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California mandates vaccinations in schools

Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:26:50 -0400
Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed a controversial bill Tuesday that will impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country: starting next year, vaccinations are required for nearly all children in public and private schools. The signing statement was issued just one day after lawmakers sent Governor Brown the bill that will strike California’s personal belief exemption for immunizations. Recommended: How much do you know about California?

Ways to Qualify for a Total and Permanent Disability Student Loan Discharge

Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:00:00 -0400
Last week, the Student Loan Ranger covered three student loan discharge options you'll hopefully never have to use. In 1999, the Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General issued a report showing that 23 percent of the borrowers who received a disability discharge between 1994 and 1996 went on to be employed and earn income shortly after the discharge was completed. Since then, the Department of Education has had to try and protect federal taxpayers by putting checks and balances in place to deter and identify disability discharge fraud while also trying to ensure the process is as painless as possible for those who are truly disabled as defined in the federal statute.

Same-sex marriage: Will conservative religious colleges lose tax-exempt status?

Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:55:15 -0400
In his dissent to last week’s epoch-changing decision that declared same-sex marriage a fundamental right, Chief Justice John Roberts worried about the implications of the majority’s rationale for religious colleges and other institutions. “Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage – when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing only to opposite-sex married couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples,” the chief justice wrote. One of these questions, many legal scholars and others say, may revolve around the tax-exempt status of conservative religious institutions whose policies conflict with the nation’s new public policy on marriage.

Chicago Public Schools make full pension payment by deadline

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:17:02 -0400

Madigan, speaker of the Illinois Representatives, listens to the State of the State address in SpringfieldThe Chicago Public Schools (CPS) made its full teachers' pension payment on Tuesday ahead of a midnight deadline, saying the move will require $200 million in spending cuts, according to a school official. Illinois law mandated a $634 million payment to the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund, but it was uncertain whether the cash-strapped public school system, the nation's third-largest, would find the necessary money. "As we have said, CPS could not make the payment and keep cuts away from the classroom, so while school will start on time, our classrooms will be impacted," CPS Interim CEO Jesse Ruiz said in a statement.

Lead lawmaker's bill would address Chicago school pension shortfall

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:19:56 -0400
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton on Tuesday proposed legislation aimed at providing pension funding relief for the Chicago Public Schools, while meeting Governor Bruce Rauner's call for a local property tax freeze. The bill, set to be heard by the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday, would require the state to pay a much bigger share of Chicago teachers' pensions and reduce the nation's third-largest public school district's contributions going forward. Payments due in fiscal 2018 through 2063 would be in amounts that would bring the funded ratio for the Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund to 90 percent by 2063.

Chicago schools make pension payment; 1,400 jobs 'impacted'

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:14:30 -0400

FILE - In this May 12, 2015 file photo, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks during a news conference in Chicago. Emanuel said Tuesday, June 30, 2015, that Chicago Public Schools would have to cut classroom spending to make up for a $634 million contribution to its teacher pensions, a payment the financially troubled district made without help it had been seeking from the Illinois Legislature. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The interim CEO of Chicago Public Schools said Tuesday 1,400 jobs will be "impacted" after Illinois lawmakers failed to provide relief and the financially struggling district had to borrow money to make a $634 million contribution to its teacher pension funds.

Kansas Supreme Court stays lower court's order on school aid

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:41:52 -0400
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' highest court Tuesday put on hold a lower court's order for the state to immediately increase aid to public schools by roughly $50 million but promised to move quickly to decide whether the state is distributing its money fairly.

U.S. bankruptcy judge pushes debt relief for Corinthian students

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:29:25 -0400
The U.S. government and former students of Corinthian Colleges, which closed in April, need to promote the government's loan relief program before asking for a stay on all student debt collections, a U.S. Bankruptcy judge said on Tuesday. Judge Kevin Carey in Wilmington, Delaware, declined to rule on a request by an official committee of Corinthian students to halt all loan repayments amid allegations the company misrepresented itself to prospective students. Corinthian Colleges Inc became the largest failure in for-profit higher education when it abruptly closed 28 schools in April and left 16,000 students without classes.

Chicago school pension payment will be made: Illinois House speaker

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:55:54 -0400

Madigan, speaker of the Illinois Representatives, listens to the State of the State address in SpringfieldIllinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said the Chicago Public Schools will make a full $634 million payment to its teachers pension fund by a midnight Tuesday deadline. The Chicago Democrat said he was advised by "reliable sources" that the nation's third-largest public school system has the cash to make the state-mandated payment on time.

A high school history lesson – from Whitey Bulger?

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 11:33:00 -0400
Convicted former mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, now in a high-security Florida prison, proved that when he responded to three Massachusetts high school students who wrote him as part of their submission for a National History Day competition on the themes of leadership and legacy. “My life was wasted and spent foolishly, brought shame + suffering on my parents and siblings and will end soon,” Bulger wrote in the Feb. 24 letter, first published by the Boston Globe.

10 Colleges Where Freshmen Are Most Likely to Come Back

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 09:00:00 -0400
The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or graduate school search.

U.S. Colleges Adapt as More Chinese Undergrads Come to Campus

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:30:00 -0400
Chinese undergraduate Tianyi Zhang had seen plenty of movies and TV shows about the U.S., but nothing could quite prepare her for what she would encounter on a North American campus. "There are lots of differences in our living habits -- the food, the lifestyle," says Zhang, a rising senior and computer science major at Purdue University--West Lafayette. Zhang is one of the increasing number of Chinese undergraduates enrolling at U.S. colleges.

Cenovus to sell royalty portfolio to Ontario Teachers' for $2.66 billion

Tue, 30 Jun 2015 08:19:28 -0400

CEO Ferguson of Cenovus addresses shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Calgary.By Euan Rocha TORONTO (Reuters) - Cenovus Energy Inc , Canada's second-largest independent oil producer, said on Tuesday it has agreed to sell its portfolio of oil and gas royalty properties to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for about C$3.3 billion ($2.66 billion). "We believe this agreement captures significant value for Cenovus shareholders from our royalty and fee lands business," said Cenovus Chief Executive Officer Brian Ferguson. "This transaction will realize value that isn't currently reflected in our share price." Calgary, Alberta-based Cenovus said the move will strengthen its balance sheet and offer flexibility to invest in growth projects.

Chobani selected as Greek yogurt provider for school lunches

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:14:19 -0400

Chobani selected as Greek yogurt provider for school lunchesPublic schools across America will soon offer Greek yogurt as a meat substitute in school lunches beginning this fall. Chobani, a manufacturer of Greek yogurt, officials announced Monday it had been selected ...

Three former Berkeley students sue university over sexual assaults

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:00:27 -0400
The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, says Berkeley failed to comply with a federal regulation known as Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits gender discrimination at schools that receive federal funds. The White House has declared sex crimes an "epidemic" on U.S. college campuses, with one in five students falling victim to sex assault during their college years. Last year, the U.S. Department of Education released a list of 55 colleges, including Berkeley, that were under investigation to determine if their handling of sexual assaults and harassment violated Title IX.

Colorado Supreme Court rules against school voucher program

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 16:18:07 -0400
Colorado's Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a controversial school voucher program in a Denver suburb violates the state's constitution because it provides funding for students to attend religious schools. The Colorado Court of Appeals had previously upheld the system first proposed four years ago by Douglas County, which granted taxpayer-funded scholarships to up to 500 qualifying elementary, middle, and high school students for tuition at 23 private schools, including 16 religious ones. The state Supreme Court noted that when opponents first filed suit against the Choice Scholarship Program in June 2011, three months after it was approved by the county's school board, some 93 percent of recipients were set to attend religious schools.

'My life was wasted,' ex-Boston mob boss Bulger tells students: report

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:49:35 -0400

Former mob boss and fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger is seen in a booking mug combination photoLong-time Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger told a group of Massachusetts high school students who had written to ask him questions for a research project that his "life was wasted and spent foolishly," the Boston Globe reported. Bulger, 85, was convicted in 2013 of committing or ordering the murders of 11 people when he ruled Boston's criminal underworld in the 1970s and 1980s and is serving two consecutive life sentences in federal prison. Four students from Apponequet Regional High School in Lakeville, Massachusetts, had written to ask him questions for a research paper on leadership and got a terse, apologetic four-paragraph reply letter, the newspaper reported on Sunday.

Supreme Court will re-hear Texas affirmative action

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:50:46 -0400
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will dive back into the fight over the use of race in admissions at the University of Texas, a decision that presages tighter limits on affirmative action in higher education.

Global Innovation Exchange: A new kind of investment in higher ed

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:32:13 -0400

GIXMicrosoft, the University of Washington and Tsinghua University are joining forces to create a new type of higher education.

Find Child Care Resources for Community College Students

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:30:00 -0400
"Managing child care, school responsibilities and often work can be extremely challenging , and the difficulties with child care can be one of the primary reasons that students with children have to take breaks from school , or possibly quit and never return," says Barbara Gault, vice president and executive director of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, a research organization that focuses on women's issues. For one thing, child care is expensive. In many states the average cost of child care often exceeds the cost of housing, tuition, food and transportation, according to a 2014 report from Child Care Aware of America.

College Students Dish on 3 Actions to Take the Summer Before School

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 09:00:00 -0400
Summer is well underway, and the class of 2019 is preparing for the transition to university life. So what should these college-bound students focus on most to best prepare?

California vaccine bill goes to lawmakers for final vote

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 07:45:52 -0400

California vaccine bill goes to lawmakers for final voteCalifornia lawmakers are considering a measure that will require vaccinations for most children in public schools. The state Senate was expected to take the final vote required before sending the contentious ...

3 Ways Colleges Are Working to Improve Online Learning

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 07:30:00 -0400
For many online students, the flexibility of an online degree or certification program outweighs the possibility of a less immersive student experience. But without having to physically walk into a classroom, an adviser's office or a study session, experts say students who are struggling to keep up or stay interested in course work are sometimes more difficult to recognize and easier to ignore. As a result, some programs are using innovative methods to foster an online educational experience that is more supportive, engaging, and responsive to student demands.

High schoolers' experiment lost again on launch failure

Sun, 28 Jun 2015 20:04:06 -0400

In this photo provided by Kellye Voigt, from left, Gabe Voigt, Joe Garvey and Rachel Lindbergh pose for a photo outside the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, June 28, 2015. The students had a science experiment aboard a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station that broke apart shortly after liftoff. It was the second time they had lost their experiment in a rocket failure. (Kellye Voigt via AP) MANDATORY CREDITThree high school students were going to get the science lesson of a lifetime by flying their experiment in space.

Kansas court rules against parts of state school funding law

Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:12:44 -0400
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A district court panel in Kansas declared Friday that key parts of a new state law for funding public schools violate the state constitution and ordered an immediate increase in aid.

Chicago strike looms: Is there a better way out this time?

Fri, 26 Jun 2015 17:26:32 -0400
With its public school system in financial turmoil and contract negotiations with its teacher union stalled, Chicago may have to look to taxpayers for a fix for its educational system. The head of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) announced Thursday that talks have broken down between the union and the city with the nation’s third-largest school system, less than a week before the union’s contract expires next Tuesday. Chicago Public Schools refuses to budge on our contract proposals that will have no cost impact on the district,” CTU President Karen Lewis said at a press conference.

Chicago teachers contract talks break down: Impending strike?

Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:59:28 -0400
A Chicago Teacher’s Union official announced Thursday that the union has called off contract talks with the public school system. Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey said it is "highly unlikely" that an agreement will be reached before the current contract expires on Tuesday. For the time being, the two sides are at an impasse, but Ms. Sharkey confirmed that the union is willing to continue talks with the Chicago Public Schools in the future.

Chicago teachers union says it has broken off contract talks

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 18:20:53 -0400
A Chicago Teachers Union official said on Thursday the union has broken off contract talks with the public school system but it was too soon to say if there would be a repeat of the 2012 strike. Union Vice President Jesse Sharkey said it was now "highly unlikely" an agreement would be reached before the current contract expires on Tuesday. Sharkey said the union will talk to Chicago Public Schools in the future, but for now the two sides are at an impasse.

Mark Hecker pairs pupils and student tutors – with dramatic gains for both

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 17:00:04 -0400
What’s unusual is that the tutors are only about six to eight years older – high school students who themselves have been struggling academically or socially. School administrators say they see reading skills on the rise, and more.

Four reasons community colleges are on the rise

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:06:36 -0400
According to a recent Gallup poll, two in three Americans rank a community college education as high as a four-year program. Traditionally, students who attend community college education are driven primarily by price tag. “The only consistently affordable options that remain are community colleges,” says Ben Miller, senior director for post-secondary education at the Center for American Progress.

Target These Easy, Last-Minute Summer Scholarships

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:00:00 -0400
It's hard to believe that fall semester is only two months away. If you were like many high school students, you probably didn't have a lot of extra time to apply for scholarships while you were busy with homework, a job, activities and friends. Though most scholarship deadlines have past, there are several scholarships with deadlines that are still a few weeks out, and many have really straightforward applications that shouldn't take you long to fill out.

83-year-old Korean War vet gets honorary high school degree

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:41:25 -0400
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — An 83-year-old Korean War veteran from New Hampshire who dropped out of high school nearly 70 years ago can now call himself a graduate.

Perhaps nation's best defense leads swagger-filled No. 2 Miami Central

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:00:00 -0400

Perhaps nation's best defense leads swagger-filled No. 2 Miami CentralKeir Thomas's highlights vs. Armwood High School 428 views1:17 Video: Keir Thomas highlights vs. Armwood Footage of standout Miami Central lineman and Florida State commit. As an undersized cornerback out of Northwestern (Miami), Roland Smith had to carry more than his 5-foot-9 and 170-pound frame onto the field for the University of Miami in 1987. "If you're were going to play at Miami back then, you had to play with some swagger," Smith said. Photo by Stuart Browning Roland Smith, Miami CentralSmith, who played for both Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson and won two national titles, said the same is true for perhaps the nation's best high school defense heading into the 2015 season. See the full preview for No. 2 Miami Central Although his Central (Miami) squad certainly doesn't suffer from a lack of stature or talent, the Rockets — with as many as nine college players on defense — still play with a chip and a confidence that Smith likes and relates to. "These guys pursue to the ball, they're cat-quick, aggressive and are always looking to create turnovers," Smith said. "If you don't play with a certain swagger, you're not playing football at Central." Smith, 46, is just happy to be coaching high school football again after he and his entire staff, in a highly controversial decision, were let go from Northwestern in 2007 over an off-field incident involving a star running back. Smith and his staff were later absolved from any wrongdoing, but had to watch that 2007 team led by prep All-Americans Marcus Forston and Jacory Harris — and a handful of other Miami recruits — win a mythical nation championship. Many of the players dedicated a season-opening win over Southlake Carroll (Texas) — and later their entire season — to Smith and his staff. Several of Smith's assistants found other coaching jobs including Telly Lockette, who guided Central to two state titles in three seasons. When Lockette left to take an assistant's job at South Florida in the spring of 2013, Smith decided it was time to return to high-level coaching. He had spent a lot of time during his six seasons away from coaching raising his son, Roland III. Smith said he didn't want to disrupt what Lockette had built and instead has simply added to the Rockets' dynasty. Since he took over, they are 27-2 with two Florida 6A titles — four in five years — and come into 2015 as the No. 2 squad in the MaxPreps Preseason Top 25 Early Contenders. It's been a happy return since he felt wrongly pushed out of something he loved to do. "It's an awesome job to be a high school football coach," he said. "I'm proud to be a role model like my high school coaches were to me. Photo by Stuart Browning Donovan Thompson, Miami Central"I want to make sure the kids from our community be the best they can be on and off the football field and try to get them at the very least a college education." Two of his senior defensive linemen, Eric Mitchell (6-3, 240, Florida) and Keir Thomas (6-2, 240, Florida State), have already secured commitments to their colleges. Third-year starter Donavan Thompson (5-10, 211) leads a impressive lot of linebackers that also includes Miami-commit Waynmon Steed, a 6-1, 210-pound junior. The secondary is loaded, led by 6-4, 187-pound cornerback and safety Jamel Cook (Florida State), along with Jamal Hudson (6-0, 185) and a pair of junior cornerbacks Christopher Williams (5-10, 175) and Allen Jones (5-10, 175). As if the defense needed any more bolstering, Smith brought former Oakland Raiders and Florida State safety Derrick Gibson to be the team's new defensive coordinator. The Rockets gave up just 12 points per game last year and recorded four shutouts. This defense could be even better. "We have a lot of talented kids," Smith said. "It's our job to get the most out of them." Photo by Stuart Browning Miami Central seeks its third straight Florida state title and fifth in six years.

New York City to offers free eye tests, glasses to older students

Wed, 24 Jun 2015 18:40:08 -0400

New York City Mayor De Blasio holds a news conference on his progressive agenda against income inequality with labor leaders and elected officials outside the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonBy Katie Reilly NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than 65,000 students in New York City's poorest-performing public schools will have their vision screened and, if needed, get a free pair of eyeglasses, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday. The new city partnership with Warby Parker, a New York-based company known for its online sales of fashion-conscious eyewear, aims to remove poor eyesight as a barrier to education, the Democratic mayor said in a news release. It expands vision screenings beyond the usual elementary school years to include middle and high school students in all 130 Community Schools, which are among the city's lowest-achieving schools, the mayor said.

Top Asian News at 4:30 p.m. GMT

Wed, 24 Jun 2015 12:32:53 -0400
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — On a hillside overlooking an athletic field where high school students play volleyball, an inconspicuous entrance leads down a dusty, slippery slope — and seemingly back in time — to Japan's secret Imperial Navy headquarters in the final months of World War II. Here, leaders of Japan's combined fleet command made plans for the fiercest battles, including those of Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa from late 1944 to the war's end in August 1945. They knew when kamikaze pilots crashed to their deaths when signals from their planes stopped. They cried when they monitored cables from officers aboard the famed battleship Yamato as it came under heavy U.S. fire and sank off southern Japan.

Japan's secret navy bunker gives glimpse of war's final days

Wed, 24 Jun 2015 11:25:35 -0400

In this Tuesday, June 23, 2015 photo, a security guard closes a metal door of an entrance of underground tunnels that Japan’s Imperial Navy once used as secret headquarters underneath of Hiyoshi Campus of Keio University in Yokohama, south of Tokyo. Today, the concrete tunnels sit quietly underneath the high school and university campus, largely untouched and unknown, occasionally visited by guided tours for the students. The school opened them to the media for the first time this week to raise public awareness of the site and the tragic history it represents, in the 70th anniversary year of the end of World War II. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — On a hillside overlooking an athletic field where high school students play volleyball, an inconspicuous entrance leads down a dusty, slippery slope — and seemingly back in time — to Japan's secret Imperial Navy headquarters in the final months of World War II.

Chicago school pension payment delay to get another House vote

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 19:25:08 -0400
The Illinois House will get a second chance to vote on a bill that would give the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools (CPS) until Aug. 10 to make a $634 million payment to its pension fund, House Speaker Michael Madigan said. A 53-46 vote in the Democrat-controlled House on Tuesday fell short of the 71 affirmative votes needed to allow the measure to take immediate effect. Madigan told reporters in the state capitol in Springfield that the bill will be called for another House vote on June 30.

Packed Pennsylvania Capitol leaves little room for agreement

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:58:26 -0400
The tension of budget season spilled over Tuesday into heated exchanges at back-to-back rallies at the Pennsylvania Capitol on the virtues of the state's Marcellus Shale industry and public schools. The ...

Years into Common Core, teachers lament lack of materials

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:24:20 -0400

In this Monday, June 22, 2015, Tammy Baumann, curriculum director for East Lansing public schools, poses for a photo in East Lansing, Mich. Baumann literally took their textbooks apart, rearranging lessons, filling holes with outside material and put it all together in what will be the K-2 math curriculum at her school district in the fall. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)The learning standards were new. The textbooks were not.

New York schools to mark Lunar New Year

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 11:38:06 -0400

Dragon dancers cross Canal Street during the Chinatown Lunar New Year parade on February 17, 2013 in New York CityThe Lunar New Year is now an official holiday in New York public schools, allowing tens of thousands of Asian families to celebrate without children missing class, the mayor said Tuesday. Progressive Democrat Bill de Blasio added the holiday, observed in China and other countries in Asia, three months after adding the two most sacred Muslim holidays to the school calendar. Schools will close on February 8 for the Lunar New Year in 2016.