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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

OK teacher shortage prompts calls for better funding

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Monday, April 1, 2024   

Education advocates calling on lawmakers to increase funding for programs to combat the teacher shortage.

Nationwide, 37% of schools report being short at least one teacher. The problem is worse at schools serving high-poverty neighborhoods where more than half report a vacancy.

Susan Kemper Patrick, senior educator quality researcher at the Learning Policy Institute, said the numbers are troublingly high.

"At least 314,000 teaching positions across the U.S. are either unfilled or filled with teachers who are not fully certified for their assignments," Kemper Patrick reported. "This means at least one in 10 teaching positions nationally are either unfilled or not filled with a certified teacher."

The state of Oklahoma had to issue almost 3,800 emergency teaching certifications in 2022, a record number. And from 2001 to 2018, enrollment in the state's university education programs dropped by 80%.

The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Community College recently announced a partnership which will make community college students studying education eligible for more grants. Meanwhile, the state Senate Education Committee just approved a bill to prohibit teachers' unions from distributing union materials and forbidding schools to allow unions to meet on campus.

Kemper Patrick pointed out schools are resorting to desperate measures like combining classes, relying on virtual teachers, or using long-term substitutes.

"The U.S. Department of Education School Pulse Survey found that 36% of public schools across the U.S. reported that they had to increase class size due to teacher and staff vacancies," Kemper Patrick stressed.

Keller blamed the problem on low salaries, noting the average starting salary for a teacher nationwide is less than $43,000 a year. Congress is currently considering two bills, the Diversify Act and the Educators for America Act, which would double the Teach America grant from $4,000 to $8,000 per year.


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Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at a political event in Grand Rapids, Mich., in early 2024. (The White House/Wikimedia Commons)

Health and Wellness

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Vice President Kamala Harris focused on reproductive rights at a campaign event in Michigan Wednesday. Her remarks come as President Joe Biden has …


Environment

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Construction could begin in Minnesota later this year in the final phase of one of the nation's largest solar energy developments, after state …

Social Issues

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By Kristy Alpert for Arts Midwest.Broadcast version by Terri Dee for Illinois News Connection reporting for the Arts Midwest-Public News Service Colla…


Connecticut is the top state in the U.S. searching for Ozempic online, according to data from Google Trends. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

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Counterfeit medicine sales are on the rise, in Connecticut and nationwide. The state faced trouble with growing sales of counterfeit Xanax pills …

Social Issues

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More than 2,400 delegates gathered in Milwaukee this week for the Republican National Convention and delegates from around the country, including …

Researchers said extreme events in nearly every region of Wisconsin are causing immense disruptions affecting human health, the economy and natural resources. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

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So far, states like Wisconsin have largely escaped the worst of the summer heat affecting much of the nation but a group of scientists wants regional …

Environment

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By Stephen Battersby for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Broadcast version by Kathryn Carley for Commonwealth News Service…

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Biofuels are painted as a greener energy alternative to fossil fuels but a new study found the industry produces plenty of its own air pollutants…

 

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