#tellEWA Member Stories (August 12-18)

Here’s what we’re reading by EWA members this week.

The accessibility and quality of local early education is in “crisis,” experts and child care providers told The New Bedford Light’s Colin Hogan. He notes regional and statewide trends worsening a shortage of available child care slots: Demand is outpacing supply. There’s a “workforce crisis,” and child care costs in Massachusetts are among the most expensive in the country.

The number of students participating in no-cost summer learning opportunities through Baltimore City Schools increased from 9,000 to 15,000 because of COVID-relief funds. The 74’s Asher Lehrer-Small highlights “a camp providing accelerated academic instruction,” but without “the cost or admissions requirements typical of gifted programming.”

Kalyn Dunkins of AL.com speaks to seven Alabama high school valedictorians who graduated this year. The graduates gave advice to rising seniors and shared their unique personal stories, such as a youth who moved in with his grandma to attend a better school and another who became valedictorian after a friend doubted him.

“The idea of segregating one set of texts … is going to stigmatize them …” Within a Florida school district, 115 books that include LGBTQ+ characters, people of color and sexual content now bear advisory notices. Parents and community members in Collier County challenged the content in accordance with the state’s new Parents’ Bill of Rights Law, Nikki Ross reports for Naples Daily News.

After being investigated by Texas education officials, a local school district instructed all principals to remove library books that previously received content challenges or were flagged. A graphic adaptation of Anne Frank’s Diary and the Bible, among others, will be pulled from shelves until it is confirmed they comply with the state’s new guidelines, Talia Richman explains for The Dallas Morning News.

EdSource’s Diana Lambert details what to expect from the upcoming school year in California, including later school start times, more after-school programs and new community schools. Most school leaders are optimistic about what’s to come, but concerns about COVID-19, testing protocols, teacher shortages and other issues still prevail.