School Funding

Schools That Hinder Opt Outs Are Participating in Their Own Demise – Education Article

You can’t be a public school and still ignore the will of the people.   That’s the problem at too many districts across the country where narrow-minded administrators are waging an all out war on parents opting their children out of standardized testing.   The federal government still requires all states to give high stakes tests to public school students in grades 3-8 and once in high school. So states require their districts to give the tests – despite increasing…

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One in five teachers using own money for school supplies – report | Education

One in five teachers are spending their own money on classroom supplies, while nearly half say they buy food, clothes and even soap for poor pupils, according to a report charting the effects of austerity on schools. Among the more than 4,300 teachers who responded to the NASUWT education union, 20% said they paid for resources such as paper or books used in their lessons at least once a week, with half of those saying they did so “several times…

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Schools using funds for poorer pupils to plug budget gaps – survey | Education

School budget cuts are “endangering” efforts to improve education for poor pupils, according to a survey that found two-thirds of headteachers say they have cut staff to make ends meet. The survey of 1,700 teachers and school leaders in England, published by the Sutton Trust educational charity, found that two out of every three secondary school heads said they had cut teacher numbers to save money, while primary school heads said they had also axed teaching assistant posts. The survey…

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Mental health of pupils is ‘at crisis point’, teachers warn | Society

More than eight out of 10 teachers say mental health among pupils in England has deteriorated in the past two years – with rising reports of anxiety, self-harm and even cases of suicide – against a backdrop of inadequate support in schools. In a survey of 8,600 school leaders, teachers and support workers, 83% said they had witnessed an increase in the number of children in their care with poor mental health, rising to 90% among students in colleges. Many…

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Fifth of teachers plan to leave profession within two years | Education

Around one in five teachers (18%) expect to leave the classroom in less than two years while two-fifths of teachers, school leaders and support staff want to quit in the next five years – blaming “out of control” workload pressures and “excessive” accountability, according to a poll by the country’s biggest teaching union. Despite recent government attempts to address teachers’ concerns, 40% who took part in the survey predict they will no longer be working in education by 2024. Ministers will…

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Diane Ravitch’s New Book is a Fun and Breezy Romp Through the Maze of School Policy – Education Article

Imagine you could talk with Diane Ravitch for 10 to 15 minutes everyday.  That’s kind of what reading her new book, “The Wisdom and the Witt of Diane Ravitch”, is like.  You’ve probably heard of Ravitch before.   She’s the kindly grandmother you see on the news who used to think standardized tests and school privatization were the way to go but actually had the courage to pull an about face.   She’s that rare thing in public policy –…

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53,000 pupils in limbo after rise in ‘zombie’ academy schools | Education

Rising numbers of pupils in England are being taught in state schools that have been left to drift for months or even years without established management, according to figures obtained by Labour. It estimated that more than 50,000 pupils are currently attending academies in England that have been unable to join a multi-academy trust or find a sponsor, leading the opposition to claim that the government’s flagship schools improvement policy is in tatters. An academy is a state-funded school that…

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Tying Kids’ Lunch Money to Test Scores? It’s No Crueler Than High Stakes Testing – Education Article

    Most people agree that the best way to get kids to read isn’t by threatening to take away their lunch.  But an Arkansas state Representative is threatening to do just that – sort of.   Rep. Alan Clark, a West Memphis Republican, proposed a bill that would cut “Lunch Funding” for impoverished children in state schools where students struggle with standardized reading tests.   However, he’s not proposing we take away kids’ food.   If passed, the bill…

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Children at risk as ‘most new schools built without sprinklers’ | Education

Fewer than one in six new schools have been built with sprinkler systems installed, ministers have admitted, in findings branded “absolutely terrifying” by union officials. Despite official government guidance that all new schools should have sprinklers “except in a few low-risk schools,” figures uncovered by the Labour party showed that, of the 673 schools built under the government’s flagship school building scheme and free school programmes, sprinklers were fitted in just 105. The official figures also suggested that just one…

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Betsy DeVos’s Right Wing School Indoctrination Program – Education Article

 What do you do when thinking people reject your political ideology?  You get rid of thinking people.  That’s Betsy DeVos’ plan to rejuvenate and renew the Republican Party.  The billionaire heiress who bought her position as Donald Trump’s Education Secretary plans to spend $5 billion of your tax dollars on private, religious and parochial schools.  This would be federal tax credits to fund scholarships to private and religious institutions – school vouchers in all but name.     It’s a…

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School music report reveals cuts, inequality and demoralised teachers | Education

When the children at Barlby primary in west London got up to perform at the Royal Albert Hall last month it was, according to their headteacher, an overwhelming and aspirational event. The school, which is part of the local community around Grenfell Tower, is among the most diverse and disadvantaged in the country, with more than 25 languages spoken and high levels of pupil premium entitlement. Its pupils are still talking about the opportunity they had to perform a specially…

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Pam Harbin Wants to Go From Pittsburgh School Board Watchdog to School Board Member – Education Article

  My friend Pam Harbin is trying to undergo a startling metamorphosis.     She wants to transform from an education activist into a Pittsburgh School Director.    Now that Board President Lynda Wrenn is stepping down after 4 years, city voters in District 4 will have to decide whether Harbin can make the change. The election is on May 21.     Residents in parts of Squirrel Hill, Point Breeze, Shadyside and North Oakland already know Harbin as a…

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Who’s Afraid of Public Schools? – Education Article

  Public schools are the bogeymen of American life.  We so often hear the bedtime story of “Failing Schools” that it’s no wonder some folks will do anything to ensure their kids get in elsewhere.  And let’s be honest. It’s the same impulse behind the latest college admissions cheating scandal.  A group of wealthy – though not too wealthy – parents thought their children should be able to enroll in the most prestigious schools.  So they bribed college admissions officers, cheated…

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School Accountability Begins With the People Who Make the Rules: A Code of Conduct for Politicians and Test Makers – Education Article

  Standardized testing is all about accountability.  We’ve got to keep schools accountable for teaching.  We’ve got to keep students accountable for learning.  It’s kind of a crazy idea when you stop to think about it – as if teachers wouldn’t teach and students wouldn’t learn unless someone was standing over them with a big stick. As if adults got into teaching because they didn’t want to educate kids or children went to school because they had no natural curiosity…

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More than 1,000 English schools turn to online donations to close funding gap | Education

More than 1,000 schools across England are turning to crowdfunding websites and wish lists to raise money, with many appealing for basic supplies such as pencils, glue and textbooks. A Guardian investigation has revealed the extent to which schools across the country are turning to online fundraising in the teeth of government budget cuts, with 700 crowdsourcing donations made through websites such as JustGiving and Crowdfunder, and 300 schools using Amazon wish lists. Why are England’s schools at breaking point?…

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Ann Coffey: spending money isn’t always the answer to school funding | Education

It is hot and stuffy inside Ann Coffey’s Westminster office and the MP has been talking non-stop for 70 minutes without any sign of flagging. That’s quite surprising because Coffey, who recently quit Labour for the newly created Independent Group (which has applied to become a political party called Change UK) is not fizzing with vote-catching proposals. She is the spokeswoman for children and education, but if she were to become education secretary tomorrow, she would not change the system.…

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