Education

OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

The State Department of Education surveyed thousands of former teachers about why they left the profession, and what it would take to get them back. The survey results, released Monday, suggest most quit because of low pay.

When asked the open-ended question, “Why did you quit teaching in Oklahoma Public Schools?” 34 percent of respondents cited pay or a better opportunity.

Hello! Welcome to our weekly roundup of all the education news you may have missed.

An online charter school is closing midyear

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Kids are scattered around the preschool classroom at Zarrow International School in Tulsa. It’s loud and chaotic, but it’s organized. Some students paint pictures; others write out the letters of the alphabet. The small group sitting around teacher Irene Castell is learning to count and compare numbers.

Castell says many kids would not learn these skills if they stayed home, or went to daycare.

“We always hear back from teachers of kindergartners, ‘We can always tell who’s been to pre-K,’” she says.

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

A group of about 20 parents asked Oklahoma City Public School Board members on Monday to kick former OKC Mayor Kirk Humphreys off the board of a local charter school.

Humphreys recently equated homosexuality to pedophilia while on a Sunday morning talk show, and many John Rex Charter School parents feel his comments were homophobic, and disqualify him from serving on the charter’s board of directors.

Four former fraternity members were sentenced to jail time Monday in the 2013 hazing death of Chun Deng, a freshman at Baruch College in Manhattan.

Deng went to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania to finish pledging Pi Delta Psi, an Asian-American cultural fraternity. During the process, he was blindfolded, forced to wear a backpack weighted down with sand and then repeatedly tackled. He was knocked unconscious and later died at a hospital.

If you're like most Americans, you don't have a 529 college savings plan.

If you're like most Americans, you don't even know what it is.

All the more reason to keep reading.

That's because, with the new tax law, Republicans have made important changes to 529 plans that will affect millions of taxpayers, not just the ones saving for college. Before that news, though, a quick primer.

It's a new year and a new edition of our weekly education news roundup. welcome back!

DeVos plans to make it harder for defrauded students to get their money back

Forty-three of the largest public universities in the U.S. do not track student suicides, according to recent findings from The Associated Press, despite efforts to improve mental health on campus.

Flickr / vancouverfilmschool

The State Department of Education released a first draft of new computer science standards on Wednesday.

Gaspar Vila Mayans elementary school, in a low-income area in Puerto Rico's capital of San Juan, was one of the lucky ones.

Most of the building escaped damage, and the school was able to reopen just two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit in late September.

Once it was back up and running, the school quickly became a lifeline for the community, providing meals, activities and a sense of normalcy to families and their children.

Now, it's facing the possibility of closure for an entirely different reason – there aren't enough students to fill up its classrooms.

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