D.C. 2020 school board candidates

But while these nonpartisan positions wield little power, they have become symbolic battlegrounds over the future of public education — and the members of the board have emerged as visible education advocates in the city.

Some of the issues dividing the board are mayoral control and, of course, how schools should safely reopen. They also have different opinions on the five-star rating system of schools. The ratings — part of a broader school report card — aim to make school data more accessible. But critics fear the reliance on test scores will reserve the highest accolades for schools that educate the city’s wealthiest students and give paltry ratings to schools that serve the District’s vulnerable children.

This election cycle has drawn nearly 20 candidates for five open seats. (Frazier O’Leary, who holds the Ward 4 seat, is running for reelection unopposed.) And the candidates have attracted tens of thousands of

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Our endorsements: The Sun offers its choices for regents, state Board of Education, Clark County Commission and Clark County School Board races


Las Vegas Sun

The Clark County Government Center is seen Friday, Sept. 27, 2013.

Editor’s note: Candidates receiving the Sun’s endorsements are listed in bold type.


The Sun will preface our endorsements here by saying the most important vote regarding the Board of Regents will be on Ballot Question 1 — the measure that would pave the way for reform of the higher-education system by removing the regents from the state constitution.

We’ll write far more about this issue, but the upshot is that it’s time for the regents and the system’s administrative overlords to be brought under control. As is, the way the regents were written into the Nevada Constitution has created confusion over the years about the extent of the board’s authority, with the regents at times claiming it makes the higher-ed system a separate, fourth branch

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California Supreme Court denies O.C. Board of Education petition to reopen school campuses

The Orange County Board of Education’s bid to force California to re-open school campuses for in-person learning ended Wednesday when the California Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Board of Education President Ken Williams expressed disappointment with the ruling.

“I am sorry that the state Supreme Court did not view that Governor Newsom has abused his emergency powers that are given to governors under a real healthcare crisis. Our families and children are suffering from not going to school.”

Last month, the board, along with a few parents and several private schools across California, took the unusual step of filing legal actions directly with the state Supreme Court.

Two lawsuits claimed that actions by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health to curb the spread of coronavirus were unconstitutional and violated the right to equal access to education. Newsom’s order effectively closed most school campuses to

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Harvard University Board Gains Backers of Fossil Fuel Divestment

An activist group of Harvard University alumni opposed to the fossil-fuel industry won three of the five seats on the college’s Board of Overseers up for election this year. The victory is part of the group’s campaign to force Harvard’s $40 billion endowment to end its investments in oil-and-gas companies.

The election results could embolden similar movements at other U.S. universities, which are increasingly deciding to pull their money out of fossil fuels. An organization at Yale University that is affiliated with the Harvard activists is running a candidate for a seat on its board of trustees to put pressure on the school’s roughly $30 billion endowment.

“This win proves that alumni want Harvard to be a leader in the fight against the climate crisis,” said Jayson Toweh, an Environmental Protection Agency program analyst and Harvard alumnus who won one of the seats, in a statement.

Harvard and Yale run

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Education Commissioner Says School Board Violated State Order

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — Despite reprovals from the Florida Department of Education, the Hillsborough County School District is moving forward with its plans to offer online learning only for four weeks following the start of school on Aug. 24.

Following the school district’s 5-2 vote Thursday, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran sent a letter to Hillsborough schools Superintendent Addison Davis and school board chairwoman Melissa Snively informing them that the school board’s decision “directly contradicts the district’s reopening plan.”

After Corcoran issued an executive order July 6 mandating that all Florida school districts reopen brick-and-mortar schools in August to receive state funding, each school district was required to submit a reopening plan to the state by July 31.

The Hillsborough County School District’s plan gave parents a choice of sending their children back to class or having them learn online through either an online class provided by the student’s school

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HCPS Virtual Learning Plan Approved By Harford County Board Of Ed

HARFORD COUNTY, MD — The Harford County Board of Education approved the administration’s proposal at its meeting Monday night to hold the fall 2020–2021 semester online.

“Core elements” of the plan are fully virtual instructiond with the option of learning centers for in-person support, Harford County Public Schools Superintendent Sean Bulson said.

His plan was approved, 8-1, and the dissenting vote was cast by Tamera Rush, who represents the northern part of Harford County.

The vote on Bulson’s plan for virtual learning followed hours of school administrators fielding questions about logistics..

While a hybrid model with in-person and virtual instruction had been considered, Bulson said it would not be feasible to educate the over 37,000 Harford County students in that format.

“We were not going to be able to deliver logistically to provide a good instructional program” and deliver on safety, Bulson said.

Coronavirus data in recent months also showed

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Incumbent faces challenger in only contested board race

Two candidates are running in the only contested election for the Seminole County School Board. The winner will represent district 3 — a southwestern chunk of the county — but will be elected countywide when voters go to the polls Aug. 18.

Abby Sanchez, who is completing her first term on the board, is being challenged for her seat by Veronica King.

Seminole school board members earned about $41,500 this year and serve four-year terms. Amy Pennock, who represents district 4, is also up for election this year but has no challenger.

Who they are

King, 45, who lives in Altamonte Springs, works for the mayor of Eatonville and is making her first bid for elected office. She is a longtime community volunteer for organizations such as the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. She is the mother of two grown children who attended Seminole’s public schools.

Sanchez, 53, who

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Baltimore County school board to vote on reopening plan during special meeting Tuesday

The Baltimore County Board of Education is scheduled to vote on its reopening plan for the 2020-21 academic year Tuesday evening and is expected to approve a virtual return to the classrooms.

Last week, Baltimore County Public Schools superintendent Darryl L. Williams said during a virtual school board meeting that he supported keeping remote learning in place for the start of the school year amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing the safety of students and faculty.

The meeting will stream at 5:05 p.m. and can be viewed online at BCPS TV.

The Baltimore County teachers union and four other unions representing county school system employees said they do not want to return to school buildings until they feel it’s safe. Several school board members also have voiced their support for the remote learning option.

The Maryland State Education Association, Baltimore Teachers Union and the Maryland Parent Teacher Association called on state

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Want to Run For Millburn Board Of Education?

MILLBURN, NJ — Individuals interested in running for the Millburn Township Board of Education must declare their candidacy by 4 p.m. on Monday, July 27. The general election will be held Nov. 3.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, there will be a lot of new decisions to make and problems to solve. (See: Millburn Superintendent Tells Board About School In Fall.)

Millburn Superintendent Christine Burton said in her July 2 letter to the school community, “Please start to plan now for your childcare options. A variety of school schedules are under review that may include shortened days, A/B days, and/or a blend of in-person and remote learning that gives the school district the flexibility to flip the switch easily into virtual learning should we need to shut down again.” (Cranford recently released its fall school plan that includes a variety of provisions, including older students attending school in person two to

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OC School Districts Shun Board Of Education’s No-Mask Suggestions

ORANGE COUNTY, CA — The worsening coronavirus pandemic has led more Southland school districts to start the 2020/21 school year online, it was announced this week.

On Monday, both Los Angeles Unified School District and San Diego Unified School District banded together in their announcement of online classes to start the coming school year. Meanwhile, Orange County’s Board of Education had different ideas, voting 4-1 to encourage the districts under their umbrella to send kids back to regular school without masks or distancing.

Though the board of education makes recommendations of their districts, it is the individual school districts that ultimately make their own decisions. On Tuesday, school districts across the county were back to the drawing board to handle the coming school year.

There is no word yet on how distance learning will affect southern California school districts with regard to sports, clubs and recreational activities. The CIF Southern

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