States

News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

April 04, 2001 2 min read

Arkansas Passes Teacher-Pay Bill

The Arkansas legislature has passed a bill that would raise public school teachers’ salaries by $3,000 over the next two years.

Gov. Mike Huckabee

A legislative priority of Gov. Mike Huckabee, the bill cleared the House unanimously on March 13 and passed the Senate March 27 with all senators voting for it except for two who abstained. The governor is expected to sign the bill.

Average salaries for teachers in Arkansas are about $3,000 less than the Southern regional average, and some $8,000 less than the national average. Under the legislation, raises would be phased in, with $1,000 increases provided in the coming fiscal year and $2,000 more the following year.

“We are seeing other states hire our best teachers away,” said Jim Harris, a spokesman for the Republican governor. Mr. Harris said a former teacher of the year in Arkansas left for Texas because of higher pay there.

Rep. Calvin Johnson, a Democratic co-sponsor of the bill and the dean of the school of education at the University of Arkansas, said the raises were long overdue.

“This is a step in the right direction,” he said. “It’s a morale issue. For too long, teachers have been put aside.”

—John Gehring


New York Sued Over Troubled Schools

The New York Civil Liberties Union charges in a class action filed last week that New York state has failed to meet its responsibility for improving the condition of schools in nine districts.

The lawsuit was filed in the state supreme court in Albany, a trial-level court, on behalf of some 75,000 students attending about 150 schools in the Albany, Buffalo, Hempstead, Mount Vernon, Roosevelt, Syracuse, Westbury, Wyandanch, and Yonkers districts.

“This suit ... makes clear that educational inadequacy must be remedied by state officials,” Donna Lieberman, the NYCLU’s interim executive director said.

Named in the suit are the state of New York and various state officials, including Gov. George E. Pataki, a Republican, and Richard P. Mills, the state education commissioner.

According to the suit, the schools in the nine districts should be regarded as “failing schools” because of a lack of resources and services and the low academic achievement of large numbers of students in them.

The lawsuit requests that state education officials meet with local education officials and with representatives from the communities in order to assess why the specified schools are failing.

The lawsuit also requests that state officials devise a plan to correct problems in each school and provide resources to address the failures.

Students at those schools are denied an opportunity to receive a “sound basic education,” as promised by the state constitution, the suit contends.

Officials at the state department of education could not be reached for comment.

—Lisa Fine

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 04, 2001 edition of Education Week as News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

Events

School & District Management Live Event Education Week Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
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
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
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
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

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

States 8 States Debate Bills to Restrict How Teachers Discuss Racism, Sexism
Proposed bills in several states aim to ban "divisive concepts."
8 min read
Messed up puzzle pieces of an American flag on a dark blue background
iStock/Getty Images Plus
States How to Talk About Next School Year Presents a Big Test for Education Leaders
State K-12 officials must clearly communicate plans for safety, academics, and mental health, while mixing urgency with nuance.
12 min read
Woman applying "Welcome Back" sign to the school entrance
Leo Patrizi/E+/Getty Images
States Two More States Pass Restrictions on Transgender Students. Will Others Follow?
States have considered dozens of bills on the rights of transgender students. They cover everything from sports to pronouns used in schools.
4 min read
Advocates for transgender people march from the South Dakota governor's mansion to the Capitol in Pierre, S.D., on March 11, 2021, to protest a proposed ban on transgender girls and women from female sports leagues.
Advocates for transgender people march from the South Dakota governor's mansion to the Capitol in Pierre to protest a proposed ban on transgender girls and women from female sports leagues.
Stephen Groves/AP
States Vaccine Access Speeds Up for Teachers After Biden's Declaration
The vaccine landscape for teachers shifted dramatically after President Joe Biden directed states to prioritize the K-12 workforce.
7 min read
030321 Vaccine Breaking AP BS
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is held by a pharmacist at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut on March.
Jessica Hill