Connect-Ed

A Weekly Roundup of Education Stories | May 5

by Kelly Lynch-Stange   |   May 5, 2017
(Sam Yates | KCPT)

There's plenty to keep up with on the education front, from K-12 curricula to preparing for college to school choice and discipline. The Take Note team is here to cut through some of the noise and bring you relevant, reliable and impactful information on the ever-changing landscape of education.


A school finance bill hit a snag with Kansas lawmakers on Tuesday. The five-year plan, set to raise public schools funding by as much as $750 million annually, remained in committee after lawmakers suggested adding a funding formula to the bill. The Topeka Capital-Journal examines what comes next for the bill and whether or not a veto-proof majority is possible.

 

Kansas education bill held up as lawmakers mull funding options

A much-awaited school finance bill remained in committee Tuesday as lawmakers reviewed its contents and prepared to discuss funding options. The chairman of the House panel tasked with crafting Kansas' new school funding formula wants lawmakers to consider inserting revenue provisions directly into the bill to pay for at least part of it.

 

A new budget from the Trump Administration aims to eliminate Century Community Learning Centers, a nationwide after-school program for low-income children. The program, which provides healthy snacks and homework support, currently serves close to 2 million low-income students nationwide. In this NPR report, advocates of the program say this move is a devastating blow to already disadvantaged children.

 

Under Trump Budget, Nearly 2 Million Kids May Lose After-School Care

Mary Beth Burkes lives in Buchanan County, Va., a depressed coal-mining region where 1 in 4 families lives in poverty and where her autistic son gets extra help in the after-school program at his school. Burkes says the program has been a godsend for her and other parents, because they know their children are in a safe place after school.

 

A recent report entitled "The Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Pre-Kindergarten Effects” settles the long-standing debate on the effectiveness of pre-K. The report, drafted by the nation’s top education researchers, says children who attend pre-kindergarten programs are at a higher advantage when it comes to kindergarten preparedness than those who do not participate in pre-K programs. The education team at NPR details additional findings in the report and examines what questions come next.

 

Pre-K: Decades Worth Of Studies, One Strong Message

Some of the nation's top researchers who've spent their careers studying early childhood education recently got together in Washington with one goal in mind: to cut through the fog of studies and the endless debates over the benefits of preschool.

 

On Thursday, the House of Representatives successfully passed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a move that special education supporters call “unconscionable.” In this report from The NY Times, Vickie Glenn, an Illinois Medicaid coordinator, discusses what the cuts to Medicaid will mean for students with disabilities. In addition, the report details a letter sent to the president by a coalition of school educators and advocacy organizations, pleading with him to save Medicaid in the interest of children with special needs.

 

A Little-Noticed Target in the House Health Bill: Special Education

The new law would cut Medicaid by $880 billion, or 25 percent, over 10 years and impose a "per-capita cap" on funding for certain groups of people, such as children and the elderly - a dramatic change that would convert Medicaid from an entitlement designed to cover any costs incurred to a more limited program.

 

— Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @KCPTedu for the latest education stories and Take Note events.