Education

News, trends, and analysis related to higher education and grade school districts.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Bed bugs have been confirmed in ten schools in the Syracuse City School District in the past two weeks. Superintendent Jaime Alicea said the affected rooms and buildings have been sanitized and cleaned to eliminate the bugs.

“They are not dangerous," Alicea said. 'They do not carry diseases. They are a nuisance but they are not dangerous. We don’t want to have them in the school or in their houses so, they’re a nuisance."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

To reduce childhood hunger, some elementary school students in the Syracuse City School District are getting extra food to take home with them on weekends. Multiple community partners are assisting the district through a national donation program.

Syracuse School District Director of Food and Nutrition Rachel Murphy said there is a need for food outside of school hours among some of the poorest kids.

Onondaga Community College / Facebook

It’s still unclear just how many students applied for and will be awarded the state’s new Excelsior Scholarship announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this year.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

The state Board of Regents is taking steps to make it easier for teachers to become certified in New York. But the state education commissioner denies that it’s a lessening of requirements.

Ed and Eddie / Flickr

As schools across New York welcome students back for another year, they continue to grapple with the ongoing teacher shortage. The inability to find qualified applicants for certain subjects has left many districts without certified teachers.

That doesn't mean no one is teaching those subjects. Paul Heiser, a senior research analyst with NYSSBA, says it just means that the school district had to hire a teacher for that class who isn't certified in the subject.

SUNY

The State University of New York board members overseeing charter schools are in the midst of a public comment period on whether charter school teachers should be allowed to have fewer qualifications than public school teachers.

Under the controversial proposal, charter schools that already have demonstrated strong academic performance would be able to set their own qualifications, with one proposal requiring a bachelor’s degree and just 30 hours of classroom instruction in order to begin teaching students.

timlewisnm / Flickr

The results of this year’s Common Core-related standardized tests show scores for New York’s schoolchildren inching up. About one-fifth of the children boycotted the tests altogether because of continued controversy over the Common Core learning standards.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Last week, Republican candidate for mayor Laura Lavine proposed mayoral control of Syracuse’s public schools. But Syracuse’s teachers union and some of Lavine’s opponents are calling that plan a mistake.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Tensions are high between the Onondaga Nation and the LaFayette School District, which runs the Onondaga Nation pre-kindergarten to eighth grade school. The Onondaga Nation wants a bigger say in how the school operates.

SUNY

The State University of New York (SUNY) is considering letting its charter schools create their own teacher certification programs, a proposal that teachers unions and education advocacy groups say endangers students and the teaching profession.

Utica College

In addition to New York’s free college tuition program being offered to some middle class students that attend state schools, there is also the Enhanced Tuition Award for students attending private schools. But the majority of private colleges and universities across the state are not taking part in the program this year.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

There was dramatic testimony Tuesday in the hearing on whether former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino should be ousted from the Buffalo school board. Paladino took the stand, and apologized for racist comments he made last December regarding former President Barck Obama and Michelle Obama.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

The New York State Education Department hearing on whether Carl Paladino should be removed from the Buffalo Board of Education for leaking private information from the board's executive sessions could conclude as early as Tuesday. On Monday, day three of the proceedings, the petitioners seeking Paladino's removal rested their case. And the Buffalo businessman and former Republican gubernatorial candidate's defense began.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

A hearing on whether 2010 gubernatorial candidate and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino should be thrown off his city’s school board began Thursday at the New York State Education Department in Albany.

Controversial comments that Paladino made about former President Barack and Michelle Obama last December are not the subject of the hearing, but they nevertheless became an issue.

The nearing, convened by state Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia, began with the attorney for the Buffalo school board explaining why the board is asking state officials to remove Paladino.

Shinichi Sugiyama / Flickr

The Auburn Enlarged City School District is cutting 13.5 staff positions to cover a more than $3.5 million-dollar deficit.

The reductions will result in job losses for about eight employees, according to Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo, who says the numbers would have been far worse had the community not approved an increase in taxes this spring.

Corcoran High School

Students at Corcoran High School in the city of Syracuse made a video in response to a recent stabbing of a teacher at the school by a student. The students reacted to a number of negative comments online about the school.

A substitute teacher was stabbed after trying to break up a fight at the school in May. A 17-year-old was arrested and charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

When New York state approved a multi-billion dollar bailout for upstate nuclear power plants last year, it breathed life back into an Onondaga Community College program that trains nuclear power plant technicians.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York state is in the midst of getting public input for its version of the Every Student Succeeds Act. That federal legislation, also known as ESSA, is what is following the No Child Left Behind law. The state is conducting 13 public hearings to get feedback on a proposal that lets states have more leeway as they develop education priorities.

Among other things, New York’s draft ESSA plan takes some of the emphasis on math and English language arts and spreads it to science and social studies. That makes social studies teachers kuje Nick Stamoulacatos happy.

State University of New York

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher is leaving her post next month. In an exit interview with Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt, Zimpher spoke about the details and potential drawbacks of the new Excelsior Scholarship program, which will offer free tuition to state colleges to some middle class students.

You can listen to the complete interview with Nancy Zimpher here.

SUNY Oswego / Facebook

The free state college tuition promised in New York's new Excelsior Scholarship is an exciting prospect for many students, but some caveats of the program could come as a surprise. But many current SUNY students might be caught off guard by the new requirements.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

School districts across the state are holding votes on their budgets Tuesday. While almost all of them are keeping their spending requests within the mandatory tax cap, some districts wonder whether the cap is sustainable over the long term.

The property tax cap is now in its sixth year, and according to David Albert with the New York State School Boards Association, most of the state’s nearly 700 school districts are asking for increases that are within the limits of the cap.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

New York state’s education commissioner said Tuesday that new state-specific learning standards will offer several improvements over the controversial Common Core standards.

Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia’s report came on a day when large numbers of students in some parts of the state were expected to once again boycott the required third- through eighth-grade math tests.

Elia said the timing was pure coincidence.

“This is about standards,” said Elia. “This is not about opt-out.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse City School District is asking for $10 million less than what it initially requested for the next fiscal year. This comes after New York state decided which additional aid requests it would grant and which ones it would reject from the district.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Say Yes to Education program provides college tuition to students from the city of Syracuse. But now that New York state has its own free state college tuition program, there are questions as to what role Say Yes will play in the future. Officials that manage the Say Yes endowment say they are waiting on more details about the state’s plan.

President and CEO of the Central New York Community Foundation Peter Dunn said it is too soon to tell how the Say Yes scholarship might change because of the state’s new program.

SUNY / Twitter

The SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Kristina Johnson as the system's 13th chancellor Monday.

Utica College

Some New York lawmakers and college administrators are worried about what the state's new free tuition policy at SUNY and CUNY could mean for private schools, including those at Utica College. The private college just cut its tuition rate by 42 percent last fall.

Vipal / Creative Commons

Gov. Andrew Cuomo got a lot of what he wanted in the state budget passed earlier this month. But the governor didn't get his way when it came to funding for K-12 education.

He wanted to scrap the basic formula for determining how much funding schools will get – called foundation aid. Lawmakers decided to keep that in place. They also added more than a billion dollars to the funding pot, which comes after years of financial cuts at the K-12 level.

Katie Keier / Flickr

Several central and northern New York legislators are praising the state's new budget as a win for the region's schools, but they say it was a hard-fought battle that is not over yet.

Onondaga Community College

Onondaga Community College expects a bump in enrollment following the state legislature’s approval of free tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools. It was part of the state budget plan approved on Sunday.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Filing taxes is routine for most Americans, but for a group of SUNY Oswego students it's a crucial part of their education. Each year, seniors and graduate students in the college's honor society for accounting and finance majors prepare free tax returns for mostly lower-income residents. 

John Runge is a graduate accounting student and coordinator with the college's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). He recently helped file returns for people at the Hamilton Homes complex in Oswego, an affordable housing community.

Pages