The Dallas Independent School District has been making up fake Social Security Numbers for foreign hires for years, even after being told in 2004 by the state’s education board to stop because it’s illegal. The numbers were meant to “expedite” the hiring process and get the employees on payroll, but they found their way onto Department of Homeland Security and IRS forms (which are kept in-district but shared with feds upon request), were used for criminal background checks, and in at least 26 cases were numbers in use by real people.
School supplies in eight states are tax-free this weekend thanks to sales tax holidays. Hurry though, because the savings expire at the end of the day, unless you live in Washington D.C., where the savings last through August 10. The full list, inside…
Cash-strapped colleges are partnering with banks to transform student IDs into debit cards. The deals are a windfall for the institutions, but force students to open accounts laden with hefty penalty fees and surcharges.
Wondering where the tax money you pay into the NYC public school system is going? Well, part of it goes to pay the salaries of about 700 teachers who are forced to sit in special rooms that are located all over the city. All day. And do nothing. Sometimes for years at a time. [Rubber Room via BuzzFeed]
29 Readington Middle School students earned two days detention after paying for their lunch with pennies. School administrators took the penny treatment a sign of disrespect towards cafeteria workers, who eventually collected 5,800 pennies.
“At first it started out as a joke, then everyone else started saying we’re protesting against like how short our lunch is,” student Alyssa Concannon said.
The Humane Society of America has sued the USDA in an attempt to close a loophole that allows downer cows who aren’t otherwise ill into the food supply. They claim the loophole increases the risk of introducing mad cow disease to humans, and leads to abuse against the cattle—like with, oh, say, a forklift. [Wall Street Journal]
The Tennessee State Board of Education is expected to pass a bill on January 25th that will make Tennesee the eighth state (after Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota, and Utah) to require that its high school students take a personal finance class before graduation.
“We are getting calls from people who are saying that they used some kind of an electronic software program to file their tax returns and that they did not check the box to donate their kicker,” said Rosemary Hardin, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Revenue. “When we bring up their tax return, that box is checked.”
Now that Ohio has made personal finance basics a mandatory requirement to graduate from high school, people are starting to look at the problem of who teaches it and what it consists of (just look at the comment threads in the two related posts below to see the wide spectrum of opinions and personal experience anecdotes). A new Ohio State University study has found that the current level of teaching is all over the place—and the people teaching it have widely varying levels of knowledge about the subject matter.
We may indeed have a nation of financially illiterate youths, but despite cries for increased financial education in public high schools, the one program that’s historically addressed this—“checkbook math”—has never enjoyed a reputation as a “real” math class because the actual math skills involved are so basic, and it’s being phased out as most students avoid it because, as one student says, it “doesn’t look good for colleges.”
Snickers and Cokes would be a thing of the past at school cafeterias and vending machines if the Senate approves an ambitious amendment from Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Murkowsky (R-AK). The amendment to the Farm Bill would establish strict federal guidelines limiting the sale of deliciously unhealthy treats brimming with sugar, salt, and fat.
The nutrition standards would allow only plain bottled water and eight-ounce servings of fruit juice or plain or flavored low-fat milk with up to 170 calories to be sold in elementary and middle schools. High school students could also buy diet soda or, in places like school gyms, sports drinks. Other drinks with as many as 66 calories per eight ounces could be sold in high schools, but that threshold would drop to 25 calories per eight-ounce serving in five years.
The always feisty Center For Science In The Public Interest has released a school lunch report card and while no state received an “A”, only Kentucky and Oregon are close to the CSPI’s standards. Oregon went from an F to an A-, but it wasn’t easy:
Maybe this whole MRSA thing has gone too far: Brooklyn state assemblyman Dov Hikind has arranged for the DermaRite corporation, based in New Jersey, to distribute ten thousand units of its gel-based hand sanitizer in a “compact and easy to use” pen-shaped dispenser to city schoolchildren.
The Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI), and the International Association of Consumer Food Organizations (IACFO). have joined together to start the “Global Dump Soda” campaign.
Childhood obesity epidemic? What? ” As the nation’s only school district now licensed to make pizza under the Pizza Hut name, Corona-Norco gets all the supplies from Pizza Hut: frozen dough, sauce, cheese, pepperoni — even the oil squirted onto the dough.
In school, we were taught a simple chant: “Good better best, never let it rest, till your good is better, and your better is best.” However, one school district isn’t trying very hard when it comes to helping students make healthy eating choices.
Having been referred to an article in USA Today about advertising in schools, our initial instinct was the same as Nancy Cox, the quoted president of the Florida PTA, who said, “We are opposed to using children for commercial purposes.” That was the self-inflicted antibodies against indoctrination talking, though, and we quickly shook them off. (And not just because the fruits of child labor are as sweet as child-labor-produced sugar.)