Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ security detail is projected to cost up to $7.74 million from now through the end of September 2019, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service told Politico.
Pennsylvania state Rep. Will Tallman (R) has introduced a bill that would ban public school teachers from discussing politics or government in their classrooms, the Allentown Morning Call reports.
“Tallman said his bill would forbid public school teachers from endorsing, supporting or opposing candidates or incumbents for local, state and federal offices while in the classroom. On the job, teachers could not discuss enacted or pending legislation, regulations, executive orders or court cases involving any level or branch of government.”
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) claimed that what he described as “atheist litigation groups” in California were trying to get hidden video of Christian student activities at a local high school, the Shreveport Times reports.
“Johnson’s claims are the latest chapter in a saga involving a federal lawsuit alleging that teachers and other staff have consistently promoted Christianity in Bossier Parish Schools in violation of the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit also alleges that some teachers or staff have sought to shame or coerce non-Christian students.”
“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says free speech on college campuses is being threatened and told students in Philadelphia that listening to people with differing views is an important part of education,” the AP reports.
Said DeVos: “More than a few institutions have been unwilling to provide a forum for their students to discuss serious policy matters that affect our country. I can and have found other forums, but what about students who cannot?”
She added: “We have abandoned truth.”
As part of an effort to “streamline” the social studies curriculum in public schools, the Texas Board of Education “voted Friday to adjust what students in every grade are required to learn in the classroom. Among the changes, board members approved the removal of several historical figures, including Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller, from the curriculum,” the Dallas Morning News reports.
“The board also voted to keep in the curriculum a reference to the ‘heroism’ of the defenders of the Alamo, which had been recommended for elimination, as well as Moses’ influence on the writing of the nation’s founding documents, multiple references to ‘Judeo-Christian’ values and a requirement that students explain how the ‘Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict’ in the Middle East.”
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) “vetoed legislation that would have raised the minimum salary for an Illinois teacher to $40,000 within five years, putting the re-election-seeking Republican at odds with teachers unions once again,” the Chicago Tribune reports.
“The bill approved by lawmakers in the spring would make the minimum teacher salary for next school year $32,076. The number would rise to $40,000 for the 2022-23 term and grow with the Consumer Price Index after that.”
A 163-foot yacht worth a reported $40 million and owned by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was vandalized over the weekend and set adrift, the Toledo Blade reports.
“The crew eventually got control of the yacht, but not before it struck the dock, causing an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 in damage from large scratches and scrapes… Officers were searching for surveillance video that may show who untied the yacht.”
“The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses,” the New York Times reports.
“The reversal would restore the policy set during President George W. Bush’s administration, when officials told schools that it ‘strongly encourages the use of race-neutral methods’ for admitting students to college or assigning them to elementary and secondary schools.”
“At least six Republican incumbents were bounced from office during Oklahoma’s primary election, including several who were targeted by pro-education groups,” the AP reports.
“Tuesday’s primary election was the first test for many of the nearly 100 teachers running for office in Oklahoma after a year that saw tens of thousands of educators walk off their job for two weeks to protest dwindling funding for schools.”
“The White House is set to propose merging the Labor and Education departments as part of a broader reorganization of the federal government,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Washington Post: “The long-awaited proposal to reorganize federal agencies would shrink some and augment the missions of others. It is the result of a directive that Mick Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, issued to federal leaders 14 months ago. He urged them to find ways to merge overlapping, duplicative offices and programs and eliminate those the administration views as unnecessary.”
“The plan also is expected to include major changes to the way the government provides benefits for low-income Americans, an area that conservatives have long targeted as excessive, by consolidating safety-net programs that are administered through multiple agencies.”
“Sixty percent of public school children in the state of Arizona today are minorities. That complicates racial integration because there aren’t enough white kids to go around.”
— Arizona state Rep. David Stringer (R), quoted by the Phoenix New Times, adding that immigration is an “existential threat” to the United States.
“Responding to teacher walkouts across the country, congressional Democrats on Tuesday proposed raising teachers’ salaries by canceling the tax cut for the nation’s top 1 percent of earners,” the AP reports.
“The Republican-controlled Congress was unlikely to support the idea of giving states and school districts $50 billion over a decade to fund the teacher raises at the expense of dismantling the hard-won tax bill.”
“But the proposal gives Democrats an issue they can use ahead of the November midterm elections. Teachers have won widespread support, even in conservative areas, as they complain about low pay.”
“The teaching of evolution in Arizona classrooms could be taking a big step backwards,” KVOA-TV reports.
“School Superintendent Diane Douglas is apparently behind a rewrite of science standards for all Arizona school children that would delete references to evolution.”
“Arizona teachers voted for a statewide walkout next week, escalating their push for higher pay and increased school funding,” CNN reports.
“The Arizona Education Association announced Thursday night that its members voted to strike. Of the more than 57,000 votes tallied, 78% of school employees in the state were in favor of a walkout.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) lashed out against teachers participating in a statewide protest, saying they exposed some of the “hundreds of thousands” of children to sexual assault and drug use by walking out of class, the Washington Post reports.
Said Bevin: “I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today, a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them. I guarantee you somewhere today, a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were left alone because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them.”
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed a measure giving teachers a $6,100 pay raise and then told CBS News their demands were like those of a teenager.
Said Fallin: “Teachers want more. But it’s like kind of having a teenage kid that wants a better car.”
For members: The Teacher Strikes Are a Big Problem for Republicans.
[alert type=”general” dismiss=”no”]Oklahoma ranks 49th in teacher pay.[/alert]
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“White House officials were alarmed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ struggle to answer basic questions about the nation’s schools and failure to defend the administration’s newly proposed school safety measures during a tour of television interviews Sunday and Monday,” CNN reports.
“Though DeVos was sworn in to her Cabinet position 13 months ago, she stumbled her way through a pointed 60 Minutes interview with CBS’ Lesley Stahl Sunday night and was unable to defend her belief that public schools can perform better when funding is diverted to the expansion of public charter schools and private school vouchers. At one point, she admitted she hasn’t ‘intentionally’ visited underperforming schools.”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spoke with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes:
STAHL: Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?
DEVOS: I’m not so sure exactly how that happened. But I think there are a lot of really powerful forces allied against change.
STAHL: Does it hurt?
DEVOS: Sometimes it does. Sometimes it does. Again, I think, I think …
STAHL: Do you ever say …
DEVOS: I’m more misunderstood than anything.
Above the Law: “We’ve known for a while that more people are taking the LSAT — we’re talking a double-digit increase. But exactly why has largely remained a source of speculation and anecdotal reports that the surprising results of the 2016 election were motivating people to go to law school. Now we have the hard data to support that hypothesis.”
“Kaplan Test Prep conducted a survey of over 500 pre-law students and the results confirm the suspicions of many in the industry: the Trump Bump is real. Thirty-two percent of respondents said politics were a motivating factor in deciding to apply.”