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Morning Announcements: September 22, 2011

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September 22, 2011 03:41 pm

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President Obama is poised to broaden federal influence in local schools by scrapping key elements of No Child Left Behind, the Bush administration’s signature education law, and substituting his own brand of school reform, according to the Washington Post. While unpopular with Republicans in Congress and some in the educational establishment, the move is drawing applause from governors around the country struggling to meet the demands of the nine-year-old law.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced it will fund more charter school-district collaborations, benefiting schools in Boston, Central Falls, R.I., and Sacramento, Calif, among others.The districts still have to formally apply for the Gates funding, but they can win up to $100,000 once they do, according to Education Week.

Education Week reports that K-12 education – including money for disadvantaged children and special education – would see stagnant funding under a measure approved Wednesday by the Senate Appropriations Committee Wednesday. The bill, which was approved on party-line vote of 16-14, aims to reverse some of the cuts to K-12 education programs in the current budget for fiscal year 2011, which ends Sept. 30.

The New York Times reports that Teach for All, an international network of educational nonprofit groups modeled on Teach for America, has grown rapidly since its founding four years ago and now has some 1,500 teachers heading classrooms in more than a dozen countries, with recruiting under way in many more, the group’s founder, Wendy Kopp, said on Wednesday.

Education Week reports that Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, frustrated that a teachers’ strike has forced the cancellation of seven days of school in Tacoma, called both sides to her office Wednesday in hopes of brokering a deal. Negotiators were unable to reach an agreement Wednesday afternoon, so they traveled to Olympia to continue discussions under Gregoire’s watch, said Karina Shagren, a spokeswoman for the governor. Representatives from both sides arrived at the governor’s office before 3 p.m. to begin the closed-door talks.

Kansas City school officials say the decision by a state board to revoke the district’s accreditation is a setback but won’t have an immediate effect on students, according to the Associated Press. The officials held a news conference Tuesday following the vote of the state Board of Education met in Jefferson City. And now that the Kansas City School District is losing its stamp of approval from the state, dozens of families are seeking to take advantage of a contested Missouri law that requires unaccredited districts to pick up the tab to send students to accredited schools, according to the Associated Press.

Education Week reports on a slew of states passing laws to encourage college completion. Nearly 80 new laws related to college completion have been approved in states so far in 2011, and the range of approaches are chronicled by Boosting College Completion, a two-year initiative by the Education Commission of the States funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Los Angeles Unified School District has reached a tentative deal to extend a contract with the union representing more than 2,000 administrators. The district said Wednesday that the agreement could extend the contract through the 2014 school year, according to the Associated Press.

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