Act + Educate
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Read about, and advocate, Education and Budget, currently, nationally; as well as in the past :)
Education Policy Update - May 2009 :)
National Women's Law Center: Education and Title IX Policy Update :)
President Obama's Budget and Education :)
Last week, President Obama released his detailed budget for Fiscal Year 2010. After years of budgets that proposed cutting vital services while expanding tax breaks for the wealthiest, this budget changes
direction. The President's budget builds on his commitment to reducing
the high school dropout rate by providing $50 million for a new High
School Graduation Initiative. The budget also proposes large increases
in available Pell grant funding, increasing the maximum awarded per
student to $5,550, and indexing the annual maximum to outpace inflation. Funding for the Women's Educational Equity Act, which supports gender equity in education, remains low but represents a
significant improvement over the Bush Administration's FY09 proposal to cut funding for the program entirely. For more information about President Obama's budget, including information on employment, training and civil right enforcement, check out NWLC's analysis:
Supreme Court Hears Strip-Search Case
Recently, the Supreme Court heard a case in which it has been asked to decide the legality of strip-searches at public schools. In 2003, 13-year-old Savanah Redding was strip-searched at her Arizona middle school due to suspicions that she possessed ibuprofen tablets, a violation of school policy. School officials found no pills, and soon after, her mother filed suit against the school district. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the student's rights were violated and that the
assistant principal of the middle school "was not entitled to qualified immunity from liability in the lawsuit." In Safford Unified School District v. Redding, the Supreme Court will decide what steps schools are allowed to take to ensure student safety and whether these types of searches are a violation of students' right to privacy.
New York Times:
Kansas School District Revises Policy Regarding Pregnant Students
The Pittsburg, Kansas School District has agreed to revise its Title
IX policy as well as its policy on pregnant students after an investigation by the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). After receiving a complaint of pregnancy discrimination from a Pittsburgh High School student last year, OCR determined that "the preponderance of the evidence supports a conclusion that the District discriminated against [the student] on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX". The School
District has agreed to revise its policy on student pregnancy to guarantee compliance with Title IX. It will also designate and train a Title IX coordinator and ensure that all students and parents are aware of the coordinator's name and contact information.
The Morning Sun:
NWLC's website on Education and Title IX:
Alabama School District to End Sex Segregation
After negotiations with the ACLU, the Mobile, Alabama school district,
has agreed to immediately end its single-sex programs. The school
district has said it will no longer "carry out any of its education programs or activities separately on the basis of sex, or require or refuse participation in any school, any course, or any education program or activity by any students on the basis of sex." In Fall 2008, the school district instituted a mandatory single-sex program at several middle schools which incorporated teaching styles based on antiquated gender stereotypes, prohibited girls and boys from speaking in the hallways, and provided no co-educational alternative. In a November 2008 letter to the school district, the ACLU warned that the single-sex program was illegal and appeared to be in violation of the Constitution, Title IX, and Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA).
Quinnipiac University Sued for Title IX Violation
In a recent suit in federal court, the members of the female volleyball team at Quinnipiac University, along with their coach, have charged the University with violating Title IX based on its decision to eliminate the sport. With support from the Connecticut chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the suit claims that the University has continually failed to provide equal athletic opportunity for its female students and that the recent decision to eliminate volleyball has further exacerbated the problem. Despite comprising 62% of the student body, women have historically received only around half of all athletic resources.
NC Teens Receive Sex Education Via Text Messages
In a time when the majority of school-based sex education programs are
ineffective and incomplete, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention
Campaign of North Carolina a group with whom we have done work on
dropout prevention for pregnant and parenting teens has created an
innovative way for teens to receive accurate answers to their questions about sex. The Birds and Bees Text Line which launched on February 1, allows teens to anonymously text their questions to an adult staffer at the Campaign, who responds with medically accurate information. Not only does this new program give teens complete and honest answers to their questions, according to Deb Levine, executive director of ISIS, a nonprofit organization that began many technology-based reproductive health programs, "Technology reduces the shame and embarrassment. It's the perceived privacy that people have when they're typing into a computer or a cell phone. And it's culturally appropriate for young people: they don't learn about this from adults lecturing them." Similar cell phone-based sex education programs also exist in Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.
The New York Times:
Russlynn Ali Confirmed as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
On April 28, 2009, Russlynn Ali was confirmed as the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education. During her career, Ali has also served in senior positions at the Children's Defense Fund, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, and the Advancement
Project. She comes to the Department from the Education
Trust, an organization which works to increase the success of minority
and low-income students. According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, "Russlynn brings passion for, expertise in and dedication to equality and fairness in education, and her tireless work and commitment have changed the lives of low-income students from across the nation."
U.S. Department of Education:
Secretary of Education Appoints Assistant Secretary for the Office of
Vocational & Adult Education
Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan recently announced Glenn Cummings as the administration's nominee for Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Vocational & Adult Education. Cummings will be
responsible for federal programs focused on adult education as well as
community colleges andcareer and technical education. Cumming comes to DC from Maine where he previously served as the state Speaker of the House, Majority Leader, House Chair on the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, and Dean of Advancement at Southern Maine Community
U.S. Department of Education:
NWLC's website on Career and Technical Education:
Advocate on, current, national issues; as well as past ones :)
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copyright 2009, National Women's Law Center
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