June 17, 2019

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Kansas City Area Education News

The Star endorses Melissa Robinson for 3rd District seat on the Kansas City Council

By KC Star Editorial Board

The challenges facing the 3rd District neighborhoods that Melissa Robinson and Joseph “Joey Cuts” Thomas seek to represent on the Kansas City Council are numerous and daunting.  Reducing violent crime is at top of the list, followed by expanding affordable housing and spurring economic development. Aging infrastructure also will require immediate attention.  In this race to succeed Jermaine Reed on the City Council, voters should elect a strong leader who can work effectively to strengthen distressed neighborhoods after decades of disinvestment. The Star Editorial Board endorses Robinson, whose relevant experience and collaborative style would allow her to make an immediate impact at City Hall and drive progress in the 3rd District.

Why does lunch debt exist? 3rd graders paying their friends’ bills shouldn’t make us feel good.

By Tebany Yune

The U.S.’s public school system has a lunch debt problem. Lunch debt, the money owed when a student can’t pay for school lunches, is a fast-growing issue in the nation and has become a reoccurring piece of news within the last couple months.  During May, news broke that a entrepreneurial 9-year-old in Kansas City, Mo. donated $150 to her school — money she earned from running her own bakery — to pay off lunch debts for her peers.

Missouri/Kansas Education News

Parents can navigate data on school quality in Post-Dispatch School Guide

By Janelle O’Dea, St Louis Post Dispatch

When researching public schools, there is an overwhelming amount of information and data available to parents.  Data can be a good starting point for deeper conversations, but test scores and attendance figures won’t give a complete picture of a school’s quality or whether it’s the right fit for your family.  Just as you wouldn’t get heart surgery because of a high cholesterol score, parents shouldn’t pick schools based on numbers, said Paige Kowalski, executive vice president for the Washington-based Data Quality Campaign.

Kansas high school to save estimated $30K annually using solar energy

By Amelia Harper, Education Dive

  • Maize High School in Sedgwick County, Kansas, recently went live with one of the state’s largest privately owned solar power grids — a 720-solar-panel, 240-kilowatt system — after raising $160,000 of the roughly $400,000 cost, with the rest was financed through a partnership with a local ethanol plant. After the system is paid for, the school expects to save more than $30,000 a year in energy spending, The Wichita Eagle reports.

School districts are one of the biggest consumers of energy, especially as they rely more heavily on tech devices, so finding ways to obtain power more effectively and at a lower cost allows schools to spend that money on more items more closely connected to education itself.

National Education News

Kids Count: No growth in pre-K enrollment, 8th-grade math proficiency

By Linda Jacobson, Education Dive

  • The U.S. child population continues to increase and grow more diverse — especially in California, Florida and Texas. But the overall rate of 3- and 4-year-olds not attending preschool — 52% — hasn’t changed since 2010, according to the 2019 Kids Count Data Book, which has been tracking child well-being at the state level since 1990.

The Kids Count Data Book, an ongoing project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has been a useful resource for educators and policymakers because it puts indicators of academic achievement in a broader context, covering topics of economic well-being, health, and family and community issues, such as growing up in a single-parent family or living in a high-poverty area.

Valedictorian rips school staff and calls out teacher for “alcoholism” in graduation speech

By Christopher Brito, CBS News
A San Diego high school valedictorian went scorched-earth on school staff during her graduation speech last week, airing her grievances against some faculty members in a highly public fashion. Her fiery remarks later went viral.  Nataly Buhr, who attended San Ysidro High School, told CBS affiliate KFMB-TV that she wanted to bring attention to what she felt was lack of support for students. Buhr began her speech thanking specific teachers who were “invested” in students’ education and well-being. But then she called out other school employees for failing to live up to that standard.

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