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Education Reporter

Education Briefs 
A 9-year-old North Carolina boy was suspended from the fourth grade in early December when he told a friend he thought a teacher was "cute." The school told Chiquita Lockett that her son's statement, which a substitute teacher overheard, constituted a form of sexual harassment. "This is something that everyone needed to see, just to see what's happening within our school systems," Lockett told a local TV station. The school has apologized, stating that the suspension won't count against the student.

A new report by the Government Accountability Office says foster children are frequently prescribed dangerously large doses of mind-altering drugs. Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), who asked for the investigation, said the level of psychotropic prescription drug use in foster children was "almost beyond comprehension." Foster children use mind-altering prescription drugs up to 13 times more than children in the general population. They are often prescribed several at a time, and in doses beyond what the Food and Drug Administration has approved.

The National Education Association (NEA) has lost more than 169,000 members in the past three years, requiring $9.5 million in cuts at the national office this year. The union's total membership now stands at less than 3.1 million. A $10 per member increase was approved at the NEA convention in July to help make up for the loss of membership dues.

Last month we reported that several for-profit colleges failed a recent GAO investigation into admissions and grading policies. Now, a just-launched study hints that for-profit colleges, many of which draw close to 90% of their revenue from Title IV federal student aid, may also be guilty of inflating CEO salaries. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) launched the investigation, stating, ". . . there is little evidence that lavish executive pay is linked to the well-being of the students they are supposed to educate. Congress has a responsibility to ensure that taxpayer funds are used first and foremost for the benefit of students, not to line the pockets of corporate executives."

January 2012 Education Reporter
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