Education Briefs

Back to January 2013 Ed Reporter

Education Briefs

A Louisiana law allowing the use of vouchers to pay for private school tuition was overturned by a district court judge who claims it is unconstitutionally financed. It is expected that the court ruling will not stop voucher use because it will be appealed and the voucher funding method can be changed. Gov. Bobby Jindal maintains that vouchers are crucial to equal opportunity in education.

In an attempt to eliminate stereotypes, a Swedish public preschool has dropped all personal pronouns, instead using a newly created gender-neutral word, “hen.” Nicolaigarden School has also eliminated gender references in the classroom by calling boys and girls “friends.” Supporters of the idea say it’s the best way to start at an early age to assure equal opportunity for men and women, but some Swedes call it “gender madness,” according to a report in the New York Times.

The Supreme Court refused to review a lower court decision, brought against the Spartanburg, SC school district for allowing credit for high school students who take elective religious classes off-campus. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, whose legal and financial support enabled the district to fight the lengthy legal battle, stated, “This is a big win for public school students and for religious education.”

In an effort to reduce tension between district schools and charter schools, The Gates Foundation has awarded grants totaling $25 million to seven school districts. The Boston, Denver, Hartford, CT, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, and Spring Branch, TX, school districts will each receive between $2-5 million. This will be spent on programs to foster collaboration, such as: central enrollment systems, joint professional development, and common evaluation systems. The grants are aimed at decreasing the competition for resources and students between the districts and charters.