Student lawsuits asking for COVID-19 refunds pile up against universities
SAN DIEGO — Hands-on learning. Face-to-face interactions. Study sessions in the student union. Workouts in the student gym.That’s what students said they signed up for — and were required to pay for — when they attended universities across the country last spring.But, they argue, it’s not what they got once the coronavirus drove them off campus. And now they want their money back.Class-action lawsuits calling for partial reimbursement of tuition and fees are continuing to amass nationwide — from Ivy League institutions to goliath state university systems to small private colleges — with potent...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Washington's mandatory sex-education referendum tests conservative power at the ballot box
SEATTLE — This spring, as the coronavirus spread across Washington, a team of stalwart volunteers set up signature-gathering drive-thrus outside churches and stores. Their aim: to put a referendum on the November ballot overturning a new law that required public schools to teach comprehensive sexual health education.Thousands of voters streamed to these impromptu drive-thrus. By June, more than 264,000 people had signed, more than double the number needed for the referendum to qualify for the ballot.But in the roughly four months since then, the campaign has moved mostly online. Those who favo...
The Seattle Times
Just 15 and 16, brothers earn college degrees quickly, cheaply — and in unusual fashion
On the surface, the academic achievements of Kamal and Shashi Yerra — 15- and 16-year-old brothers from Fort Mill, S.C., who soon will have two bachelor’s degrees and three master’s degrees between them — come off as extraordinary.Sorry, we might have blown through that too fast. Let’s slow it down and spell it out a little more:Shashi Yerra earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at age 15 in June 2019, on the same day his younger sibling was awarded an identical degree, from the same school, at age 13. Since then, Shashi has been working toward his master’s degree, while Kamal ...
The Charlotte Observer
Raiders' Jon Gruden on navigating pandemic, social protests: 'Don't make an emotional statement. Make an educational one.'
Even by the standards of an organization that has so often shrouded itself in secrecy, the Raiders have remained on the down-low more than usual.Coach Jon Gruden talked to the media via zoom teleconference for just under seven minutes Friday, no players were made available, and it was clear he wanted them thinking about the issues confronting society rather than talking about them.The Raiders have made no public statements about the shooting of Jacob Blake, nor have they proposed a plan like the Baltimore Ravens did Thursday in a call to action against racism. That could change soon, with Grud...
The Mercury News
'Race does matter': Why Latino advocates are pushing for affirmative action in California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For the first time, Latinos represent the largest ethnic group among freshmen admitted to the University of California system this year.The milestone comes 25 years after California passed Proposition 209, which among other provisions banned consideration of race or ethnicity in public education.But Latinos affirmative action advocates say it’s not enough.“How many years, how many decades … were Latinos not given an equal opportunity?” said state Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, who is supporting a November ballot measure that would once again allow affirmative acti...
The Sacramento Bee
Federal judge in Seattle blocks Department of Education rule that could have funneled more coronavirus relief aid to private schools
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Seattle granted state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s request to block a U.S. Department of Education rule that would have forced school districts to either share a higher portion of federal coronavirus emergency relief funds with private schools or limit spending the aid only to a particular subset of public schools in their boundaries.The ruling, issued Friday, blocks the Education Department’s requirement nationwide, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.The rule, a departure from how districts are normally allowed to spend funds through the federal T...
The Seattle Times
Flint water settlement includes $9 million for special education programs
DETROIT — Special education programs in Flint and neighboring school districts will receive at least $9 million in new funding as part of the settlement of lawsuits related to the Flint water crisis.The settlement still needs court approval but it’s expected to improve special education services in Genesee County for as many as 18,000 students who were exposed to lead poisoning after the city switched water sources in April 2014.“This settlement is groundbreaking in that it provides these children with the resources that they need going forward and it does so in a prompt fashion so it’ll have ...
Detroit Free Press
Balancing Act: As the coronavirus rages, families are left to decide how — not whether — it will affect their kids' right to an education
Friday is decision day for Chicago Public Schools families.With a bare-bones understanding of the two options, parents and guardians are instructed to opt into one of two learning models for the first quarter: a hybrid model that has most students clustered into small pods in school buildings two days per week and learning remotely the other three days, or 100% remote learning that has them … 100% remote learning. We don’t have any more details about the second model — last we heard they’ll arrive “soon.”I spent the weekend, like so many families, reading everything I could get my hands on to ...
Online education was a mess in the spring. As COVID-19 prompts schools to stay virtual, will it get better this fall?
CHICAGO — When the COVID-19 pandemic forced Chicago Public Schools to make a hurried switch to remote instruction earlier this year, Lidia Muro said it didn’t work out so well for her 5-year-old stepson Elijah, then a kindergartner at Marvin Camras Elementary.Some of the schoolwork he was given required logins and passwords his parents didn’t receive, she said. Communication with his teacher was lacking. And while it took Elijah a single day to finish math lessons that were supposed to stretch over months, he fell behind in reading.“The program was mostly games, I think,” Muro said. “Education...