Music Education Policy Roundup – October 14, 2019

National News

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Announces More than $20 Million in New Grant Awards for Innovative Teacher Prep

10/4/2019- ‘Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos awarded more than $20 million in new funding to support innovative teacher preparation models that prepare prospective and new teachers to serve students in high-need schools.’

Education, civil rights, consumer groups resist Alexander HEA bill

By Bianca Quilantan, Politico

In a letter today to Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, 42 education, civil rights and consumer advocacy organizations opposed his overhaul of the Higher Education Act and asked him to consider more comprehensive legislation to better protect students and taxpayers from “low-quality,” “predatory” colleges.

Alexander’s bill, S. 2557 (116), which was introduced in late September, ties together eight bipartisan higher education bills that would make piecemeal updates to the HEA.

In the letter, the group criticized the Tennessee Republican’s legislation, saying it failed to include provisions that “hold low-quality and sometimes predatory colleges accountable.”

“Any reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) must include robust consumer protections,” the group wrote. “Current law allows for students of color, low-income students, and veteran and active-duty military students to be targeted by, and over-represented in low-quality institutions, too many of which are for-profit colleges.”

“In the absence of a genuinely comprehensive approach to HEA, including improvements that address well-documented abuses and provide basic fairness to students who were deceived and defrauded by their schools, our organizations will stand together to oppose this legislation,” the group wrote.

Congress returns next week. The letter to Alexander comes ahead of an anticipated House Democrat sponsored HEA reauthorization package introduction.


State News

Grades for Little Rock district’s schools released; 8 get F’s

10/4/2019- ‘Eight of Little Rock School District’s 40 schools will receive “F” letter grades in the aftermath of last spring’s state-required ACT Aspire tests — the same number of F schools as in the previous year but not all the same eight, according to preliminary 2019 letter grade data.’

Little Rock activist group fears return of segregation under state’s LRSD plan

10/6/19- ‘The Arkansas Board of Education’s plan to allow limited local control of the Little Rock School District has been met with opposition by a local activist group.’

A Bandless Football Team And A Teamless Band Team Up

10/5/2019- ‘What happens when a bandless Michigan high school football team meets a school band with no team? NPR’s Scott Simon asks Glen Lake football player Ben Kroll and Forest Area band member Hannah Spencer.’

Judge: Arizona Governor Acted Illegally in Pushing 2016 Ballot Measure

10/2/2019- ‘A judge has ruled Gov. Doug Ducey acted illegally when he pushed a 2016 ballot measure to increase the level of K-12 education funding that could be withdrawn from Arizona’s land trust without first getting approval from Congress.’

Ron DeSantis unveils plan to raise starting pay for Florida teachers

10/7/2019- ‘Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he would be pushing the Florida Legislature to raise the minimum starting salary for teachers to $47,500.’

Teachers in southern Illinois walk out in salary dispute

10/7/2019- ‘Teachers in the southern Illinois city of Murphysboro continue to walk the picket line in a wage impasse with the city’s school district.’

Utah Board of Education to update teacher discipline rules

10/7/2019- ‘Utah education officials are seeking to update rules on how to handle licensed teachers accused of misconduct.’

New Mexico discontinues financial incentives for teachers

10/8/2019- ‘New Mexico has discontinued financial bonuses for top-rated teachers as it delivers the results of job-performance evaluations for the school year that ended in June.’

Research & Analysis

Charter school and home-school enrollment on the rise, study finds

School Choice in the United States: 2019 uses data from multiple surveys to describe the landscape of school choice. The report discusses the changes over time in enrollment in traditional public, public charter, and private schools, as well as changes in the number of students who were homeschooled. It includes information on the characteristics of students enrolled in public and private schools, as well as characteristics of students who were homeschooled.

Policy Roundup produced by Matt Barusch of NAfME.