Education

News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

April 02, 2003 4 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Fixed Tuition Rates Pass a Test in Illinois

Illinois college students would pay a fixed tuition rate for four years, under legislation that has passed the House.

Starting with the freshman class of 2004, the legislation would require the state’s nine public colleges to establish a set tuition that would remain unchanged for four years.

The tuition bill easily passed the House by a vote of 104-6 on March 19. The Senate is expected consider the measure this month.

Rep. Kevin C. Joyce, the Chicago Democrat who sponsored the bill, calls the measure “truth in tuition.” He said residents in his district have a high college-attendance rate but may not qualify for financial aid. For those parents, Mr. Joyce noted, knowing how much the total tuition bill will be is essential.

“They’ve saved $20,000 for their child to go to college, and then by the third year, [the money’s] already gone,” he said last week.

In response to critics who question limiting the budgeting flexibility of state colleges, the lawmaker said he’s simply asking Illinois colleges to craft four-year budget plans.

—Karla Scoon Reid

North Carolina Teachers Short on Time, Study Finds

North Carolina teachers are dissatisfied with their working conditions and are particularly unhappy that they don’t have more time to do their jobs well, according to preliminary results of a massive survey.

Some 42,000 educators—almost half the state’s teacher corps—completed the survey, which went to every licensed public school professional in the state, at the behest of Gov. Michael F. Easley.

Mr. Easley, a Democrat, has said he is concerned that North Carolina is losing too many teachers at a time when the state’s public schools need to fill some 10,000 teaching positions a year.

Educators gave the most positive responses to their school leaders. They were the least satisfied with the amount of time they had to spend on curriculum planning, classroom management, and individual students. Lack of sufficient time to collaborate with colleagues and to learn to be better teachers was also a problem.

Elementary school staff members tended to be more satisfied than educators in secondary schools. And teachers in smaller schools were generally more satisfied than their peers in larger ones.

A school designated as low-performing, or with higher proportions of students performing below grade level seemed to affect satisfaction levels negatively.

—Bess Keller

Florida Education Board Overrules Charter Rulings

For the first time, the Florida state school board last week overruled local school boards that had rejected two charter schools.

Gulf Coast Academy of Science and Technology in Hernando County, outside Tampa, and Round Lake Elementary School, in Lake County, both were granted charter status by the state board on March 18.

The Hernando County school was turned down by its local school board because of worries that Gulf Coast Academy’s financial plan wasn’t sound. But a state advisory board for charter schools disagreed, recommending that the state school board approve the charter.

The state board, an appointed body that officially took office in January, did just that.

In the second case, Round Lake Elementary will switch from regular public school to charter status. The local school board had denied the charter application for budget reasons.

State board member Bill Proctor questioned whether the body was wise to overrule local school boards, and suggested the state may now be accountable for those schools rather than the local districts.

—Alan Richard

Study: Choice Benefits Florida Special Ed. Students

A new report on Florida’s McKay Scholarship Program for Students with Disabilities refutes arguments made by school choice opponents who say that choice options only benefit academically accomplished students and that private schools cannot effectively educate students with special needs.

“Lessons from Florida: School Choice Gives Increased Opportunities to Children with Special Needs,” is available from the Cato Institute. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

The release of the report coincides with the introduction by U.S. Rep. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., of legislation that would encourage states to develop McKay-type programs.

The Florida scholarship program, now in its third year, provides state-funded scholarships worth an average of $5,000 to about 9,000 students with an array of learning disabilities and other needs.

David F. Salisbury, the director of the Center for Educational Freedom at the Cato Institute in Washington and the author of the report, points out that the number of students enrolled in the program has increased steadily, and 89 percent of the McKay scholarship students re-enrolled in their scholarship schools, indicating parent satisfaction.

The report credits the vouchers with encouraging private school participation and expansion, reducing class sizes in public schools, and giving parents a larger role in their children’s education.

—Marianne D. Hurst


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP