Education Week - January 29, 2014 - (Page 17)

BLOGS WISCONSIN: Gov. Scott Walker acknowledges high school students during his State of the State address at the capitol in Madison. The Republican governor touted his education record in his Jan. 22 speech, which focused heavily on the state economy and fiscal issues. New York Governor Spars The Preschool Open Doors program will provide financial assistance to 1,200 4-year-olds who are no longer eligible to begin kindergarten this year because of an age-requirement change that moved the cutoff date for incoming kindergartners, who must be 5 by July 31 instead of Dec. 31. But that assistance isn't enough to cover the nearly 5,000 children who will be affected by the change, said Gov. Abercrombie, who proposed partnering with 32 classrooms for direct preschool services and has requested $8 million in extra resources to support an additional 1,040 families "who otherwise have little or no options," he said. IOWA GOV. TERRY BRANSTAD (R) * JAN. 14 Gov. Branstad urged lawmakers in his Condition of the State address to pass legislation that would require schools to inform parents if their child is involved in a bullying incident and allow school personnel to intervene in any bullying that takes place off school grounds. He said such a move would help mitigate the impact of cyberbullying and other forms of harassment. "Imagine being unable to escape, as the bully relentlessly pursues them online, in a form accessible 24/7. Imagine how bleak it must be. Imagine how lonely it must feel," he said in his address. On the higher education front, Mr. Branstad is planning to triple funding-to $1 million this year-for the Hawkeye State's apprenticeship program, which allows students to earn a paycheck at a job site in their field while working toward a degree. He's also hoping to freeze tuition at the state's regent universities, continuing a policy Iowa put in place last year. Separately, he would like to provide tax incentives to repurpose old school buildings and turn them into local centers for economic development. MICHIGAN GOV. RICK SNYDER (R) * FEB. 16 A year after making a $65 million investment in early education and creating nearly 19,000 full- and part-time preschool seats, Gov. Snyder used his budget address to call for an additional $65 million investment in early education in order to make Michigan what he called a "no-wait state" for pre-K. The state -KATIE ASH estimates that before last year's funding increase, 29,000 4-year-olds from lowincome families were eligible for state-run preschools but could not get in because there were not enough slots. The governor has also said the legislature should consider a pilot program for year-round schools. Other state lawmakers have backed the creation of a $10 million fund that at-risk schools could tap to help pay for the infrastructure improvements needed for year-round schools, such as air conditioning. Gov. Snyder did not refer to that specific plan in his speech, but said that summer learning loss is a concern. "There's evidence out there to show that [students] can lose much of what they learn because they're not actively in learning mode," he said. -CHRISTINA A. SAMUELS MISSOURI GOV. JAY NIXON (D) * JAN. 21 The governor used his speech to call for a large boost in education spending, much of it intended to place the state on a path to fully fund its public school foundation formula. "On the campaign trail, I'll bet almost all of us made a promise to invest in our students and our schools. Well, you know what? It's time to put our budgets where our campaign brochures are," Gov. Nixon told state lawmakers. His proposed fiscal 2015 budget would fund public K-12 education at $3.5 billion, which would represent a $273 million increase over the previous fiscal year. The governor also proposed spending more on early-childhood education. For example, the Missouri Preschool Project, a competitive-grant program that provides startup funds for districts wanting to expand preschool classrooms, would see an increase from $11.7 million to $31.7 million under his budget plan. -ALYSON KLEIN SOUTH DAKOTA GOV. DENNIS M. DAUGAARD (R) * JAN. 14 Gov. Daugaard highlighted the importance of career and technical education in his annual speech to state lawmakers, promising $5 million in grants to help the state's CTE high schools strengthen their offerings, vowing to use state funds to help bring down the cost of dual-credit courses for students, and to provide $1.5 million over the next three years for technical institutes to offer scholarships in high-needs career fields. "CTE is at the intersection of education and economic development," Mr. Daugaard said in his fourth State of the State address. The governor's focus on education was closely tied to his praise for the state's economy, which currently features one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, at 3.6 percent. Efforts such as providing students and parents with an online portal to research college and career options, new remediation programs in high schools and postsecondary institutions, and "career camps" in high-needs fields like engineering have helped, he said. Gov. Daugaard also made mention of the Common Core State Standards, saying he supports the goals of the initiative, but shares the concerns of some about federal interference in education and the privacy of individual student data. "I hope we will all work together this year to protect our students without undermining the important goals of rigorous and competitive content standards," he said. WISCONSIN GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R) * JAN. 22 In a speech to lawmakers that was -C.A.S. heavy on economic themes, Gov. Walker also touted his record on education issues during his first term, especially an expansion of vouchers and his controversial push to curb collectivebargaining powers for public workers, including school employees. The collective-bargaining measure provoked massive protests, opposition from teachers' unions, and a failed attempt in 2012 to recall Mr. Walker from office. But the governor, in his address, argued that the law is now saving school districts money and giving them more freedom to base personnel decisions on performance. The governor, who is up for re-election this year and has been mentioned as a possible GOP presidential contender in 2016, used the speech to draw a connection between his policies and recent, positive economic signs. He inherited a two-year, $3.6 billion budget deficit upon taking office. The state recently projected a surplus, based mostly on improved tax collections. The governor, in his speech, proposed using some of that money to pay for tax cuts for state residents. -SEAN CAVANAGH With N.Y.C. Mayor on Pre-K | STATE EDWATCH | What's the best way to pay for full-day kindergarten in New York City and the rest of New York state? That question could lead to a prolonged tussle between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Gotham Mayor Bill de Blasio, as the two Democrats seek to outmaneuver each other on the issue of pre-K. Mayor de Blasio wants to raise taxes on city earners making over $500,000 a year to pay for universal pre-K. He pledged to do so when he was running for mayor. But state lawmakers would have to approve any such local tax, and he could face big political headwinds. Gov. Cuomo, meanwhile, has laid out a plan to funnel $1.5 billion to provide universal pre-K over five years to the whole state. (The mayor's plan would yield $340 million for universal pre-K over five years.) The governor seemed interested in defusing any conflict when he told the New York Times that he would provide whatever funding the new mayor wanted for pre-K: "Whatever he needs. As fast as he can phase in, we'll fund it." (He didn't cite a dollar amount.) But he said that the legislature was unlikely to approve the tax increase de Blasio wants, and questioned why the mayor would raise taxes to fund something the state had its own plans to fully support. Cases of Ed. Interest Added -BENJAMIN HEROLD To Supreme Court's Docket | THE SCHOOL LAW BLOG | The U.S. Supreme Court has added two issues to its docket with potential implications for education. One case involves whether government agencies may retaliate against public employees for certain testimony under oath. Also on Jan. 17, the court added a pair of cases about whether the police need a warrant to search the contents of a criminal suspect's cellphone. The cellphone cases, United States v.Wurie (Case No. 13-212) and Riley v. California (Case No. 13-132), may be relevant for school discipline because there has been a growing number of cases in which school administrators searched students' phones. The public-employee speech case, Lane v.Franks (Case No. 13-483), involves the administrator of a training program for at-risk youth run out of Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City, Ala. He was fired after testifying in the criminal trial of a state legislator later convicted of creating a no-show job for herself in the program. -ANDREW UJIFUSA -MARK WALSH Calif. Board Approves Rules For School-Finance System | STATE EDWATCH | The California State Board of Education has approved new regulations governing K-12 finance under the state's new Local Control Funding Formula, which directs more money to needier students and gradually raises overall state K-12 funding until 2020. Districts and schools with relatively high percentages of low-income children, Englishlanguage learners, and students in foster care will receive certain flexibility under the formula to spend money at their discretion on a districtwide or schoolwide basis. At the same Jan. 16 meeting, the state board also approved a template for Local Control and Accountability Plans, which districts and counties must use to involve the community to a greater extent than required previously when making budget decisions. -A.U. EDUCATION WEEK | January 29, 2014 | | 17 Andy Manis/AP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 29, 2014

Education Week - January 29, 2014
Ruling Raises Internet-Access Concerns
Cheating Case Implicates Phila. Educators
Graduation Disparities Loom Large
Business Groups Defend Common Standards
Report Roundup
News in Brief
Common Science Standards Are Slow to Catch On in States
Surge in Charter Schools Stirs Concerns in North Carolina
Blogs of the Week
Turnaround Program Receives Makeover In Budget Deal
Some Waiver States Feeling Common-Core Test Pinch
Needy Students, Tech Disparities at Issue
Blogs of the Week
Advocates Welcome New Federal Aid Aimed at Youngest
Collective-Bargaining Case Takes Spotlight at High Court
ANNA E. BARGAGLIOTTI: Statistics: The New ‘It’ Common-Core Subject
BEN ZIMMER & DANIELLA ROHR: Funding Students, Not Bureaucracies, For Early-Childhood Education
CLARKE L. RUBEL: Talking About a Reformation
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
LYNETTE TANNIS: Twice Punished: Education’s ‘Invisible’ Incarcerated Youths

Education Week - January 29, 2014