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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Report: School censorship laws hurt education profession

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Wednesday, December 20, 2023   

Education experts are worried censorship laws could have profound long-term impacts on the teaching profession.

Research from the National Education Policy Center showed laws censoring content in the classroom foster a climate of fear and anxiety among educators.

In Ohio this year, parents and teachers sued the Forest Hills School District for banning discussions of critical race theory.

Maddie Fennel, executive director of the Great Lakes Center for Education, said the issue is driving more teachers away from the profession and making it harder to recruit new staff at schools already facing shortages. She believes the laws being passed are vague, meaning teachers can be fired for any reason.

"I know experienced teachers who have excelled at their profession who have been acclaimed for their work, who are leaving the profession," Fennel observed. "Because they can't be the kind of teachers that they need to be."

Many laws include penalties, such professional discipline for educators, ranging from temporary suspension to termination and loss of professional license, which can lead to permanent loss of compensation and benefits.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 45 states have introduced bills to limit instruction about racism and sexism, and about 17 million students attended school in districts grappling with a local group or parent-led campaign to end discussion of critical race theory in classrooms.

Rachel Coyle, spokesperson for the nonpartisan group Honesty for Ohio Education, said Ohio is among the states most aggressively censoring educational materials. She sees the laws as creating hostile learning environments for students and teachers who belong to, or support, targeted groups.

"There was a report that came out that showed in 2022, Ohio had the ninth-most attempts to restrict or ban books nationwide," Coyle recounted. "There were 93 attempts to ban books in Ohio in 2022."

According to the American Library Association, 67% of voters oppose efforts to remove books from school libraries. Among parents with children in pre-K through 5th grade, the number is 59%.


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Of the 17 states that have enacted music therapy legislation, 11 have placed the law in its own statute chapter, and others have grouped it with other forms of therapy. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

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Advocates in Wyoming trying to get music therapy licensure recognized in the state are hitting roadblocks. Members of the Wyoming Music Therapy …


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A new report finds New York City environmental-justice communities face worsening air quality. It's part of the Community Heat and Air Mapping …

Environment

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By Ysabelle Kempe for SmartCitiesDive.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Pu…


Environment

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Electric-vehicle owners in North Dakota have long called for more action to boost the state's charging station network. There continues to be mixed …

Around 62% of Michigan households own a pet. Almost 42% of them own a dog and 31% own a cat.
(Drobot Dean/Adobe Stock)

Environment

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Animal lovers and activists in Michigan are celebrating proposed legislation to protect animals and save taxpayers money. Senate Bill 657 and Senate …

Social Issues

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The latest Maryland School Breakfast Report finds tens of thousands fewer kids are being served post COVID. The end of pandemic era waivers two …

Social Issues

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A controversial new law is set to take effect next week, requiring Hoosiers to upload sensitive documents, including driver's licenses and Social …

 

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