Roundup: School Threats, Education Budget Wins, Unaccompanied Minors

Threats cause N.H. schools to close Monday USA Today: A police investigation was ongoing late Sunday, but the district, one of New Hampshire’s largest with about 11,500 students, didn’t plan to reopen schools until Tuesday, Superintendent Mark Conrad said.

Classes cancelled in Virginia over Islamic calligraphy lesson AP: Tens of thousands of emails and Facebook posts have been received, some “threatening and very profane in nature,” said Augusta County Sheriff Randall D. Fisher. No specific threats have been made, though Fisher said he has dedicated an investigator to comb through the messages as a precaution.

Democracy For America Endorses Sanders Over Clinton BuzzFeed: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders added more progressive grassroots support to his campaign Thursday, picking up the endorsement of the Vermont-based Democracy For America, which was founded out of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Education Comes Out on Top in Federal Spending Bill US News: The new money nudges funding for the two programs up to $14.9 billion and $11.9 billion, respectively – a welcome surprise for education advocates from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who just delivered a new education law to the president’s desk that will replace No Child Left Behind. 

LAUSD threats investigation centers on 21-year-old Maine man in Romania LA Daily News: A 21-year-old man in Romania has become a key figure in the investigation into emailed threats that led to the daylong closure of the Los Angeles Unified School District, but he said Friday he was surprised the email sent by an unknown person led to widespread school closures.

Muslim students find hostility, curiosity in their schools after San Bernardino KPCC LA: Messelmani is one of five families who have filed complaints of harassment at school with the Greater Los Angeles Area Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations since the San Bernardino shooting. 

Thousands of Central American Kids Are Back at Our Border. Here’s What You Need to Know Mother Jones: In October and November, nearly 10,600 kids traveling by themselves were apprehended at the border, more than twice as many as during the same period in 2014—and roughly the same number apprehended at the height of last year’s surge, in June 2014.

Is NYC’s Pre-K Living Up to the City’s Promise? So Far, Yes — With Room to Improve WNYC: The city found that 77 percent of programs met a threshold of 3.4 out of a scale of 7. The 3.4 benchmark is associated with positive students outcomes like development of language and social skills, education officials said.

As schools try to combat gangs, concerns arise about profiling Washington Post:  After a lull in gang activity in the region, law enforcement officials have tied three brutal killings involving teens or young adults in the Washington region during the past year to a resurgence of gang violence. Specifically, authorities note what appears to be an effort by the MS-13 gang to rebuild.

Charter school advocates raise PAC money Seattle Times: Charter-school supporters are raising money for the campaigns of Washington state lawmakers who have championed their cause since the state Supreme Court declared that the state’s voter-approved charter-school law unconstitutional.

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.