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Weekly News Round-Up for November 10th
posted by: Melissa | November 10, 2017, 07:17 PM   

Each week, KANAAE brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, we find the news our members really want to see. This week: the tax plan, hurricane relief, and guns in schools.

Controversy Over the GOP Tax Plan: Critics of the Republican Party hit hard this week over the group’s new tax plan, which would eliminate the tax credit teachers get when they purchase supplies for their classroom. Teachers’ union officials also criticized the elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes, which they claim would hurt the ability for localities to raise the taxes that fund schools. However, fact checking organization Politifact has debunked at least some of the critics. They report that recent claims by Diane Feinstein over the effects of the plan are overstated.

Relief for Hurricane-Ravaged Schools: The Education Department is preparing to hand out $8 million to school districts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands who have been hard hit by this year’s hurricane season. The funding comes from Project School Emergency Response (Project SERV) which helps schools recovering from crisis. This happens the same week the Secretary Betsy DeVos traveled to schools in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to assess school damage. With schools in Puerto Rico still struggling to recover, many families have relocated to Florida further burdening schools in that state.

Michigan Senate Passes School Gun Legislation: The Michigan state Senate approved legislation that would allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons in schools with a special exemption. To get that exemption, gun owners would need additional training. The bills have received some criticism, with some school officials claiming that they will do little to make schools safer. They will need to pass in the state House and be signed by Gov. Rick Snyder before becoming law.

Kentucky Pension Overhaul: Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has unveiled a plan to overhaul the state’s retirement system, which could cost the state upwards $4.4 billion. The plan puts a record amount towards teacher retirement funding and eventually replaces the current pension system with a 401k-style system. The union has countered with an alternate plan that would keep benefits the same for all teachers. During the debate over the plan, the Governor has received additional criticism for reportedly claiming that teachers hoarded their sick days and that this contributes to the problems in Kentucky’s retirement system

Michigan Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Teacher Pay Case: For two years starting in 2010, teachers in Michigan had part of their pay deducted as part of a law that was later ruled unconstitutional. This week, the state’s Supreme Court heard arguments about what would happen to that money. The money was intended to pay for health care during the employee’s retirement. The current government is arguing that the money was used to fund the new, constitutional version of the law and all employees will receive their money eventually. The plaintiffs are arguing that the money should be returned immediately.

Happening Elsewhere:

With false Betsy DeVos report, progressive sites fall victim to the very fake news trend they criticize

Kentucky Department of Education wants feedback on Bible literacy classes in school

Students walk out of D.C. schools in support of a new Dream Act

Kansas standard for federal education law excludes thousands of minority students

Nebraska education officials create ‘civic readiness’ draft

DNR, Department of Education announce agreement for students to revitalize WV state parks

NC superintendent slams ‘disturbing’ spending at state education agency

Dallas County voters shut down school bus provider

Agreement paves way for L.A. Unified to approve most old and new charter schools

Baltimore County’s ‘common sense’ school calendar

‘No police in our schools!’ Groups call for policy change after violent arrests

Sacramento teacher strike averted

Palm Bay County teachers union rejects 2.4% raise

What’s going on where you are?

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