#tellEWA Member Stories (September 30-October 6)

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

The Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project in Nebraska highlights the stories of Indigenous students who survived boarding schools and those who never made it home to their families and tribes. Writing about the project for The 74, Marianna McMurdock and Meghan Gallagher also detail the records collected by different groups and explain why Native people have “never had easy access” to them.

Idaho families applied for $37.5 million in state grants to help their children receive educational services and boost their academic progress. The state hired a “new vendor with no experience in Idaho, and limited experience nationally” to process the applications. Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News investigates why state officials awarded a nearly $1.5-million contract to an “inexperienced contractor.”

Even before the pandemic, declining student enrollment had long been an issue for the Fort Worth Independent School District in Texas. Now a school has closed, and others are expected to follow as the district faces a $40 million deficit in its general fund budget. “The cuts are painful,” reports Jacob Sanchez for the Fort Worth Report.

CapRadio’s Srishti Prabha covers California’s youth mental health crisis, describing how in one county alone, 12,000 kids had mental health-related concerns in 2021 and 2022. Local organizations are stepping up to bridge the gap for students of color to meet the demand. Prabha focuses on a Sacramento organization that helps women of color and highlights the mental health professional shortage. “One school psychologist for every 500 students, that’s a lot.”

“What looks like neglect to a teacher who has privilege might actually be poverty.” Black, Hispanic and low-income families in New York City are disproportionately subjected to unfounded investigations into abuse or neglect initiated by calls from their children’s school. The 74’s Asher Lehrer-Small analyzed public records to show the thousands of false alarm reports filed by city school employees.

A high-poverty, majority Black and Hispanic middle school in Charlotte, North Carolina, received an average school performance grade. Explaining that the C grade doesn’t tell the whole story, the school’s principal demonstrated “how much academic growth students made over the course of a school year,” Ann Doss Helms reports for WFAE.