National Public Radio kicks off a once-a-month series on America's one-room schools by sending independent producer Neenah Ellis to visit such facilities in Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Hawaii. In her piece, Ellis finds the tiny schools still serve as important centers for their rural communities. The series will conclude in June 2006.
Congress yesterday approved sending $1.6 billion in hurricane relief to schools and colleges affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The spending bill includes a controversial one-year program to provide per-pupil vouchers of $6,000 -- $7,500, in the case of special-needs students -- to reimburse private schools enrolling displaced children.
The Senate earlier this week approved a leaner education budget for 2006 that includes what could be as much as a $780 million cut to NCLB-related programs and a $221 million hit to the Enhancing Education Through Technology state block-grant program, the primary mechanism for funding school educational technology. The budget measure, passed earlier this month by the House, now heads to the president for signature.
A little-mentioned barrier to girls' education in sub-Saharan Africa is a lack of toilets, as well as water, sanitary supplies and privacy -- crucial needs for girls once they reach the age of puberty. International organizations are pressing to create "girl friendly" schools with female teachers and clean, separate toilets with doors.
Opponents view a state-funded $16 million media blitz touting the benefits of preschool education as a taxpayer-funded campaign to "soften up" California voters for a universal preschool initiative that could be on the ballot next June. Denying the charge, Kris Perry, executive director of the government commission behind the announcements, says her group will stop the ads as soon as the Secretary of State confirms the initiative has the 1 million signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.