The year 2015 saw many small changes in education, and a momentous one, long-awaited by many: the departure of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. With just weeks left in the year, the updated federal education bill, the Every Student Succeeds Act, flew through the Senate and the House after a revision process that some called a “love-fest.” The ESSA was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 10.
But that’s just the beginning of what to keep an eye on in 2016. A number of issues are poised to shape K-12 over the coming year. From budget crunches that are expected to shut down schools to the development of unique learning plans for individual students, here’s a glimpse of five hot topics administrators should keep on their radar.
Budget crises in urban districts
More than a few large urban districts are staring down severe funding shortfalls, and it’s not clear what kind of clarity or solutions will solve the serious problems.
In Los Angeles, a private report commissioned by Los Angeles Superintendent Ramon Cortines said that Los Angeles Unified was “facing a looming, long-term deficit that could force the system into bankruptcy.” The district is also dealing with various teacher lawsuits alleging discrimination, including a $1 billion suit focused on the alleged ousting of older teachers and a discrimination suit filed by a lesbian gym teacher who says she was “subjected to anti-gay language, anti-gay graffiti scrawled in her work area, verbal anti-gay slurs by students, vandalism to her car, and even physical violence by a student.”
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, a state budget impasse that resulted in generous offers from some teachers to work for free is now sliding towards chaos as Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite projects that some schools will shut down in January due to a lack of funding.
Read more at Education Dive.