July 26, 2019

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Kansas City area Education News

KC school district expects to save $500,000 a year with new propane-powered bus fleet

Mara Rose Williams, KC Star

When Kansas City Public School students climb aboard their buses on the first day back to school next month, they’ll definitely notice something has changed. Maybe they will see that their bus is a brighter, shinier yellow, or that the firm seats have never been sat upon — improvements you’d expect on a new bus. But in addition, they might notice the buses are much quieter. That’s what happens when an entire fleet runs on propane.

Kansas City Kids Don’t Just Need Pre-K, Experts Say — They Need Education Starting At Birth

By Elle Moxley, KCUR 89.3

Between the time they’re born and age 3, babies’ brains are literally mapping, making the connections they’ll need to learn later on. In fact, 80 percent of a child’s brain develops in the first three years. “It’s like a firework display on the Fourth of July,” says Paula Neth of the Family Conservancy in Wyandotte County. “When a parent sits and holds a child and reads a book, the fireworks in the brain of all the neuron connections just start happening.” That’s why proponents of early childhood education in the Kansas City metro aren’t giving up on the idea of universal pre-K, even though Kansas City voters rejected a plan to pay for such services with sales taxes this spring.

Missouri/Kansas Education News

Teachers union wins injunction in lawsuit against district

TOM COULTER, The missourian

Columbia’s teachers union won a major victory Thursday when a Boone County judge issued a preliminary injunction that allows the union to remain the exclusive bargaining representative for Columbia Public Schools educators, for the time being.  Thirteenth Circuit Judge Jodie Asel issued the injunction a week after denying the district’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the union to continue as district teachers’ exclusive bargaining unit.  The union’s lawsuit, filed in April, states the school district bargained in bad faith and violated constitutional rights of the Columbia Missouri National Education Association when it demanded the union gain certification credentials required under a new state law.  The law, House Bill 1413, requires all exclusive bargaining units to be certified by the State Board of Mediation — a requirement CMNEA does not have. The deadline for districts to gain certification is Sunday.

National Education News

Tennessee asked national education leaders how the state should fix its turnaround district. Here’s what they said.

By Caroline Bauman, Chalkbeat

Education leaders from across the country – whose work is driven by the belief that low-performing schools can be turned around – had some advice for Tennessee schools chief Penny Schwinn: If you want to improve state-run schools, set clear expectations, provide additional funding, and don’t put everything on educators’ shoulders. More than a dozen people from organizations that operate or support turnaround efforts in other states convened at Schwinn’s request Tuesday in Nashville, for the latest in a series of conversations about the future of the Achievement School District. They included someone from Louisiana’s well known state-run school district; consultants who coach districts on improving struggling schools; and nonprofits that advocate for equity and teacher quality.

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