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What Happened In Your State This July?

This is the next in a monthly series to inform members about what is going on in your state.

capitol buildingThis past month, ten policy analysts published reports about what occurred in the following states: California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin. The reports range from prekindergarten through higher education.

Anne Slonaker reports on Act 166: An act relating to providing access to publicly funded prekindergarten in Vermont for all children ages 3 and 4 for two years.

Kris Cody-Johnson reported on a number of issues in Wisconsin. In Milwaukee Schools Face Tumult,  she describes the conflict between legislators who wish to convert traditional public schools to charters and the families of color who wish to retain some local control. SAGE Program Ends describes the Wisconsin legislature eliminating a successful program for low-income students in kindergarten through third grade and replacing it with instructional coaching for teachers and one-on-one tutoring for students.

The transfer of public monies to private schools was illustrated in the following posts: Wisconsin Special Needs Voucher Law in which SB 615 permitted children with disabilities to attend private schools with a $12,000 voucher and Wisconsin Voucher Expansion. In the latter post, Kris Cody-Johnson described the implications of private schools receiving public funding without the same requirements imposed on public schools. She wrote that a Christian school receiving public funding required “parents to provide a birth certificate to know the child’s born gender and sign a parent handbook listing what a student can be disciplined and expelled for, including homosexuality.” Senator Johnson Works to Stop DOJ Investigations Protecting Title II outlines the efforts of United States Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) introducing an amendment that would bar the Department of Justice from enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act for private schools receiving public funding.

In May of this year, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the Wisconsin State Superintendent Remains Independent against the wishes of Governor Scott Walker, who interpreted Act 21 as giving him final say on administrative rules related to public education.

Like many other states, Wisconsin sees increased teacher shortage.

Kentucky’s Emily Zuccaro reports on the findings of a report released from the Migration Policy Institute in Improving Education for Migrant-Background Students.  Stephen Ferrucci describes A Good Place for Higher Education DREAMers at Eastern Connecticut State University where 49 immigrant students will receive scholarships from a non-profit to attend.

Dan Melzer’s report on California’s Final State Budget for 2016-17 focused on higher education, particularly, grants for college readiness and improving graduation rates. In The University System of New Hampshire Expands its Open Education Initiative to Reduce Costs for Students, He also posted about Eloy Ortiz Oakley Named Chancellor of the California Community College System, the first Latino chancellor of the California community college system. Alexandria Peary describes New Hampshire’s provision of open educational resources, pedagogy and access for college students.

Robin Holland describes Ohio’s College Credit Plus Program that allows students, grades 7-12 to earn college credit at no cost while simultaneously earning high school credit for the same course. She notes an online survey for Ohio’s Learning Standards Revision due August 1.

Jalissa Bates publicizes that the Louisiana State Superintendent Hosts Statewide Forums to Address Every Student Succeeds Act.

[Note: ESSA Implementation in the States lists forums, surveys and contact information all over the United States.]

In Campus Carry Law V, Michael Gos reports on the conceal carry law enacted in Texas that will go into effect August 1.

Anastasia Wickham describes how 40 of 78 Oklahoma educators, parents and/or advocates won primaries and will be running for election this November in Educators/advocates win primaries.