Do charters welcome special ed kids? – The Santa Fe New Mexican …

Do charters welcome special ed kids?

Do charters welcome special ed kids?

David Rosenblatt, left, his wife Karen Hoerst, right, and their son Nico, 5, play at Westminster Park May 8 in Washington. Nico Rosenblatt cannot speak and struggles to learn because of a rare genetic condition, yet thrives when surrounded by other children in a regular classroom, according to his parents. However, they say neither the public school system nor a charter school in the nation’s capital could provide an inclusive environment for him. Susan Walsh/Associated Press File Photo

Do charters welcome special ed kids?

Do charters welcome special ed kids?

David Rosenblatt, left, his wife Karen Hoerst, right, and their son Nico, 5, play at Westminster Park May 8 in Washington. Nico Rosenblatt cannot speak and struggles to learn because of a rare genetic condition, yet thrives when surrounded by other children in a regular classroom, according to his parents. However, they say neither the public school system nor a charter school in the nation’s capital could provide an inclusive environment for him. Susan Walsh/Associated Press File Photo



Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2017 7:00 pm
|


Updated: 11:25 pm, Sun May 28, 2017.

Do charters welcome special ed kids?

Associated Press |

WASHINGTON — Five-year-old Nico Rosenblatt cannot speak and struggles to learn because of a rare genetic condition, yet thrives when surrounded by other children in a regular classroom, according to his parents. However, they say neither the public school system nor a charter school in the nation’s capital could provide an inclusive environment for him.

“It’s a fundamental question of civil rights and access to education for us,” said Karen Hoerst, Nico’s 35-year-old mother. “It’s really about: Does our kid who happens to have a developmental disability deserve to be educated alongside his peers or not?”

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      Sunday, May 28, 2017 7:00 pm.

      Updated: 11:25 pm.

      Trump’s budget slashes education but cites one CT program as a model

      CtMirror.org

      A sign for a school-choice fair outside a school in Hartford

      President Donald Trump unveiled a budget Tuesday that slashes federal funding for education by 13.5 percent – cuts that probably would handicap or kill several programs that thousands of Connecticut children participate in each year.

      He also is proposing a massive increase for school choice, citing Connecticut’s “Open Choice” program, which provides funding for Hartford residents to attend suburban schools, as a national model.

      The Republican president also proposes level funding for the two major education grants that the state and Connecticut districts receive from the federal government.

      Here are four things to know about what the Trump budget could mean to you:

      School choice may increase

      Students in Connecticut have lots of choices for which school to attend. One in eight students this school year attend a magnet, charter, vocational or other school of choice.

      But thousands of students remain in struggling, low-performing schools.

      The availability of school choice options can largely be attributed to the state’s Supreme Court, which ordered the legislature in 1996 to eliminate the inequalities created by segregation of Hartford’s black and Hispanic students.

      The order spurred creation of a large number of new magnet schools as the state’s chief strategy to get suburban, white students to attend school with city students.

      But recently the legislature and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have balked at opening additional regional themed magnet schools. Instead, they say, the state should focus its time and funding on the troubled schools students already attend.

      The state also has offered suburban districts – many of which have rapidly declining school-aged populations – financial incentives to offer more seats to city students through the “Open Choice” program that Trump cites as one of three models in his budget. But most suburban communities have not done so, saying the state wasn’t offering enough funding.

      Trump hopes a new $1 billion competitive grant called FOCUS – Furthering Options for Children to Unlock Success – will spur a drastic expansion of school choice options across the U.S.

      So would a large federal grant be enough to lure Connecticut’s districts or the state to step up?

      Robert Rader, the executive director of the Connecticut Assocation of Boards of Education, doesn’t think so.

      “I have seen and heard no desire for more school choice from our members at this point. They are struggling just to keep what they have in their schools,” he said during an interview, pointing out several federal unfunded mandates that already exist. “They should stop trying to make promises before they fund the ones they have already made.”

      And state residents should not count on the administration of the Democratic governor to embrace Trump’s approach to funding expansion of school choice.

      “We do have concerns about the potential diversion of funds that pay for the educational needs of students living in poverty going instead to fund new school choice programming,” said Abbe Smith, a spokesman for the State Department of Education.

      “Connecticut has maintained a commitment to providing students and families with a diverse public school choice landscape that includes traditional public schools, magnets, and charters. We continue to review the president’s budget proposal, but are greatly concerned by deep cuts to education programs,” said Meg Green, a spokesman for the governor.

      Cuts aplenty elsewhere

      Trump’s budget proposal leaves untouched the second-largest source of federal education money for Connecticut’s schools, the so-called Title I grant, which provides schools in the state with about $120 million annually. However, the proposal would eliminate or drastically cut funding for several other programs geared toward improving educational outcomes for students from low-income families.

      Trump proposes eliminating the $9 million the state receives each year for before- and after-school programs and summer programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant. These grants, which run between $25,000 and $200,000 a year, help pay for programs in Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury and numerous other communities. (See here for which communities.)

      CtMirror.org file photo

      A high school in Bridgeport (CT Mirror file photo)

      The $2.1 billion in federal funding that currently goes to class-size reduction and teacher development efforts would be eliminated, making it the largest cut in the budget proposal for primary and secondary schools. Connecticut and its local districts receive about $25 million each year through these grants. Bridgeport, one of the state’s lowest-performing districts, has received $2 million so far this fiscal year from this grant. Hartford has received $2.9 million. (See town-by-town grants here.)

      A $50 million school safety grant created in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown would be scaled back to $18 million. That grant goes to help states and experts research approaches to reducing violence in schools and referrals to juvenile courts. Researchers at the University of Connecticut for the last several years have used this grant to look at the role of school-based police.

      During a conference call with reporters, federal education officials said it would be up to state or local governments whether to make up for the cuts to various programs.

      Funding for Head Start, which provides early child care and education for thousands of low-income children in Connecticut, would increase nationwide by about $80 million next year.

      Federal aid for school lunches would increase from $12.3 billion to $13 billion, and funding for school breakfast would increase from $4.5 billion to $4.8 billion.

      Special education funding static

      Federal funding would remain essentially the same for special education, the largest federal funding resource for Connecticut’s schools. Connecticut and local districts received just under $130 million in funding for special education last fiscal year.

      Given that special education costs are the fastest-growing expense in Connecticut school districts, flat federal funding probably would result in general education cuts in many districts because federal law forbids cutting spending on programs for physically and intellectually disabled students. Just under 10 percent of spending on special education currently comes from federal funding.

      Funding for higher education slashed

      The president’s budget would eliminate subsidized Stafford student loans. The federal government has paid the interest on these loans while students are in school. Last fiscal year students attending college in Connecticut received $203 million in subsidized loans.

      Jacqueline Rabe Thomas / CtMirror.org

      University of Connecticut graduates

      The budget also would eliminate the student loan forgiveness program, which was designed to clear student debt for those who work for 10 years in teaching or other professions deemed to be in the public interest. The program was created in 2007, and nationwide more than 500,000 people are on track to have their loans forgiven, starting in October.

      Federal education officials said only those who take out loans after July 1, 2018, would be affected by elimination of the loan-forgiveness program and subsidized federal loans.

      Trump proposes making huge cuts in funding for federal research, which many of the state’s public and private college rely on. Most notably, he proposes a 20 percent reduction to the National Institutes of Health “to improve efficiencies in the research enterprise” by reducing the burden of regulation on recipients. Funding for research awards through the National Science Foundation would be cut by 11 percent.

      Do charters welcome special ed kids?

      Do charters welcome special ed kids?

      Do charters welcome special ed kids?

      David Rosenblatt, left, his wife Karen Hoerst, right, and their son Nico, 5, play at Westminster Park May 8 in Washington. Nico Rosenblatt cannot speak and struggles to learn because of a rare genetic condition, yet thrives when surrounded by other children in a regular classroom, according to his parents. However, they say neither the public school system nor a charter school in the nation’s capital could provide an inclusive environment for him. Susan Walsh/Associated Press File Photo

      Do charters welcome special ed kids?

      Do charters welcome special ed kids?

      David Rosenblatt, left, his wife Karen Hoerst, right, and their son Nico, 5, play at Westminster Park May 8 in Washington. Nico Rosenblatt cannot speak and struggles to learn because of a rare genetic condition, yet thrives when surrounded by other children in a regular classroom, according to his parents. However, they say neither the public school system nor a charter school in the nation’s capital could provide an inclusive environment for him. Susan Walsh/Associated Press File Photo



      Posted: Sunday, May 28, 2017 7:00 pm
      |


      Updated: 11:25 pm, Sun May 28, 2017.

      Do charters welcome special ed kids?

      Associated Press |

      WASHINGTON — Five-year-old Nico Rosenblatt cannot speak and struggles to learn because of a rare genetic condition, yet thrives when surrounded by other children in a regular classroom, according to his parents. However, they say neither the public school system nor a charter school in the nation’s capital could provide an inclusive environment for him.

      “It’s a fundamental question of civil rights and access to education for us,” said Karen Hoerst, Nico’s 35-year-old mother. “It’s really about: Does our kid who happens to have a developmental disability deserve to be educated alongside his peers or not?”

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          Sunday, May 28, 2017 7:00 pm.

          Updated: 11:25 pm.

          Trump education budget calls for dismantling core programs … – WsWs

           

          Trump education budget calls for dismantling core programs, promotes vouchers and charter schools

          By
          Evan Blake

          29 May 2017

          The Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget, released last Tuesday, includes drastic cuts to federal spending on public education, which if enacted would affect everyone involved in public K-12 and higher education. In total, the Department of Education (DoED) faces a $9.2 billion cut in spending, or 13.5 percent of the DoED budget, through the elimination or reduction in funding for more than 30 discretionary programs.

          As with the overall 2018 budget proposal, Trump’s Department of Education budget takes a wrecking ball to many foundational programs. The budget entirely eliminates funding for 22 major programs, including the following:

          • Supporting Effective Instruction State grants ($2.3 billion), which fund professional development programs and seek to reduce class sizes.

          • 21st Century Community Learning Centers ($1.16 billion), which fund K-12 after-school programs serving 2 million students at roughly 11,500 centers nationwide.

          • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant ($732 million), which provides grant aid to low-income undergraduate students.

          • School Improvement Grants ($449.1 million), which allocate money to the lowest-performing schools.

          • Preschool Development Grants ($249.5 million), which fund preschools in low-income communities.

          • Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants ($189.6 million), which fund K-12 literacy programs.

          • Mathematics and Science Partnerships ($152.4 million), which seeks to improve math and science education.

          • Strengthening Institutions ($86.4 million), which provide infrastructure funding for K-12 schools.

          • Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Subsidized Stafford loans, and the payment of Account Maintenance Fees to guaranty agencies, which subsidize undergraduate student loans.

          Programs also slated for complete elimination include those promoting foreign language learning, Alaska and Hawaiian Natives Education, Arts in Education, Special Olympics Education Programs, and multiple programs that seek to recruit and retain high-quality teachers and principals at struggling schools.

          In addition to these eliminations, the budget proposes the reduction of funding for several key programs by double-digit percentages, including:

          • $487.8 million (50 percent) cut from the Federal Work-Study Program, which provides grants to enable low-income students to work part-time to pay for college.

          • $103.1 million (32 percent) cut from the GEAR Up program, which supports early college preparation and awareness activities for low-income elementary and secondary school students.

          • $166 million (13 percent) cut from the Career and Technical Education Grants program.

          • $142 million (15 percent) cut from the TRIO program that helps disadvantaged K-12 and higher education students.

          • $95 million (16 percent) cut from the Adult Education program.

          Each of these significant cuts represents a separate attack against core programs that provide the scaffolding for public education in the US. The cuts target programs that predominantly serve lower-income communities, and in combination seek to drastically undermine the quality of public schools in these areas.

          Through this assault, the Trump administration is deepening the decades-long drive to create the conditions that justify increased federal funding for private charter and religious schools, which are promoted by billionaires such as Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as an alternative to failing public schools.

          Thus, in tandem with the savage cuts listed above, the line item receiving the most substantial budgetary increase involves a $1 billion grant for the Title I Furthering Options for Children to Unlock Success (FOCUS) program, a front organization dedicated to funding school voucher programs nationwide.

          As the DoED budget proposal explains, “The proposed FOCUS grants would provide supplemental awards to school districts that agree to adopt weighted student funding combined with open enrollment systems that allow Federal, State, and local funds to follow students to the public school of their choice.”

          The real purpose of school vouchers is to starve already desperate public schools of their resources, in order to funnel money to private and parochial schools, which are constitutionally prohibited from receiving direct federal funding.

          The DoED budget also allocates $500 million (a 46 percent increase) to the Charter Schools Grants program, as well as $370 million (a whopping 370 percent increase) to the Education Innovation and Research Fund, which will be retooled to “support efforts to test and build evidence for the effectiveness of private school choice.”

          During his election campaign, Trump took up the mantle of “school choice,” vowing last fall to provide $20 billion for school voucher programs while in office. Last week’s budget proposal thus represents a down payment on this promise.

          The decades-old “school choice” campaign dates back to the 1950s, when the right-wing economist Milton Friedman began promoting the concept that the “free market” should dictate allocations of federal funding for education. Support for such policies only started to become mainstream in the 1980s, after being taken up by Ronald Reagan. Their direct implementation, however, began in full force under Democratic President Bill Clinton, who oversaw the creation of the first 1,700 charter schools in the US.

          Under both presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, “school choice” policies thrived under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and Race to the Top (RTTP), successive standardized testing frameworks that dictated whether schools would be forced to close or turned into charter schools.

          The Obama administration carried out the most sweeping attacks on public education, overseeing the permanent firing of more than 300,000 public school teachers and staff members and the doubling of the number of charter schools in his first term alone.

          Throughout this time, Betsy DeVos, heiress to the Prince family fortune and wife of the heir of the Amway pyramid scheme fortune, has been a zealot for the cause of charter and religious schools. She has headed or founded numerous pro-charter organizations, including the Acton Institute (which also promotes the repeal of child labor laws), Education Freedom Fund, All Children Matter, Alliance for School Choice and American Federation for Children.

          While the Trump budget cuts will likely be pared back, they have shifted the baseline for future cuts even further to the right and will embolden the most right-wing, pro-privatization elements to step to the fore.

          Leading Democrats such as Senator Elizabeth Warren have mouthed hypocritical opposition to the proposed DoED budget, which she deemed “an all-out assault on America’s kids, teachers, college students student loan borrowers.” Over the past eight years under Obama, however, during which Warren served on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, she directly facilitated the processes that have laid the groundwork for the current budget proposal.

          The fight to defend public education must be waged against both capitalist parties, which support the drive to war and the privatization of public education. Public education workers and students must unite with the working class internationally to put an end to war and rebuild society in the interests of the vast majority, which includes a massive expansion in funding for public education.

           

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          Testing approaches for program admission – Mt. Vernon Register

          INA — Students interested in Rend Lake College’s Medical Assistant program have one week left to test and complete an application for the Fall 2017 semester. The program’s entrance exam is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 30 with applications due the following day.

          The entrance exam, called the Psychological Service Bureau (PSB), is a required part of the application process. Applications into the program are due by midnight, Wednesday, May 31.

          The test costs $30 and is due at the time of registration, which must be done in person at the testing center, located in the Administration Building. Students must bring photo identification for admission to the test. The PSB is a five-part, computerized, timed test that is also a criterion for admission into several Allied Health programs at RLC.

          The Medical Assistant program offers an Associate in Applied Science degree requiring two years, or four semesters, of study or an Occupational certificate option requiring 36 credit hours in two semesters. All general education courses are required for those who want to complete the associate degree program.

          The program will prepare students to work in medical offices, clinics, and other outpatient facilities doing a number of tasks, including maintaining appointment schedules and medical records, billing, recording vital signs, obtaining medical histories, and drawing blood.

          Medical assistants are projected to have much faster than average job growth by 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, with more than 138,900 jobs coming into the market in the next seven years, a 23 percent increase. Medical assistants have an average pay of $31,540. After successful completion of the program at RLC, students can sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants examination.

          For more information about the Medical Assistant program, visit online at www.rlc.edu or contact Nina Goloubeva, Program Director, at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1766. For questions about the PSB test, contact Beth Stevens in the Academic Advisement Center at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1266.

          Co-teaching to expand at Horizon Middle School | West Fargo Pioneer

          Keller, a math teacher, and Mangel, a special education teacher, are co-teaching — sharing instructional duties as part of an effort to get more Moorhead School District special education students integrated into math, English, science and social studies classrooms.

          “It actually makes the whole teaching process easier. The kids don’t even see two separate teachers,” Mangel said during a lunch break for their math class Friday, May 26.

          “We love it!” Keller said.

          Having an opportunity to get another teacher’s take on how well a class is learning a lesson “gives us a whole picture to our teaching,” Keller said. The students also get more teacher contact, she said.

          At the start of Friday’s class, Mangel and Keller stood at the front of the class as equals, while Keller let the students know that they’d have the day to finish up their end-of-year project: designing a vacation and seeing how much money they could save.

          The teachers then spent the next half-hour working their way around the classroom, answering questions.

          “I just like being in the general class and supporting my students,” Mangel said.

          She said the special education students are learning they can succeed in a typical classroom, and “we also hit those kids with lower skills that don’t have an IEP (Individualized Lesson Program).”.

          The Moorhead School District is finishing a pilot project involving 400 students and 24 teachers at Horizon aimed at improving the co-teaching skills of teachers. Co-teaching had been used for several years in the district, but observations in 2015 found that it only occurred in classrooms about 11 percent of the time.

          For the pilot project, the district provided more training and planning time to improve co-teaching skills and develop trust between teachers sharing classrooms.

          The success of this year’s pilot will lead to its expansion next year, said Horizon Principal Jeremy Larson and Brandon Yoney, the district’s secondary program manager for learner support services.

          “The teachers were fabulous. They put in the extra work and the extra effort,” Larson said.

          This year, four “pods” or groups of roughly 100 students in the seventh and eighth grades who take their core classes in one defined area of the school, were in the pilot project. Next year, six of seven pods at the school will have co-teaching.

          “It’s big now. It’s only going to get bigger for the majority for our students at Horizon East. It’s going to be the primary delivery method for special education services,” Yoney said, adding that 550 to 600 students will be getting exposure to co-teaching.

          Federal law requires a least-restrictive environment for teaching children in special education.

          “We want kids with disabilities and without disabilities being taught together in the general education classroom,” said Duane Borgeson, executive director of learner support services. He said it sharpens special education students’ classroom skills.

          “They learn more from their non-disabled peers and (it’s) getting them ready for high school and beyond,” Borgeson said.

          Plus, the differentiated teaching two teachers can provide helps all students, he said.

          “You get the old two heads are better than one … to reach all kids,” Borgeson said.

          Other Horizon instructors agree.

          “It’s a great way to reach all those different levels of learners and their needs,” said special education teacher Miranda Jacobsen. “I think it just helps having an additional adult in the room.”

          Karen Taylor, an English language arts instructor, said the core subject teachers have expertise in their fields, but with co-teaching they can tap into the expertise of teachers like Jacobson to modify lessons to reach students on IEPs or who simply struggle with certain concepts.

          “It’s sort of a partnership that’s the best of both worlds,” Taylor said.

          “The power of two heads is so incredible,” agreed Dan Dooher, another English language arts teacher. It helps put together pieces “on how to best help the student. … (and to better understand) the dynamic of the classroom.”

          Taylor said co-teaching also gives students more opportunities to connect with a teacher, especially if they are struggling. And it allows students to see adults model professional interactions and discussion.

          “When the kids sense the adults in the room have a good relationship … everything goes smoothly,” Dooher said.

          Trump education budget calls for dismantling core programs, promotes vouchers and charter schools

           

          Trump education budget calls for dismantling core programs, promotes vouchers and charter schools

          By
          Evan Blake

          29 May 2017

          The Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget, released last Tuesday, includes drastic cuts to federal spending on public education, which if enacted would affect everyone involved in public K-12 and higher education. In total, the Department of Education (DoED) faces a $9.2 billion cut in spending, or 13.5 percent of the DoED budget, through the elimination or reduction in funding for more than 30 discretionary programs.

          As with the overall 2018 budget proposal, Trump’s Department of Education budget takes a wrecking ball to many foundational programs. The budget entirely eliminates funding for 22 major programs, including the following:

          • Supporting Effective Instruction State grants ($2.3 billion), which fund professional development programs and seek to reduce class sizes.

          • 21st Century Community Learning Centers ($1.16 billion), which fund K-12 after-school programs serving 2 million students at roughly 11,500 centers nationwide.

          • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant ($732 million), which provides grant aid to low-income undergraduate students.

          • School Improvement Grants ($449.1 million), which allocate money to the lowest-performing schools.

          • Preschool Development Grants ($249.5 million), which fund preschools in low-income communities.

          • Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants ($189.6 million), which fund K-12 literacy programs.

          • Mathematics and Science Partnerships ($152.4 million), which seeks to improve math and science education.

          • Strengthening Institutions ($86.4 million), which provide infrastructure funding for K-12 schools.

          • Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Subsidized Stafford loans, and the payment of Account Maintenance Fees to guaranty agencies, which subsidize undergraduate student loans.

          Programs also slated for complete elimination include those promoting foreign language learning, Alaska and Hawaiian Natives Education, Arts in Education, Special Olympics Education Programs, and multiple programs that seek to recruit and retain high-quality teachers and principals at struggling schools.

          In addition to these eliminations, the budget proposes the reduction of funding for several key programs by double-digit percentages, including:

          • $487.8 million (50 percent) cut from the Federal Work-Study Program, which provides grants to enable low-income students to work part-time to pay for college.

          • $103.1 million (32 percent) cut from the GEAR Up program, which supports early college preparation and awareness activities for low-income elementary and secondary school students.

          • $166 million (13 percent) cut from the Career and Technical Education Grants program.

          • $142 million (15 percent) cut from the TRIO program that helps disadvantaged K-12 and higher education students.

          • $95 million (16 percent) cut from the Adult Education program.

          Each of these significant cuts represents a separate attack against core programs that provide the scaffolding for public education in the US. The cuts target programs that predominantly serve lower-income communities, and in combination seek to drastically undermine the quality of public schools in these areas.

          Through this assault, the Trump administration is deepening the decades-long drive to create the conditions that justify increased federal funding for private charter and religious schools, which are promoted by billionaires such as Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as an alternative to failing public schools.

          Thus, in tandem with the savage cuts listed above, the line item receiving the most substantial budgetary increase involves a $1 billion grant for the Title I Furthering Options for Children to Unlock Success (FOCUS) program, a front organization dedicated to funding school voucher programs nationwide.

          As the DoED budget proposal explains, “The proposed FOCUS grants would provide supplemental awards to school districts that agree to adopt weighted student funding combined with open enrollment systems that allow Federal, State, and local funds to follow students to the public school of their choice.”

          The real purpose of school vouchers is to starve already desperate public schools of their resources, in order to funnel money to private and parochial schools, which are constitutionally prohibited from receiving direct federal funding.

          The DoED budget also allocates $500 million (a 46 percent increase) to the Charter Schools Grants program, as well as $370 million (a whopping 370 percent increase) to the Education Innovation and Research Fund, which will be retooled to “support efforts to test and build evidence for the effectiveness of private school choice.”

          During his election campaign, Trump took up the mantle of “school choice,” vowing last fall to provide $20 billion for school voucher programs while in office. Last week’s budget proposal thus represents a down payment on this promise.

          The decades-old “school choice” campaign dates back to the 1950s, when the right-wing economist Milton Friedman began promoting the concept that the “free market” should dictate allocations of federal funding for education. Support for such policies only started to become mainstream in the 1980s, after being taken up by Ronald Reagan. Their direct implementation, however, began in full force under Democratic President Bill Clinton, who oversaw the creation of the first 1,700 charter schools in the US.

          Under both presidents George Bush and Barack Obama, “school choice” policies thrived under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and Race to the Top (RTTP), successive standardized testing frameworks that dictated whether schools would be forced to close or turned into charter schools.

          The Obama administration carried out the most sweeping attacks on public education, overseeing the permanent firing of more than 300,000 public school teachers and staff members and the doubling of the number of charter schools in his first term alone.

          Throughout this time, Betsy DeVos, heiress to the Prince family fortune and wife of the heir of the Amway pyramid scheme fortune, has been a zealot for the cause of charter and religious schools. She has headed or founded numerous pro-charter organizations, including the Acton Institute (which also promotes the repeal of child labor laws), Education Freedom Fund, All Children Matter, Alliance for School Choice and American Federation for Children.

          While the Trump budget cuts will likely be pared back, they have shifted the baseline for future cuts even further to the right and will embolden the most right-wing, pro-privatization elements to step to the fore.

          Leading Democrats such as Senator Elizabeth Warren have mouthed hypocritical opposition to the proposed DoED budget, which she deemed “an all-out assault on America’s kids, teachers, college students student loan borrowers.” Over the past eight years under Obama, however, during which Warren served on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, she directly facilitated the processes that have laid the groundwork for the current budget proposal.

          The fight to defend public education must be waged against both capitalist parties, which support the drive to war and the privatization of public education. Public education workers and students must unite with the working class internationally to put an end to war and rebuild society in the interests of the vast majority, which includes a massive expansion in funding for public education.

           

          Commenting Discussion Rules »

          Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
          <!– blog comments powered by Disqus –>

          Co-teaching to expand at Horizon Middle School | INFORUM

          Keller, a math teacher, and Mangel, a special education teacher, are co-teaching — sharing instructional duties as part of an effort to get more Moorhead School District special education students integrated into math, English, science and social studies classrooms.

          “It actually makes the whole teaching process easier. The kids don’t even see two separate teachers,” Mangel said during a lunch break for their math class Friday, May 26.

          “We love it!” Keller said.

          Having an opportunity to get another teacher’s take on how well a class is learning a lesson “gives us a whole picture to our teaching,” Keller said. The students also get more teacher contact, she said.

          At the start of Friday’s class, Mangel and Keller stood at the front of the class as equals, while Keller let the students know that they’d have the day to finish up their end-of-year project: designing a vacation and seeing how much money they could save.

          The teachers then spent the next half-hour working their way around the classroom, answering questions.

          “I just like being in the general class and supporting my students,” Mangel said.

          She said the special education students are learning they can succeed in a typical classroom, and “we also hit those kids with lower skills that don’t have an IEP (Individualized Lesson Program).”.

          The Moorhead School District is finishing a pilot project involving 400 students and 24 teachers at Horizon aimed at improving the co-teaching skills of teachers. Co-teaching had been used for several years in the district, but observations in 2015 found that it only occurred in classrooms about 11 percent of the time.

          For the pilot project, the district provided more training and planning time to improve co-teaching skills and develop trust between teachers sharing classrooms.

          The success of this year’s pilot will lead to its expansion next year, said Horizon Principal Jeremy Larson and Brandon Yoney, the district’s secondary program manager for learner support services.

          “The teachers were fabulous. They put in the extra work and the extra effort,” Larson said.

          This year, four “pods” or groups of roughly 100 students in the seventh and eighth grades who take their core classes in one defined area of the school, were in the pilot project. Next year, six of seven pods at the school will have co-teaching.

          “It’s big now. It’s only going to get bigger for the majority for our students at Horizon East. It’s going to be the primary delivery method for special education services,” Yoney said, adding that 550 to 600 students will be getting exposure to co-teaching.

          Federal law requires a least-restrictive environment for teaching children in special education.

          “We want kids with disabilities and without disabilities being taught together in the general education classroom,” said Duane Borgeson, executive director of learner support services. He said it sharpens special education students’ classroom skills.

          “They learn more from their non-disabled peers and (it’s) getting them ready for high school and beyond,” Borgeson said.

          Plus, the differentiated teaching two teachers can provide helps all students, he said.

          “You get the old two heads are better than one … to reach all kids,” Borgeson said.

          Other Horizon instructors agree.

          “It’s a great way to reach all those different levels of learners and their needs,” said special education teacher Miranda Jacobsen. “I think it just helps having an additional adult in the room.”

          Karen Taylor, an English language arts instructor, said the core subject teachers have expertise in their fields, but with co-teaching they can tap into the expertise of teachers like Jacobson to modify lessons to reach students on IEPs or who simply struggle with certain concepts.

          “It’s sort of a partnership that’s the best of both worlds,” Taylor said.

          “The power of two heads is so incredible,” agreed Dan Dooher, another English language arts teacher. It helps put together pieces “on how to best help the student. … (and to better understand) the dynamic of the classroom.”

          Taylor said co-teaching also gives students more opportunities to connect with a teacher, especially if they are struggling. And it allows students to see adults model professional interactions and discussion.

          “When the kids sense the adults in the room have a good relationship … everything goes smoothly,” Dooher said.

          Six of the worst cuts in Trump’s budget

          Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a former Marine Corps general, said recently, “America has two fundamental powers, the power of intimidation and the power of inspiration.”

          We couldn’t agree more. We’ve spent our entire careers on the “hard power” side of the ledger. Yet we know that U.S. humanitarian assistance, the keystone of the U.S. “power of inspiration,” is critical to U.S. national security. Americans understand that the U.S. military acts as a deterrent to those who would otherwise do us harm, but they should also understand that the United States’ extraordinary history of alleviating suffering and fighting extreme poverty around the globe is a major asset in securing our nation.

          Yet the Trump administration has inexplicably proposed a package of extreme budget and staffing cuts to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development that would lay waste to many humanitarian and development programs. The administration’s budget proposal would cut overall development funding in half, slash international disaster assistance by 43 percent and completely eliminate the leading U.S. food-aid program.

          Make no mistake, these deep cuts are not about making programs more effective or rooting out inefficiencies. These actions are not actions of reform. They are a wrecking ball. Congress must soundly reject this proposal.

          Michael G. Mullen

          Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 2007 to 2011

          Michèle Flournoy

          Chief executive, Center for a
          New American Security
          and a board member of CARE

          The administration’s budget proposal for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is unsafe, unwise and fiscally irresponsible.

          Unsafe. The proposal undermines CDC’s ability to find, stop and prevent threats to Americans’ health. I know what this looks like. When I joined the CDC in 1990, Congress had cut the tuberculosis control budget. TB came roaring back, costing billions and killing Americans. Since then we’ve responded to West Nile, H1N1, Ebola, Zika and more. This proposal cuts virtually every program needed to stop such risks.

          Unwise. A proposed block grant hides hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts to programs that protect Americans from cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. Block-granting undermines the CDC’s ability to help states implement programs proven to save lives and eliminates the opportunity to support communities and states based on need, impact or effectiveness. The proposal also eliminates research centers critical to discovering new ways to prevent diseases that threaten all Americans.

          Fiscally irresponsible. Many CDC programs save $3 or more in health-care costs, and $10 in societal costs, for every dollar spent. Anti-tobacco ads prevent tens of thousands of deaths and reduce health-care costs by hundreds of millions of dollars. Cutting the CDC budget by $1.2 billion could cost Americans more than $15 billion over the next decade.

          The CDC should not be a political football. The CDC is a best buy — money that can be counted on to prevent illness, disability and death and save money. As Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the CDC, noted: “What CDC does is probably more important to the average American than, in a sense, the Defense Department.” All who care about Americans’ health should make sure Congress preserves and increases CDC’s budget.

          Tom Frieden

          Director, Centers for Disease Control and
          Prevention, 2009 to 2017

          In August 2012, I graduated with $80,000 in student loan debt to the U.S. government and a shiny new master’s degree in communication studies and disorders. In spite of my debt, I chose one of the lowest-paying jobs in my field: I work at a public school in a Title I district helping children with a wide range of disabilities. I was able to do this because of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program — a program that President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos intend to end.

          The PSLF program was designed to attract well-qualified individuals into public-sector jobs by paying off the remainder of their graduate school loans after 120 consecutive, on-time monthly payments. In other words, if they give 10 years of service, and make every payment during that time, whatever amount remains on their loan is wiped away.

          Repeal would devastate the financial plans of hundreds of thousands across the country pursuing advanced degrees to serve the public on the promise that the government would help us get out from under the mountains of debt we accumulated to gain our particular qualifications.

          If this program ends, people like me will face a choice between the job they love and their ability to fulfill dreams that seemed within a decade’s reach only a few months ago — buying a car, saving for a down payment on a house someday — dreams that the oligarchs proposing the policy take for granted. For the many people who hope to dedicate their lives to the public good, we cannot allow the PSLF to go belly-up.

          Emily Fishman

          Speech-language therapist, Somerville, Mass., public schools

          President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget request seeks to raid some of the most flexible and effective grant dollars that communities receive from the federal government to meet affordable-housing and economic-development needs.

          Governors, mayors and other officials use funds from Department of Housing and Urban Development initiatives, such as the HOME Investment Partnerships and the Community Development Block Grant programs, to build and preserve housing, support first-time home buyers, open community centers and supplement services for the homeless, elderly and disabled. These funds would be eliminated in this proposal, which could result in 580,000 fewer affordable homes created and more than 350,000 jobs lost over the next five years.

          The proposed budget attacks communities of all types — urban and rural, red and blue, big and small — that use HUD funds to help residents improve their lives. Furthermore, HOME and CDBG are federalism in action, providing flexible funds to states and local governments to meet their unique needs. Eliminating these programs will leave cities and towns with too-limited funds, leading to local tax increases that stifle economies and limit mobility.

          If Congress does not take a stand against Trump’s budget proposal, our communities will suffer grave consequences. By supporting these critical programs, Congress will equip cities and towns across the country with the tools they need to succeed.

          Henry Cisneros

          HUD secretary, 1993 to 1997

          Terri Ludwig

          Chief executive, Enterprise Community Partners

          The Trump administration intends to completely eliminate the budget for the Legal Services Corporation, abandoning the millions of Americans who receive assistance from this agency.

          One dispiriting aspect of America’s recent presidential campaigns is the almost complete silence surrounding access to justice. The lack of national policy discussion is not for lack of a problem. According to the World Justice Project, the United States ranks 67th (tied with Uganda) of 97 countries in the accessibility and affordability of civil justice. Other developed democracies devote three to 10 times more funding to civil legal aid than the United States.

          As a consequence, a majority of those who seek help from federally funded civil legal aid programs are turned away due to lack of resources. The budget for the LSC has declined almost 40 percent over the past three decades. Only 5,000 attorneys serve a nation with more than 60 million low-income individuals eligible for assistance. Funding for direct legal services for low-income individuals comes to just $5.85 per eligible person per year and would drop dramatically if federal funding dried up.

          Those grants are highly cost-effective. Much of this aid helps individuals meet their most basic human needs and prevents exploitation of the most vulnerable groups: veterans, the elderly, disaster victims and impoverished children.

          Deborah Rhode

          Professor, Stanford University Law School

          I became the first in my family to graduate college — and I did it with four kids. If the Trump administration’s $10.6 billion in cuts to federal education initiatives were to have been enacted when I was a student, I would have never made it through.

          For many low-income, first-generation students, the road to and through college is a difficult journey. According to a Pell Institute report, only 10.9 percent of low-income, first-generation students attained a bachelor’s degree in six years. Imagine how challenging it is for low-income, first-generation student-parents to graduate. Without federal access programs such as Child Care Access Means Parents in School, or CCAMPIS, which is one of the 22 programs federal education initiatives up for elimination in the Trump budget, student-parents, children, communities and indeed the whole nation will suffer. Why? Because cutting CCAMPIS has a trickle-down effect with real impact; it ripples across generations, and eliminating it would cut into our nation’s future economic prosperity.

          Those who benefit from CCAMPIS are trying to make their lives and their children’s lives better by going to college. If the Trump administration stands against someone who is striving for that, what does the American dream really mean?

          Alex Serna

          Program director, Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano

          Read more:

          The Post’s View: Another bad budget from Trump targets the poor

          Jennifer Rubin: Trump learned nothing from the ‘skinny budget’ fiasco

          Hugh Hewitt: Trump’s budget betrays two critical campaign promises

          Ed Rogers: The Trump budget is a wake-up call for Republicans

          E.J. Dionne Jr.: The Trump scandal that has nothing to do with Russia

          What Trump’s education budget proposal means for students and their families

          President Donald Trump’s education budget could chop $9.2 billion from programs that promote early learning, arts education, college work-study, and access to federal education grants and loans, pending congressional approval.

          The proposed legislation aims to increase school choice by expanding charter school and voucher funding by $400 million and pours $1 billion into an incentive grant program for school districts that allow school choice – a priority investment in a plan championed by President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The budget proposal, which was released May 23 and would result in a 13.5% decrease in Department of Education funding, was first reported by The Washington Post.

          But with cuts to federal financial aid programs like the Perkins loans and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), federal work-study, and after-school care, many feel as if the new budget is anything but an investment in the future.

          “This budget is grossly out of step with the needs of young people and the priorities of most members of Congress,” says Reid Setzer, director of government affairs for the nationwide young adult education and advocacy group, Young Invincibles. “It fails to invest in young people and the future of our country by slashing opportunities for young adults to gain skills through education, sustain themselves and their families, and contribute to our workforce.”

          The end of Public Service Loan Forgiveness?

          While the budget is expected to be revised as it moves through Congress, the suggested cuts and restructured student loan repayment plans are frightening to low-income families and students who have planned their economic and educational futures on government assistance.

          Take the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, for example: After 10 years of monthly payments while working in public service or for a nonprofit, remaining student debt will disappear. The proposed budget would end the program, cutting $859 million.

          Fortunately, borrowers who are already enrolled in PSLF will be grandfathered in, meaning they will still be eligible for loan forgiveness even after the program ends. The changes would apply to loans that originated after July 1, 2018.

          Amanda Aubrey, a staff attorney at Legal Action of Wisconsin, is relying on the government-promised freedom from thousands of dollars of debt. Aubrey, 38, says she planned her career around eligibility and calls the sudden uncertainty of that relief the “bait-and-switch of a lifetime.” She graduated from the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law in 2013.

          “Without it, it’s unlikely I will ever be able to own my own home, or even discharge more than half the debt on my own,” says Aubrey. “My retirement will likely get pushed back until I’m 75, because the money I might otherwise have saved would have been required for loan repayment.”

          While he recognizes that the Trump administration has suggested a system of grandfathering for current PSLF enrollees, Setzer says it’s not guaranteed, and even if it was, the incentive for individuals seeking public servant jobs could vanish with the dismantling of the program.

          Aubrey says the potential diminishing number of public servants also could mean an alarming lack of services for those who need them most.

          “Having the PSLF as an option made it possible to follow the path I wanted to follow, rather than having to pursue a path that would make enough money to pay back the loans,” Aubrey says. “Low-income clients desperately need legal representation, and low-paying jobs for attorneys are usually the only prayer such clients have at getting the help they need. Eliminating the PSLF takes away that possibility, for legal, medical, and many other professionals.”

          What it means for families

          The budget’s impacts could be felt far earlier than college and professional careers. Government-funded after-school care is in jeopardy in the proposed budget.

          The plan proposes cutting $1.2 billion from government-funded after-school and summer programs.

          “(Lack of after-school care) would put a strain on the family, as far as the wife and myself having to rush home to make sure the kids are taken care of,” says Robert Chatmon, a father of three in Athens, Ga. “If they’re at after-school, you have trained people who are there that are willing to look after them, take care of them – give them that extra support that they need.”

          The fear of losing funding for after-school care looms large, as the budget’s targeted programs primarily assist poor families.

          “You end up hurting people who depend on the very program you’re cutting,” Chatmon says.

          What programs are being cut

          Here are some key suggested cuts in the proposed education budget:

          ●     $2.3 billion from programs that provide teacher training and class-size reduction

          ●     $1.2 billion from government-funded after-school and summer programs

          ●     $1 billion from federal loans for disadvantaged students, including Perkins loans

          ●     $490 million – 50% – from federal work-study programs

          In addition, no money would be allocated for certain grants that help to fund mental health services, anti-bullying campaigns, advanced placement, and physical education courses.

          What’s next

          The president’s May 23 budget proposal is one step of five in signing the budget for the next fiscal year – beginning Oct. 1 – into law.

          The next step – congressional review and resolution – requires the House and Senate budget committees to decide and vote on spending limits for the overall budget.

          Then the appropriations committees in the House and Senate will allocate exact funding for all discretionary programs.

          The House and Senate will then debate and vote on the changes made to funding requests for each of the appropriations committees.

          The president must then sign into law each of the 12 appropriation bills in the 2018 budget as they are approved by Congress.

          While the Trump administration has requested large and far-reaching cuts to federal education spending, the specific dollar amounts are likely to change, and it is possible that some of the proposed reductions and expansions will not pass through Congress by the October deadline. 

          MagnifyMoney is a price comparison and financial education website, founded by former bankers who use their knowledge of how the system works to help you save money.

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