Policy & Politics

Education news, analysis, and opinion about the legislation, guidance, policies and people involved in federal and state government
Federal Is the Justice Dept. Silencing Parents or Stepping Up to Protect Educators?
Merrick Garland's move to use the FBI to help protect school officials from violence and harassment has drawn anger and praise.
5 min read
Education Funding Opinion Don’t Plan on That Federal Education Spending Spree
A Democratic spending spree once depicted as inevitable is shrinking before our eyes, meaning big implications for education.
4 min read
Federal Don't Use Federal COVID Aid to Undermine School Mask Rules, U.S. Treasury Tells Governor
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey violated the intent of COVID aid programs by using them to discourage school mask mandates, an agency letter says.
2 min read
Accountability Opinion States Have Untapped Opportunities to Retool Testing and Accountability
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, states have more freedom to revamp their testing and accountability systems than they did under NCLB.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Federal California, Florida, and Other States Waiting on Green Light for Their COVID Relief Plans
The list of states with Ed. Dept. approval for their American Rescue Plan blueprints is growing steadily, but two big states aren't on it.
4 min read
Image shows an illustration of money providing relief against coronavirus.
DigitalVision Vectors/iStock/Getty
Federal What Is a School Shooting? Members of Congress Seek a Federal Definition, Reliable Data
A new bill would direct federal departments to track data related to school shootings, a term for which there is no federal definition.
Daniela Altimari, Hartford Courant
4 min read
Police respond to the scene of a shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News, Va., on Saturday Sept. 20, 2021. Newport News police Chief Steve Drew said two students were shot and taken to the hospital and neither injury was thought to be life-threatening. The chief said authorities believe the suspect and victims knew one another but did not provide details.
Police respond to the scene of a shooting at Heritage High School in Newport News, Va., on Saturday Sept. 20, 2021.
John C. Clark/AP Photo
States Critical Race Theory Law Runs Into Legal Trouble in Arizona
A county judge ruled last month that Arizona's restriction on classroom discussions about race was passed in a deceptive manner.
3 min read
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey speaks during a bill signing in Phoenix on April 15, 2021. Ducey signed legislation banning government agencies from requiring training in so-called "critical race theory" as he begins considering the remaining bills from the legislative session that ended last week.
Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill in April that would ban school districts from requiring training in so-called "critical race theory." That law is now being challenged in courts.
Ross D. Franklin/AP

From Politics K-12 Blog

Student Well-Being Students With Depression, Anxiety May Qualify for Accommodations, Feds Tell Schools
As COVID fuels concerns, the Education and Justice departments detailed schools' obligations to students with mental health conditions.
3 min read
Student writes a note for "HELP" on her schoolwork
iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety Law Against 'Disorderly Conduct' in Schools Led to Unfair Student Arrests, Judge Rules
The South Carolina ruling is a model for other states where students are still being arrested for minor incidents, an attorney said.
6 min read
Scales of justice and Gavel on wooden table.
Pattanaphong Khuankaew/iStock
Federal Districts Would Have to Show Equity for High-Poverty Schools Under Proposed Biden Rule
The U.S. Department of Education says the move would promote transparency and accountability for schools getting COVID-19 aid.
4 min read
Illustration of a helping hand with dollar bill bridging economy gap during coronavirus pandemic, assisting business people to overcome financial difficulties.
Feodora Chiosea/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Federal Justice Department Says FBI Will Address Violent Threats Against School Leaders
The Biden administration's response comes several days after a request by a school boards group for federal intervention.
4 min read
Attorney General nominee Judge Merrick Garland speaks during an event with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., on Jan. 7, 2021.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said "threats against public servants ... run counter to our nation's values."
Susan Walsh/AP

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  • Education Funding Letter to the Editor More Money for Schools Isn’t the Answer
    The real problem is not funding but demands that teachers do more than just teach their subject, writes Walt Gardner.
    September 28, 2021
    1 min read
    In this June 8, 2021 photo, with dark clouds overhead, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington.
    The U.S. Supreme Court's new term opens in early October with several cases that could impact K-12 schools.
    J. Scott Applewhite/AP
    Law & Courts Here Are the Upcoming Supreme Court Cases That Matter for Schools
    Major cases on school choice and religious schools will be heard, along with a case on whether school boards can reprimand outspoken members.
    Mark Walsh, September 27, 2021
    9 min read
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, shown at a news conference last month, appointed a new surgeon general for the state who issued an emergency rule that the decision to quarantine students will be up to parents, not school districts.
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, shown at a news conference last month, appointed a new surgeon general for the state who issued an emergency rule that the decision to quarantine students will be up to parents, not school districts.
    Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP
    States To Quarantine or Not? Florida Is Letting Parents Decide
    The choice to quarantine exposed students will be up to parents, not school districts, under a rule signed by Florida’s new surgeon general.
    Scott Travis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, September 23, 2021
    6 min read
    Food service assistant Brenda Bartee, rear, gives students breakfast, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, during the first day of school at Washington Elementary School in Riviera Beach, Fla.
    Food service assistant Brenda Bartee, rear, gives students breakfast, last month on the first day of school at Washington Elementary School in Riviera Beach, Fla.
    Wilfredo Lee/AP
    Federal How a Big Federal Spending Package Could Affect School Meals and Student Poverty Counts
    Legislation to expand access to free school meals highlights a persistent concern: how to improve the ways we identify students in poverty.
    Andrew Ujifusa, September 23, 2021
    6 min read
    The Student Council lead the creation of “sensory hallways” at Western Branch Middle School in Chesapeake, Va.
    U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona looks on as Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks with reporters after touring Access Hawthorne Family Health Center, which is offering COVID-19 vaccines at 3040 S. Cicero Ave. in Cicero, as part of the Department of Education's "Return to School Road Trip" events in the Chicago area, Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 21, 2021.
    Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP
    States During Site Visit From Cardona, Illinois Governor Defends Vaccine, Testing Policies
    “The testing regimen is there in order to make sure that they’re not entering the institution where they work and spreading COVID-19.”
    Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune, September 22, 2021
    3 min read
    A staff member holds the door open for kids on the first day of school at Goodwin Frazier Elementary School in New Braunfels, Texas on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
    A staff member holds the door open at Goodwin Frazier Elementary School in New Braunfels, Texas in 2020. This year, Texas has prohibited school districts from requiring all students to wear masks.
    Mikala Compton/Herald-Zeitung via AP
    Federal Feds to Probe Whether Texas Ban on School Mask Mandates Violates Disability Rights Laws
    The Education Department has already opened investigations in six other states that ban universal school mask requirements.
    Evie Blad, September 21, 2021
    2 min read

EdWeek Market Brief

Market Trends Inside One District’s Battle Against ‘Learning Loss’
The Guilford County, N.C., school system's tutoring and accelerated learning efforts offer companies a window into the strategies being tested by districts across the country.
Emma Kate Fittes
10 min read
Marketplace K-12 What’s Happened With Education Company Morale During the Pandemic?
About two-thirds of education company employees say their morale is the same or better than it was, pre-COVID, an EdWeek Market Brief survey of businesses shows.
Emma Kate Fittes
3 min read
Purchasing Alert Utah School System Issues RFP for Math Curriculum Adoption; Missouri District Buying Student Assessment System
A school district in Utah has issued an RFP for a math curriculum adoption, while a system in Missouri is in the market for an online student-centered assessment system.
Jolie Radunich
2 min read
Marketplace K-12 Global Spending on K-12 Digital Instruction and Assessment to Double Over Next 4 Years, Analysis Predicts
Digital instruction and assessment has grown over 20 percent during the pandemic, and the market is expected to climb over the next few years.
3 min read