Read at The Washington Post)

CALIFORNIA — Parents to Keep Kids Out of School to Protest SDUSD Sex Ed Course (Read at NBC Los Angeles)

NEVADA — Opinion: 3 ways to fix collective bargaining (Read at the Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Think Pieces

UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS — Children belong in school. You’d think the education secretary would know that (Read at The Washington Post)

STUDENT MOBILITY — Lost in the Shuffle: Student Turnover in the Era of Grading Schools (Part I) (Read at WABE)

VOUCHERS — D.C.’s private school voucher program hurt low-income students’ math test scores, according to federal study (Read at Chalkbeat)

INTEGRATION — Meet the Women Who First Integrated America’s Schools (Read at NPR)

SCHOOL DISCIPLINE — 7 Suggestions for Better School Discipline (Read at Education Week)

Quote of the Day

“This cross-state communication is happening because of hashtags. The reason the tactics look the same is because we’re all looking at one another’s pictures and saying, ‘Oh, that looks super cool, all that red.’ We’re just stealing good ideas from each other.” —Dawn Penich-Thacker, communications director at Save Our Schools Arizona, on the national teacher strike movement. (Read at The74Million.org)

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