A girl eats her school lunch.

More states line up to serve free school meals to all kids

BY: - May 26, 2023

During his long career as a high school teacher, New York state Sen. John Mannion often reached into his own pocket to cover the cost of lunches for kids who didn’t have the funds. “I watched kids get to the end of the line and not have enough money on their cards,” the Democrat said […]

A community college student near a bus stop.

More states are giving students more money to pay for community college

BY: - May 19, 2023

As the idea of free community college gains traction across the country, some lawmakers have gotten bolder in their concepts — expanding existing programs or pitching legislation that would offer free college to anyone. The latest example is Massachusetts, where Democratic Gov. Maura Healey’s 2024 budget includes $20 million to expand the state’s free community college program to […]

Fourth graders study in a view through a classroom window.

Debate over holding back third graders roils state legislatures

BY: - May 5, 2023

Should third graders who don’t read well enough to pass a standardized test repeat their grade? That question is roiling states, with some choosing to keep the practice, some to modify it and others to scrap it. Most states require students to take standardized tests that measure progress in reading and math in the third […]

A teacher waves to her students as they get off the bus at an elementary school in Louisville, Ky., as they return to school following a COVID-19 outbreak in January 2022.

4-day school weeks, gaining in popularity, face pushback from lawmakers

BY: - May 2, 2023

MINERAL WELLS, Texas — Desperate to fill open positions amid a statewide teacher shortage, school officials in this rural North Texas city of about 15,000 chose to follow the lead of neighboring districts by converting to a four-day school week at the start of the current student year. “We decided if we can’t beat them, […]

Top State Stories: Tennessee governor calls in special legislative session on guns

BY: - April 24, 2023

TN: Tennessee governor calls in special legislative session on guns Less than two hours after the state legislature adjourned until 2024, Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee announced plans to call lawmakers back, probably within weeks, for a special legislative session focused on gun laws. In the final days of the legislative session, Lee made […]

With Workers Scarce, Some States Seek to Loosen Child Labor Laws

BY: - April 17, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the past two years, lawmakers in at least 11 states have sought to loosen child labor laws to help employers fill empty jobs, even as federal officials and news investigations suggest that many minors working in manufacturing, meatpacking and construction jobs are being exploited or hurt. The unemployment rate sits at […]

Top State Stories 4/14

BY: - April 14, 2023

FL: Florida governor signs 6-week abortion ban. Next step is up to state Supreme Court Late Thursday night, in a private ceremony in his office, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to ban most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The legislation prohibits abortion in most cases after six weeks, with exceptions […]

As Book Bans Gain Favor, Some Say Libraries Could Go

BY: - March 31, 2023

This story has been updated to clarify Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s stance on “explicit” books in schools during his campaign. Amid the national uproar about whether to allow students access to a wide variety of books, the superintendent of a Virginia school district this week proposed a sweeping solution: Get rid of school libraries altogether. […]

Universities Grapple With Diversity Policies After GOP Crackdown

BY: - March 30, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — In July 2020, the president of Texas A&M University appointed a 45-member commission to examine the progress of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at the nearly 70,000-student flagship campus in College Station. The panel’s report, released in January 2021, found both strengths and weaknesses in the school’s approach. But overall, said the […]

States Seek to Ease Child Care Crunch

BY: - March 24, 2023

States are spending more money and creating new incentives to ease the severe child care crisis, with most federal pandemic aid set to dry up in September. The child care shortage costs the United States billion in lost earnings, productivity and revenue each year, according to ReadyNation, a consortium of business leaders under the umbrella […]

Top State Stories 3/24

BY: - March 24, 2023

OK: Oklahoma school board unanimously passes rules targeting library content Without discussion or debate, the Oklahoma State Board of Education unanimously approved a pair of rules that would downgrade schools’ or districts’ accreditation if they are found to have library materials deemed to be pornographic or excessively sexualized. Both rules are subject to approval […]

Top State Stories 3/23

BY: - March 23, 2023

CA: California lawmakers want to investigate wage theft. But labor unions seek a different path On this, labor unions and lawmakers agree: Wage theft is rampant in California, and the state system set up to help robbed workers is broken. But a lawmaker’s call for an independent state investigation into what’s gone wrong has […]