Roundup: Clinton College Debt Plan, Teacher Shortages, & Hartford Desegregation Efforts

Welcome back! Today’s news includes Clinton’s new student debt relief plan, teacher shortages in several states and districts, and charter expansions in the works in Los Angeles and Nashville. There’s also a new “This American Life” segment about school desegregation efforts focused on Hartford, Connecticut:

Hillary Clinton Wants To Help Student Debtors By Taxing The Rich HuffPost: The Democratic presidential candidate wants state and federal governments to increase their funding for students at certain public colleges while also allowing existing borrowers to refinance their high-rate loans and enroll in plans that limit payments to 10 percent of their income. The plan, which would cost $350 billion over 10 years, needs congressional approval and support from states to be viable. See also AP,  NYT, Politico, WSJ.

Did Jeb Bush really pass the first school voucher program in the nation? Business Insider: Presidential debates are often arenas of bombastic proclamations. Bush, however, was not over-selling his accomplishment. In 1999, under his gubernatorial oversight, Florida became the first state in the nation with a statewide voucher program.

Indiana Schools Chief Glenda Ritz Ending Bid for Governor AP: Ritz, a Democrat, has clashed repeatedly with Republican Gov. Mike Pence over education policy since they both won election in 2012. She announced a bid for governor in early June. In a statement Friday, she said she had since decided “now is not the right time for me to run for governor.”

Teacher Shortages Spur a Nationwide Hiring Scramble (Credentials Optional) NYT: Just a few years after the recession caused widespread layoffs for teachers, school districts now find themselves with numerous job vacancies and few qualified candidates to choose from. See also: Demand for bilingual teachers especially high in Washington Seattle Times.

A Year After Ferguson, Schools Still Grapple With Equity and Racial Bias District Dossier: After the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and a national conversation about race, policing, and racial bias, some educators sharpened their focus on social justice issues in schools.

Major charter school expansion in the works for L.A. Unified students LA Times: A prominent local education foundation is discussing a major expansion of charter schools in Los Angeles aimed at boosting academic achievement for students at the lowest performing campuses.

Achievement School District announces KIPP, Knowledge Academies to open Nashville schools ChalkbeatTN: The Achievement School District has authorized two charter organizations to open schools in Nashville, which remains relatively unchartered territory for the state-run school turnaround district. District leaders announced Friday that KIPP Nashville and Knowledge Academies will launch their first ASD schools in the 2017-2018 school year.

How Test Prep Is the Key to Elite NYC High Schools WNYC: Instead of turning to extra tutors, many black and Latino families believe “that the school system will provide everything that the kids need to be successful,” said Sam Adewumi, a graduate of Brooklyn Tech who is also a math teacher at the elite school. Adewumi, 49, was born in Nigeria but grew up in the Bronx when test prep wasn’t the norm. “I think our kids walk in there and get destroyed by that test,” he said.

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.