#tellEWA Member Stories (September 2-8)

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

After public schools shifted to remote learning during the pandemic, more than 20 states – including New Hampshire – started or expanded voucher-type programs, steering taxpayer money to help families afford private schools, homeschooling, and school-related services. Writing for The Hechinger Report, Nirvi Shah explains how this trend is part of a broader strategy by some school choice advocates.

 “It’s because of her courage I can now walk through the front doors … because it’s no longer segregated.” WFAE’s Gwendolyn Glenn interviews Dorothy Counts-Scoggins, one of four Black students who integrated Charlotte Public Schools in 1957.  Marking the 65th anniversary of when Counts-Scoggins entered Harding High School, Glenn reminds residents of history and shows how residents have honored Counts-Scoggins.            

Several third- to eighth-grade students in Fort Worth, Texas, met grade level on state standardized tests, but many are not yet meeting pre-pandemic levels of success. Fort Worth Report’s Jacob Sanchez shares findings from a new report that analyzes results from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness.

“What I don’t see is a mention of who made money in the last 20 years out of this system.” The Hechinger Report’s Jon Marcus tackles an unanswered question about the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan, and scrutinizes the role of colleges and universities in contributing to Americans’ student loan debt.

It could cost more than $1 million to rebrand PennWest, which was once three separate member universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education until a July 1 merger. Rebranding is expected to help the now-combined schools rebuild enrollment, but the process will be complex and a huge undertaking, Bill Schackner reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

U.S. school systems have invested federal COVID-relief dollars in programs to catch students up after pandemic disruptions, but their currently robust budgets must adjust back down. Federal funding is expected to expire in 2024, and student enrollment is projected to drop. That’s why a K-12 finance expert warns that schools must brace for a period of “bloodletting,” Asher Lehrer-Small explains for The 74.