Roundup: Pennsylvania Funding Formula Changes, Civil Rights Groups Warn Congress

Today’s education news includes proposed changes to PA’s deeply inequitable school funding formula, pushback from civil rights groups over the proposed rewrite of NCLB, and an update from the NEA on its candidate interviews:

Pa. Lawmakers Propose New School Funding Formula, as Tax Hikes Loom State EdWatch: The formula would provide additional funding for individual students from low-income backgrounds, as well as for students in districts with large concentrations of poverty. See also WashPost: Pa. proposes new school funding formula to help low-income students.

How Much Learning Actually Happens in June? WNYC: The grades are in. Brains are fried (young and old). The number of days left in the school year can almost be counted on one hand. With summer break so close, students and teachers are in a different mode. And that requires different activities.

Civil Rights Groups Demand More Accountability in Senate ESEA Bill PK12: A coalition of 36 organizations say in a letter to senators that without changes, the bipartisan ESEA measure “will not fulfill its functions as a civil rights law.”

Teachers Union Leader Weighs In On Democratic Contenders For President HuffPost: García separately interviewed the former Maryland governor and the current Vermont senator Thursday as part of the NEA’s endorsement process for the 2016 presidential election. O’Malley emphasized the importance of educating the “whole child,” according to excerpts of the meeting released by the NEA.

What Happened After New Orleans Fired All of Its Teachers—and Why It Still Matters to Diversity in the Classroom Slate: A better understanding of why, and how, it matters for children, particularly the most disenfranchised, could help New Orleans teachers and schools become more effective in the wake of a 10-year-old tragedy. And it could help all educators, everywhere, in their bid to reach and teach a rapidly diversifying student population whose needs and backgrounds are more varied and complex than ever.

Kids’ Art Show Takes Over 2 Billboards In Times Square NPR: Through the weekend, art by 23 public school students will be seen on two large billboards in the heart of New York City.

‘Freedom’ fries: Texas repeals ban on deep fryers in schools AP: It’s about freedom, not the fries. So says new Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who announced Thursday that the state is repealing a decade-old ban on deep fryers in public schools – an unappetizing reversal to national health advocates, school nutritionists and even his predecessor in the post.

Poor students often lack a home Internet connection. Is this FCC program a solution? Hechinger Report: The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to include broadband connections in a $1.8 billion federal program that subsidizes telephone services for low-income people. This program isn’t reserved for families with school-aged children, but supporters say the change will inevitably help the neediest students get online at home.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.