Education

It's not every year that a new Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, becomes a household name, satirized on Saturday Night Live, never mind being the most unpopular member of a historically unpopular cabinet. But we live in interesting times and the nations' schools and colleges are no exception.

We cover education stories every day. But our most popular education news of the year came the day that Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the U.S. secretary of education; our story that day was read nearly 1 million times. DeVos is a school choice activist and billionaire Republican donor who was nominated by President Trump and approved by the Senate, despite the fierce objections of Senate Democrats, teachers unions and others.

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Michigan schools are tied for second most segregated in the nation with Mississippi for African American students, according to a new report from the Associated Press.


Before you head out to celebrate the holidays and welcome the new year, here is our last weekly roundup of 2017.

Education under the new tax bill

Graduate students can breathe easier after learning that tuition waivers will remain tax-free, according to the final version of the House-Senate tax bill that passed Thursday.

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It's been quite a year for for-profit education. "Continued collapse," is how Bryan Alexander, an educational futurist, describes it.

Here's a quick look back:

Flickr user William Warby / https://flic.kr/p/rhSx74

Budget cuts in schools can make it difficult for teachers to get supplies they need. Now, there is relief for a music and an art teacher who have been covering the bill themselves.


Flickr User: Tommy Simoncini | https://flic.kr/p/V5DbkG

A grant has been awarded for a Michigan program that will help assess mental health services for college students.


Finals week brought a rude surprise to students and staff at the McNally Smith College of Music in Minnesota, as the school announced it was closing abruptly — and that it wouldn't be able to meet its last payroll. Some students graduated Saturday; others are frantically looking for options.

It's inevitable. Each year, teachers dip into their own pockets to buy things like notebooks, tissues and pencils for their students.

This inevitability is even enshrined in the tax code, which gives educators a $250 deduction for their trouble. Late last week, in hammering out their big tax overhaul, Republicans decided to preserve that deduction. So we thought we would ask teachers how much of their own money they spend each year.

The answer: more than $250.

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