State Policy

A high school football player in a blue helmet with an orange arrow on it tackles a player in a white and green uniform.
A player from the Westlake High School Warriors in Thousand Oaks, Calif., plays football in a helmet with an arrowhead logo. California has banned only certain Native American-themed mascots, but other states have passed broader restrictions.
Alex Gallardo
Equity & Diversity More States Push Schools to Drop Native American Mascots
At states' urging, schools will drop Native American mascots, citing the harm of racist stereotypes. The changes bring logistical and political challenges.
Evie Blad, November 28, 2022
6 min read
Fake News concept with gray words 'fact' in row and single bold word 'fake' highlighted by black magnifying glass on blue background
Firn/iStock/Getty
Curriculum A Media Literacy Requirement That Starts in Kindergarten? New Jersey May Start the Trend
New Jersey lawmakers want to require school districts to include media literacy for every grade.
Lauraine Langreo, November 23, 2022
3 min read
Banned books are visible at the Central Library, a branch of the Brooklyn Public Library system, in New York City on Thursday, July 7, 2022. The books are banned in several public schools and libraries in the U.S., but young people can read digital versions from anywhere through the library. The Brooklyn Public Library offers free membership to anyone in the U.S. aged 13 to 21 who wants to check out and read books digitally in response to the nationwide wave of book censorship and restrictions.
Several titles in this display of books in at the Central Library in New York city are on Missouri's banned books list. The N.Y. library allows young people anywhere to read digital versions of the books.
Ted Shaffrey/AP
Curriculum Nearly 300 Books Removed From Schools Under Missouri's 'Sexually Explicit Materials' Law
Missouri's efforts to remove books from public schools—either temporarily or permanently—go farther than most.
Eesha Pendharkar, November 18, 2022
5 min read
Image of a pending lawsuit.
gesrey/iStock/Getty
Law & Courts Georgia Educators Plan to Sue Over the State's 'Divisive Concepts' Law
Georgia's could be the sixth lawsuit to challenge state laws limiting classroom discussion of race and racism.
Eesha Pendharkar, November 11, 2022
3 min read
Image of students in line for a school meal.
Lisa Rathke/AP
States Colorado Voters Say Yes to Universal Free School Meals. Will Other States Follow?
Universal free school meal policies may be gaining momentum among states now that federal funding has lapsed.
Arianna Prothero, November 9, 2022
2 min read
Aidan Lau-Struck, 6, helps his mom Stephanie Lau feed her ballot into the machine at the Brighton Green Community Association voting precinct in North Chesterfield, Va., on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.
Aidan Lau-Struck, 6, helps his mother, Stephanie Lau, feed her ballot into the machine at the Brighton Green Community Association voting precinct in North Chesterfield, Va., on Election Day.
Eva Russo/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP
States K-12 and the Midterms: What to Watch For
Educators sound off on what the hard-fought midterm elections could mean for K-12 policy.
Libby Stanford, November 8, 2022
6 min read
Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest school district, comments on an external cyberattack on the LAUSD information systems during the Labor Day weekend, at a news conference in Los Angeles Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. Despite the ransomware attack, schools in the nation's second-largest district opened as usual Tuesday morning.
Alberto Carvalho, who leads the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation's second-largest school district, speaks at a news conference in Los Angeles on Sept. 6, 2022.
Damian Dovarganes/AP
Reading & Literacy Nation's Second-Largest School System Plans to 'Embrace' the Science of Reading
Los Angeles Superintendent Alberto Carvalho's remarks also echo New York leaders' promises to support an early-reading overhaul.
Sarah Schwartz, November 2, 2022
3 min read
Image of a stethoscope and a mobile phone.
spfdigital/iStock/Getty
Student Well-Being As Student Mental Health Concerns Rise, States Turn to Telehealth
With telehealth services, schools can reach students who have limited or no access to local providers.
Lauraine Langreo, October 30, 2022
4 min read
People speak out against anti-asian hate following the recent mass shootings in Atlanta that left eight dead, including six Asian Americans on March 17, 2021 at Diversity Plaza in Queens, New York City. Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit social organization that tracks incidents of discrimination, hate and xenophobia against Asian Americans, said it recorded 3,795 anti-Asian hate incidents between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021.
People speak out against anti-Asian hate following mass shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead, including six Asian Americans, in March 2021.
John Nacion/NurPhoto via AP
Curriculum States Are Mandating Asian American Studies. What Should the Curriculum Look Like?
AAPI people's experiences are vast and diverse. Teaching about them accurately requires hard history, community engagement, and teacher training.
Ileana Najarro, October 28, 2022
6 min read
Marchers wave flags as they walk at the St. Pete Pier during a rally and march to protest against a bill dubbed by opponents as the "Don't Say Gay" bill Saturday, March 12, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Florida lawmakers have passed the bill, which forbids instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. It now moves to the desk of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law.
Marchers wave flags as they walk at the St. Pete Pier in March during a rally to protest against a bill forbidding instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 classrooms. That bill has since become law.
Martha Asencio-Rhine/Tampa Bay Times via AP
Teaching Profession With Their Licenses in Jeopardy, Florida Teachers Unsure How the 'Don't Say Gay' Law Will Be Applied
A new rule could strip teachers of their licenses if they run afoul of the law. Teachers want to know what that entails.
Ileana Najarro, October 27, 2022
4 min read
Diverse elementary students sitting in a circle and talking to a Black male teacher.
E+/Getty
Teaching Profession Q&A Award-Winning Teachers Are Pushing Back Against Attacks on 'Honest Education'
They plan to host conversations, educate school boards, and write op-eds about why affirming, culturally responsive classrooms matter.
Madeline Will, October 24, 2022
8 min read
Image of a girl selecting a book in the library.
Hakase_/iStock/Getty
Reading & Literacy Third Grade Reading Retention Is Back. Should It Be?
Does requiring struggling students to repeat 3rd grade lead to better reading results? It's complicated.
Sarah Schwartz, October 21, 2022
8 min read
A hand with a blue medical gloves is holding a medical sample in front of a computer screen with the results of a DNA test.
zmeel/E+
School Climate & Safety Texas Schools Are Sending DNA Kits Home to Parents. Why This Is a Communications Mess
Texas school districts are providing parents DNA and fingerprint kits as part of a program to help find missing children.
Arianna Prothero, October 20, 2022
3 min read
A protester holds signs at a Moms for Liberty rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., on Oct. 9, 2021. About 100 people attended the rally to protest mask and vaccine mandates.
A protester holds signs at a Moms for Liberty rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., October 2021 protesting mask and vaccine mandates.
Paul Weaver/Sipa via AP Images
Law & Courts What Do 'Parents' Rights' Mean Legally for Schools, Anyway?
Conservatives rely on century-old U.S. Supreme Court precedents but want to bolster parental rights with a constitutional amendment.
Mark Walsh, October 20, 2022
9 min read