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Weekly News Round-Up for August 4th
posted by: Melissa | August 04, 2017, 04:51 PM   

Each week, AAE brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, AAE finds the news our members really want to see. This week, we’re mourning with educators in Minneapolis and send our prayers out to them.


Explosion at Minneapolis School Kills 2: A gas explosion left a Minneapolis school in ruin on Wednesday. Even though it was summer, staff was in the building at the time and two were killed. Ruth Berg, a receptionist, and John Carlson, an 82 year-old janitor who was known for giving out ice cream bars and was a former student of the school, were both killed. Nine others were also injured, most of whom have currently been released. There’s suspicion that the accident could have been caused by contractors working on the building.


Illinois School Funding Debate Drags On: The state of Illinois still hasn’t reached consensus on a budget that will fund the state’s schools. On Tuesday, the state’s governor partially vetoed a bill that set out changes to school funding, moving the debate back to the state’s legislature. With no funding from the state, some school districts are worried about their ability to hold classes once schools start. As of Friday morning, it was not clear what the next move would be.


WalletHub Announces School Rankings: Wallethub, a personal finance website, released rankings of the nation’s best and worst school districts this week. In the rankings, they looked at dropout rates, test scores, student-teacher ratios, school violence, and bullying. Overall, Massachusetts ranked first, and Louisiana ranked last.


Proposed California Bill Mandates Later Start Times: A new bill would mandate that all California schools start no earlier than 8:30 a.m, while currently, the average start time at California schools is 8:07 a.m. The bill is a response to research that suggests starting too early may be harmful to student learning, especially in high school. However, some parents are worried that the changing schedule will make it hard to provide care for students.


A Note on Eclipses and Schools: On August 21st, 2017 a total solar eclipse will cross the United States. This is the first time that this has happened in most people’s lifetime. Eclipses in the US tend to be either very localized, or fall short of being a total eclipse. Many school districts will already be in session on that date, and the eclipse will be hitting many areas just when they’d normally be putting students on busses. Even in areas where there won’t be a total eclipse, it will be abnormally dark. Districts are currently in the process of deciding how they’ll handle August 21st safely with most opting either to extend the school day or to cancel entirely. Make sure to check with your district and school so that you can plan for that day accordingly!


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