April 15, 2021
NASBE State Ed SmartBrief
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Top Story
Cardona: Re-imagine education after the pandemic
Cardona (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Education should be redesigned after the coronavirus pandemic ends, said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. In a recent interview, he discussed how federal funding, including the proposed infrastructure package, could help make improvements in education during the health crisis.
Full Story: Newsweek (tiered subscription model) (4/14) 
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Policy & Legislation
Biden proposes 40.8% increase in education budget
Biden (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
President Joe Biden on Friday released his $1.5 trillion spending proposal for fiscal year 2022, which includes close to $103 billion for the Education Department -- a 40.8% increase from the previous fiscal year. The proposal includes $36.5 billion in Title I grants -- $20 billion more than the 2021 level and the largest investment in the program's history.
Full Story: U.S. News & World Report (4/9),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (4/9),  K-12 Dive (4/12),  Education Week (4/9) 
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Teachers union backs revised CDC distancing guidance
(Miguel Pereira/Getty Images)
The American Federation of Teachers now supports CDC guidance that reduces social distancing guidance to 3 feet from 6 feet. Randi Weingarten, the union's president, says the CDC responded to its questions, and assured the group that the new guidance includes continued additional mitigation strategies to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Full Story: U.S. News & World Report (4/12) 
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State Board News
In a 6-0 vote this week, members of the Michigan State Board of Education adopted a statement to reinforce parents' rights to allow their virtual students to skip federally mandated annual exams if it would mean in-person test-taking. Given increasing coronavirus rates in the state, board members wanted to clarify Michigan Education Department statements to reassure parents that students' health comes first.
Full Story: Chalkbeat/Detroit (4/14) 
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Graduating seniors in Alabama must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid beginning in 2022, according to a recent vote by the Alabama State Board of Education. Students may submit a waiver to opt out of the requirement, with those under 18 requiring parent or guardian approval.
Full Story: WKRG-TV (Mobile, Ala.) (4/13) 
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Trends & Research
The coronavirus pandemic has worsened long-standing challenges rural schools report in recruiting and retaining teachers. Sun Young Yoon of Education Northwest says tapping existing students as future teachers and "growing your own" is a promising concept, and rural school leaders also say they are looking to create more reasons for teachers to stay in rural districts.
Full Story: The Hechinger Report (4/13) 
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State Boards seek increased educator diversity
A new NASBE analysis highlights four states -- Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and North Carolina -- that have taken significant steps to increase educator diversity. "Teacher and leader diversity are an essential component of an equitable education for all students," writes author Woody Exley, a member of the Connecticut State Board of Education. "These states are examples of how states are addressing the need to recruit and retain more educators of color. They provide a roadmap for other states intent on increasing educator diversity."
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Webinar: Embedding Social-Emotional Supports in School Reopening
Join us April 28, for our next webinar as we hear from experts in research, policy, and state leadership about recommendations for embedding social-emotional supports in school reopening activities, state examples of this work, and the research underpinning such recommendations. Register today!
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You don't paddle against the current, you paddle with it. And if you get good at it, you throw away the oars.
Kris Kristofferson,
singer-songwriter, actor
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