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September 11, 2017
I covered Tennessee’s ed beat for Chalkbeat. Here’s what I learned.
Reporter Grace Tatter shares six things about public education that she learned on the job at the Statehouse — and now takes with her to graduate school.
getting to know you
June 27, 2017
These 10 Colorado lawmakers are rethinking how the state pays for its public schools
Leaders in both parties and chambers and members throughout the state’s education community believe the funding system is outdated and in need of a massive overhaul.
May 10, 2017
Study: Private dollars give Memphis charter schools edge in per-pupil funding
A new report from the University of Arkansas says charter schools in Memphis are bucking a national funding trend, thanks mostly to philanthropic support.
cloudy with a chance of cuts
March 17, 2017
Colorado schools face an uphill battle as lawmakers wrestle with budget
The impact on schools is unclear. But a growing consensus from budget officials, lawmakers and observers is that the state’s education funding shortfall will grow.
February 15, 2017
Under the House budget plan, suburban districts would get more money while some urban districts would get less
In the two-year budget draft, released by House lawmakers today, Indiana schools are projected to get an extra $273 million to support student learning.
January 30, 2017
Haslam proposes 5 percent boost for K-12 education in Tennessee
In addition to proposing free community college for all Tennesseans, Haslam asks for almost $183 million more in K-12 education spending.
money money money
January 23, 2017
Schools would have more control over their money under GOP plan, but it’s unclear whether students would benefit
Indiana schools could see a fundamental shift in how they budget if a new bill moves forward, a change that experts say could also bring some unintended consequences.
working on the weekend
January 20, 2017
Teacher by day, waitress by night: Colorado teachers work second jobs to make ends meet
Eroding salaries, skyrocketing housing costs and a chronic statewide school funding crunch have pushed a surprising percentage of Colorado teachers to take second jobs.
January 17, 2017
Proposal to ask voters to overhaul property tax rate to fund schools still alive — for now
Some Republicans on the committee voiced skepticism but didn't want to shut down the conversation.
January 9, 2017
Here are four education issues to watch as Tennessee’s legislature kicks off
Tennessee lawmakers expect to revisit two perennial questions about school spending and vouchers during the 110th General Assembly, which starts this week.
January 6, 2017
Seven education storylines to watch as the Colorado General Assembly gets to work
Funding. Charters. Testing. Oh my! The Colorado General Assembly is going back to work on Wednesday.
year in review
December 22, 2016
Five stories that shaped Memphis public schools in 2016
From school closures to enrollment wars and collaboration with charter schools, here are some of the major storylines in Memphis education in 2016.
December 20, 2016
To hire and keep good teachers as housing costs rise, Colorado school districts take on new role: landlord
With housing costs on the rise across Colorado, several school districts are creating subsidized employee housing as part of a strategy to recruit and retain teachers.
School bus safety
November 22, 2016
Fatal Tennessee school bus crash reopens conversation on the cost of seat belts
The legislature has turned back seat belt proposals twice in the last decade because of the price tag of retrofitting school buses.
November 9, 2016
Results from Colorado’s 40-plus school tax measures: Success, failure and universal frustration about funding
Dozens of Colorado school districts asked voters to approve tax measures on Tuesday — the answers highlight growing inequities in the state's school funding landscape.
October 27, 2016
Seasoned educators vying for state superintendent agree: Indiana schools need more money
In general, aid for poor students decreased when the state funding formula was adjusted in 2015. Both candidates want to revisit that change with lawmakers next year.
October 5, 2016
Tennessee doesn’t pay for enough teachers to meet its class size mandates, says state report
The state comptroller reports that school districts employ about 12,700 more educators than the state funds.
September 27, 2016
Most states, including Colorado, invest less in kindergarten than other grades, report says
Most states, including Colorado, don't currently require school districts to offer full-day kindergarten, but experts expect that to change.
September 8, 2016
States often get sued over school funding. Here’s what makes Tennessee stand out.
When it comes to providing adequate funding to educate students based on today’s standards, Tennessee isn’t coming close, say national experts.
Paper and pencils
August 5, 2016
Shelby County teachers are given $100 for classroom supplies. But that’s not nearly enough.
Many teachers say they spend anywhere from $400 to $1,000 annually out of their own pockets on classroom needs.
July 11, 2016
Tennessee affirms its school funding formula in response to lawsuit over Memphis schools
In its first response to a funding lawsuit filed last year by Shelby County Schools, the state denies that its funding model is to blame.
June 30, 2016
Budget is set, finally, for Memphis schools; now the spending begins
On the eve of its new fiscal year, leaders for Shelby County Schools iron out the final details of the district’s $959 million budget.
June 15, 2016
Shelby County Schools close to filling budget gap — sort of
While the county's budget still can change, Memphis school officials hope their budget gap will shrink by $22 million after discussions with Shelby County commissioners.
June 15, 2016
Joining two other cities, Nashville raises stakes in Tennessee’s school funding fight
Nashville becomes the third of Tennessee’s four urban school boards to vote in favor of suing the state for more funding.
June 10, 2016
Here are Memphis schools closed since 2012
Amid shrinking enrollment, under-utilized buildings and annual budget shortfalls, school closures have become an annual event in Memphis.
June 9, 2016
Board presses Shelby County for wheel tax autonomy for Memphis schools
Seeking to balance its budget, the school board asks the County Commission to give the district greater flexibility in spending wheel tax revenue for education.
June 1, 2016
Memphis school budget unsettled as Shelby County Commission delays vote
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell's administration tells commissioners it's sticking to a $8.7 million boost to schools, far below Shelby County Schools' request.
May 24, 2016
Financial stability for Memphis schools elusive amid under-utilized facilities
County commissioners disagree on the role under-utilized facilities in funding the gap in Shelby County Schools' budget.
down to the wire
May 16, 2016
Board hedges on Memphis school closing plan during final budget vote
One school will stay open an extra year, while a second also may get a reprieve as the board approves Shelby County Schools’ $954 million budget for next year.
Down to the details
May 11, 2016
Flurry of budget changes would raise salaries, change benefits for Memphis teachers
The school board for Shelby County Schools will vote next week on a $954 million proposed budget for Tennessee's largest school district.
April 26, 2016
Shelby County Schools employs the three Rs to stem enrollment drain to state turnaround district
Rezone, reconfigure, recruit. All are strategies being used by Memphis school leaders to retain students being absorbed by the state's Achievement School District.
April 25, 2016
Overshadowed by TNReady, here’s what the legislature did on education this year
While a private tuition voucher bill fizzled and Gov. Haslam touted a K-12 funding increase as historic, problems with TNReady hovered over the Capitol like a cloud.
April 21, 2016
Proposed closures of nine Memphis schools draw protests
Parents, students and educators urge leaders of Shelby County Schools not to shutter their schools to close a projected $86 million budget gap.
April 13, 2016
More school closures emerge in Memphis budget discussions
Shelby County's school board shifts its focus from cutting back on two prized programs to closing nine schools that are either low-performing or under-enrolled.
April 12, 2016
Memphis district embraces one-year extension of Gates award as crucial to teacher improvement work
Shelby County Schools receives an extension from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, giving the district more time to use $11 million left from the 2009 gift.
April 12, 2016
Parents: Cutting CLUE program in early grades would push families out of Memphis schools
Parents charge that one of the proposed budget cuts for next school year would drain even more students from Shelby County Schools.
April 11, 2016
Education spending boost a slam dunk in Tennessee House, but impact on individual districts unclear
The House unanimously passes a bill to increase funding for K-12 public education by more than $220 million.
April 6, 2016
Hopson: Proposed budget cuts to Memphis schools could reverse years of improvements
More than $50 million in proposed cuts would impact staffing and programs including special education, the Innovation Zone and CLUE within Shelby County Schools.
April 5, 2016
Budget cuts loom for Shelby County Schools, again — here’s what we know
As Superintendent Dorsey Hopson prepares to unveil his proposed budget for Tennessee's largest school district, here are five things to know.
March 23, 2016
What you need to know about the governor’s school funding plan
Along with a proposed increase of $261 million for education next year, Gov. Bill Haslam is proposing revisions to the state's school funding formula.
March 1, 2016
House education panel takes first step to amend state constitution over school funding
A House panel advances a resolution that would amend Tennessee’s constitution so courts likely could not order more education funding.
On the road
February 18, 2016
Memphis Lift expands presence in Nashville, Washington, D.C.
In less than a year, the parent advocacy group has increased its size and scope, meeting with lawmakers and rallying against the state of Memphis schools.
February 10, 2016
With its new lawyer, Shelby County Schools forges ahead with state funding lawsuit
An attorney with the law firm handling Shelby County Schools' funding lawsuit against the state is joining the district as its general counsel and chief legal officer.
February 1, 2016
Haslam proposes $261 million more for K-12 education
Gov. Bill Haslam proposes new investments in teacher pay, technology, reading programs and high-need student populations.
February 1, 2016
Haslam expected to address education funding in State of the State speech
Entering office saying he wanted to be an "education governor," Bill Haslam is expected to continue that focus tonight when he delivers his annual address to lawmakers.
January 25, 2016
Chalkbeat explains what school vouchers could mean for Tennessee
Despite being debated for almost a decade in Tennessee, questions remain about the impact of proposed school vouchers. Here's what you need to know.
January 13, 2016
24 education bills to watch as Indiana begins its 2016 legislative session
More than 70 bills were assigned to the House and Senate education committees this year.
January 6, 2016
Disparities grow as parent groups raise money to cover school funding gaps
Some parent-teacher groups raise big bucks while others make do with a few thousand dollars a year. Experts say Colorado's school funding crisis is fueling such disparities.
January 6, 2016
Memphis City Schools retiree benefits up in the air following state attorney general’s opinion
Retired employees face uncertainty over which entity is responsible for paying for their benefits after the state attorney general said it's not Shelby County.
January 6, 2016
What you need to know on education as the 2016 legislature begins
Vouchers and school funding likely be the dominant education issues in 2016 before the Tennessee General Assembly.
RISE & SHINE
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