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Federal Update: May 23, 2014
posted by: Ruthie | May 23, 2014, 11:46 AM   

Public Charter School Legislation Passes House of Representatives  


Earlier this month, the House of Representatives approved the Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act (HR 10)with strong bipartisan support in a vote of 360 to 45 during National Charter Schools Week.

The legislation is designed to support state effort to start, expand, and replicate high-performing charter schools by providing $300 million annually in federal funds to expand successful programs. It will also provide state grants to expand and replicate high-quality charter schools and help fund the acquisition of buildings for the schools.

"As we work to help more students access a quality education, we must support charter schools as a valuable alternative to failing public schools," Congressman Kline (R-MN) said. "The Success and Opportunity through Quality Charter Schools Act is a bipartisan initiative that will encourage the growth of charter schools and provide a new avenue of hope for children and their families."   

Click here
to read the entire bill. 

American Graduation Rates Announced at National Summit  

Last month at the fourth annual "Building a Grad Nation" Summit, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the first-ever national Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate - the most accurate measure yet of high school graduation rates.  He also announced that the nation's 2012 high school graduation rate - 80% - is the highest in America's history.  

"As a country, we owe a debt of gratitude to the teachers, administrators, students, and families whose hard work made that achievement possible," Secretary Duncan said in his Grad Nation remarks. "But, even as we celebrate, we all know we have to push beyond 80%.  Simply put, for the 20% who don't earn a high school diploma, their life chances are bleak.  We have to redouble our efforts for those who aren't even making it to the starting line.  Because high school graduation may once have been the finish line, but now it's the beginning."

While there is notable progress in graduation rates, closing the achievement gap for students in the inner city is still an issue.

National Teacher of the Year Recognized in White House Ceremony

Recently a committee of 15 national education organizations, organized by the Council of Chief State School Officers, chose Mr. Sean McComb as the
National Teacher of the Year.

Mr. McComb has spent his entire eight-year teaching career as an English teacher at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Baltimore, Maryland. During the year, he is released from classroom duties to travel the country as a spokesperson and advocate for the teaching profession.

"My role is always asking students for their best, my role is to push their envelope and push them beyond where they thought they were when they walked in the door to do just a little more,"
said Mr. McComb. "It starts with modeling about overtly caring about them and making sure they know that they are cared for."

President Obama and Secretary Duncan honored Mr. McComb and the State Teachers of the Year at the White House on May 1 with a 
ceremony in the East Room.

Webinar: Help Youth Find a Free Meal This Summer  


Only one in six children who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program take advantage of the Summer Food Service Program. This means many children who regularly had access to nutritious meals during the school year may be undernourished or hungry over the summer, even when there are free meals available in their community.    

Government agencies and community-based organizations are working hard to change this reality, and libraries and nonprofits can be a part of the solution. Join the USDA and Tech Soup, a California non-profit in this free webinar on May 28 to learn about how you and your school can increase the numbers of youth who benefit from free meals in your community this summer.  

This webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 28, from 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (PDT).     

Click here to register.


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