ELL News Headlines

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Librarians Providing Safe Havens as Deportation Fears Loom

Schools are frequently called upon to be safe havens. Caring and determined faculty, staff, and administrators do everything in their power to keep students safe, happy, and healthy while they are in school, and to send them out into the world equipped to meet its many challenges. This is why the recent executive orders pertaining to immigration, and the subsequent expanding of deportation regulations, have hit school communities particularly hard. Learn more about some librarians working to make their librarians an even more welcoming space for students around the country.

Unanimous Supreme Court Expands Scope of Special Education Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a major decision expanding the scope of students' special education rights, ruling unanimously that schools must do more than provide a "merely more than de minimis" education program to a student with a disability.

Fifty Education Groups Tell Congress: Reject the GOP Health Care Bill

Some fifty education groups are urging lawmakers to vote against the American Health Care Act, better known as the GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act. The reason? The bill, which is being pushed by both President Donald Trump and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., the speaker of the House, would make changes to the way that Medicaid is funded.  Schools receive about $4 billion a year from the program, or more than a quarter of what they current get in Title I money for disadvantaged students. That makes Medicaid the third largest federal program for K-12 schools. The dollars are generally used to help cover the cost of providing services to Medicaid eligible students in special education. That can mean anything from wheelchairs to speech therapy. Districts will need to make up for the cuts to Medicaid by either raising taxes, cutting services for general education students, or both, the groups who signed the letter contend. What's more, school districts may be forced to cut mental health services and lay-off employees (including school nurses), the groups write.

Teaching Language With Culture In California

Elementary school teacher Ron Morris of Riverside, California goes a step beyond to understand his students' backgrounds. It's one way Morris incorporates the culture of his students in the classroom.

School Grant Helps Refugee Families Integrate in Washington State

A grant program is helping refugee students travel the long emotional distance from their homes to integrate into schools and their communities in the United States. The Office of Refugee Resettlement distributes Refugee School Impact Grants to 38 states, including Washington, and helps students who recently have arrived in the country get on their feet.

ESSA Rules' Rollback Complicates States' Planning

Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump's administration recently put their own stamp on the Every Student Succeeds Actt by dismantling key elements of the previous administration's work. State school leaders say the moves won't significantly influence their approach to the law, but advocacy groups will be watching closely to see how the new, more flexible policy environment affects decisions about underperforming schools and disadvantaged students.

After Tweens Encounter Racism at Robotics Competition, the Internet Banded to Fund Their Team

As a group of five Pleasant Run Elementary School students – Elijah Goodwin, 10; Angel Herrera-Sanchez, 9; Jose Verastegui, 10; Manuel Mendez, 9; and Devilyn Bolyard, 9 – participated at a recent robotics competition in Indiana, they could hear parents from other schools making disparaging comments about their team. Nevertheless, the team, known as the Pleasant Run PantherBots, advanced to the Vex IQ State Championship, coming in first place, and qualifying for the Vex IQ World Championship in April. A GoFundMe account supporting their participation exceeded its fundraising goal by $4000 and the school has now closed the campaign, encouraging others to donate money to other robotics teams.

English-Language Learners: How Schools Can Drive or Derail Their Success

New research indicates that where English-language learners attend school can determine how quickly they are reclassified as English-proficient A Michigan State University research team found that schools in Texas—second only to California in total number of K-12 English-learners—vary widely in how they determine if students should be reclassified as English proficient, affecting their chances of success in school and beyond.

‘Your child is safe’: Schools Address Deportation Fears Among Immigrant Families

The schools superintendent in Harrisonburg, Va., was meeting parents this month when a mother broke down in tears, explaining that she was undocumented. What would the school do, she asked, if she became separated from her children? "I remember walking up to her and putting my arm on her shoulder and saying, 'Your child is safe at our school,'" said Scott Kizner, the city schools chief. But he also advised those at the meeting in the Shenandoah Valley that any parents worried about deportation "need to make plans."