Districts Offer Cash to Families Who Skip the School Bus

Here’s an unusual proposition tucked in districts’ back-to-school newsletters this year: Parents, would you be willing to find alternative transportation for your kids if you get some cash up front? One of the most complicated and expensive aspects of reopening buildings during a global pandemic has been figuring out how to get kids to and from school. Now, a growing number of districts are offering to pay parents in an attempt to reduce crowding on buses and slash away at a growing pile of COVID-19-related costs.

Charters Close Achievement Gap With District Schools, Study Finds, With Black and Low-Income Students Making the Greatest Gains

Over a 12-year period, charter school students made gains in reading and math on national achievement tests roughly twice as large as those made by students in district schools, according to new research appearing Wednesday in the journal Education Next. Black students and those from low-income families made the greatest improvements over time. After trailing in both subjects in 2005, students in charters caught up with district students by 2017, even slipping a point ahead in fourth- and eighth-grade reading, the study shows.

SC to start broadband expansion, but it may only scratch the surface of state’s needs

More than $50 million worth of broadband expansion projects will start this month in 23 counties around the state to help close the internet service gap exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The shovel-ready projects are being made possible, in part, with funding from the CARES Act, federal coronavirus aid that must be spent by the end of the year. The dollars will help internet providers expand service to areas where it may take longer to turn a profit.

For many Chicago communities, there is no COVID safety net. So teachers are stepping in

Amid the first chaotic weeks of remote learning last spring, as headlines flashed a growing unemployment rate and businesses across Chicago shut down, Rebecca Coven’s students were suddenly missing class. The reason? Work. Like thousands of people across Chicago, the students at Sullivan High School in Rogers Park found themselves facing an economic crisis. In some cases, a family’s main breadwinner had died of the virus. In others, parents lost jobs or had their income cut. Some of Sullivan’s immigrant families weren’t eligible for government aid. In those cases, students took jobs to help make up the difference.