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Weekly News Round-Up for March 9th
posted by: Melissa | March 09, 2018, 07:24 PM   

Each week, AAE brings its members a round-up of what’s happening in education. From big, eye-catching headlines to the stories most papers overlook, we find the news our members really want to see. This week, the West Virginia strike comes to end, there’s more debate on teachers with guns, and the changes coming for teachers’ unions.

West Virginia Strike Ends, but Inspires Others: After a series of debates with the state legislature, unions in West Virginia finally agreed to end their strike after winning a 5% raise and a promise of a task force to look into health insurance. Now, state-wide unions across the country are considering following their lead. Teacher’s pay has lagged in the years since the 2008 recession with wages in many states below that of the private sector. States with historically low teacher pay like Oklahoma and Arizona have both threatened strikes, while in moderately-paid Kentucky, the issue seems to revolve around the state’s pension system.

More Debate on Arming Teachers: The Florida State Legislature passed a bill that strengthened gun controls and heightened school safety, but also provided money to train and arm educators in schools. Groups like the NAACP and the stateteachers’ union are urging Florida’s governor to veto that section of the bill, even as the debate around arming teachers continues. On one side, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is claiming that educators trained to carry guns can increase school safety and a program to do just that in Ohio seems to be very successful. However, on the other side, push back continues from education officials and a new survey out of North Carolina reveals that many teachers in that state do not want firearms in the schools.

Future of Teachers Unions on the Line: Last week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Janus v. AFSCME. The case is predicted to have a major effect on unions at large and especially teachers’ unions. Already, unions are considering how they will have to change should the court rule against them. In some cases, this involves attempting to get the state legislature to create an environment friendlier to unions. However, some states are already taking steps that would weaken unions. For example, this week in Florida, the legislature passed a bill that would automatically decertify any teachers’ union that did not have at least 50% of the schools staff as members.

Gun Violence Walkout Planned for this Week: Following the shooting in Parkland, FL, students across the country are planning to walkout at 10 am on Wednesday, March 14th to protest gun violence. The walkout is planned by the same group that organized the Women’s March following the election of Donald Trump and participants are expected to push for greater gun control. School districts are split on how to handle the walk out. While schools are legally able to punish students for missing class, many districts are choosing to see this as a learning opportunity for students and are instead considering ways to support both students who participate and those who choose not to participate.

Happening Elsewhere:

DeVos draws ire of Parkland students

‘Someone’s shooting up the school’: Florida 911 calls reveal moments of panic

Education budget increases after Stoneman Douglas shooting

Florida school district removes teacher who hosted white nationalist podcast

Kansas house passes bill to restore teacher job protections

Oregon students list mental health services in top concerns

Michelle Obama shines a spotlight on women's access to education for International Women's Day

How ‘reality-based education’ could transform learning

More than half of transgender teachers surveyed tell NPR they are harassed at work

Bill aims to remedy Indiana's teacher shortage

Tennessee has double national average of cases where students bring guns to school, education chief says

New York bill would require schools to tell parents about bullying

Mississippi Senate advances tightened guns-in-schools bill

Bipartisan group formed to address Va. school safety procedures

Ex-leader of Baltimore County Schools, a tech booster, pleads guilty to perjury

Utah student allegedly brought bomb to school in his backpack and tried to detonate it

Teacher handcuffed: School board accused of stifling debate

Florida teacher finds a gun in a kindergartener’s backpack

Alabama school shooting leaves one student dead, another teen injured

Artist alters mural at Tennessee elementary school that featured Confederate flags

Florida teacher suspended after allegedly telling students not to date African-Americans

NJ teacher recovering after lightning strike during nor'easter thundersnow

What’s going on where you are?

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