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Here are some of the things we’ve been reading about this week:
Nearly a third of students hesitated to seek mental health support, a survey finds.
Democrats in Congress propose a historic investment in child care.
Struggling to cope in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting.
To read more, click on the following links.
Research & Practice
Survey: Third of Students Reluctant to Seek Help for Mental Health Issues
K-12 Dive: Almost a third of students who considered visiting a school counselor, school-based therapist or school psychologist about issues outside of career services said they ended up not doing so because they didn’t think their issues “were big enough to bother someone with” or felt like they would be judged, according to a nationally representative survey from Springtide Research Institute. In the same survey of 4,038 teens and young adults, 45% said they hesitate to see a therapist because their parents don’t take their concerns seriously, 53% said they wouldn’t want their parents to know they were meeting with a school counselor or therapist, and 51% said they fear school staff might treat them differently or give them fewer opportunities at school.
Teen Sleep, Brain Science and the Debate Over School Start Times
EdSurge: Scientists ran an unusual summer camp in the 1970s and ‘80s—and its main purpose was to study the sleep patterns of kids and teens. Campers actually wore electrodes all day so they’d be ready to plug in for monitoring. What researchers found, and have continued to study in the years since, is that teens have different, and greater, needs when it comes to sleep than people of other ages. Many schools make it hard for teens to get the amount of sleep that doctors recommend. This has led to heated debates in recent years over school start times. Advocates for later starts say that the issue is about more than whether teens have enough sleep to learn—there are serious implications for mental health as well.
What Schools Can Do to Tackle Climate Change (Hint: More Than You Think)
Education Week: Schools have a big role to play in reducing emissions of harmful greenhouse gases that cause an overload of carbon dioxide. The nation’s schools annually emit as much carbon as 18 coal plants or 8 million homes, according to an analysis of U.S. Department of Energy data conducted by the advocacy group Generation180. Schools also waste 530,000 tons of food a year, the World Wildlife Fund reports. And nearly 95 percent of school buses run on diesel fuel, which causes environmental harms that are well-documented. Schools can take actions now that will help keep students, staff, and school buildings stay safe when severe weather powered by climate change comes knocking. Schools can empower future generations to pay attention to the world around them and fight for a more conscientious approach to living on earth.
Democrats Propose Historic Child Care Investment Through Reconciliation
New America: Senators Patty Murray (WA) and Tim Kaine (VA) recently put forward a new child care proposal that could be passed within the budget reconciliation process. Their plan has five main components that would be implemented over six years: 1) $72 billion over six years for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to expand subsidy access, improve repayment rates, and support the workforce 2) approximately $18 billion of the $72 billion would go towards Supply and Compensation Grants to improve existing facilities, build new child care facilities, and compensate early educators 3) a pilot program that is modeled after Build Back Better for states to expand child care assistance to middle-income families 4) $18 billion over six years in formula grants to states to expand access to pre-K and 5) $12 billion over six years for Head Start, specifically to increase teacher compensation.
Around the Nation
Another 19 Children Dead as Educators Ask, ‘When will it be enough?’
K-12 Dive: After another tragic day in America’s education system, educators across the nation are crafting explanations about the shooting at a Texas elementary school that resulted in the deaths of at least 19 children and two teachers. Even as they articulate the sadness and confusion of another school shooting — there have been 77 previous incidents of gunfire on school grounds this year alone, resulting in 14 deaths and 45 injuries — education professionals and advocates are trying to process their own emotions and reactions. From classrooms to school boardrooms to education advocates’ offices to Capitol Hill, the words to acknowledge another mass school shooting are familiar yet unimaginable. See related article: K-12 Dive “‘Waiting for the next thing’: What it’s Like Teaching After a Mass Shooting.”
Kids Are Far, Far Behind in School
The Atlantic: Researchers are learning that school closures came at a stiff price—a large decline in children’s achievement overall and a historic widening in achievement gaps by race and economic status. The achievement loss is far greater than most educators and parents seem to realize. In the 2020-2021 school year, growth in student achievement slowed to the point that, even in low-poverty schools, students in fall 2021 had fallen well behind what pre-pandemic patterns would have predicted; in effect, students at low-poverty schools that stayed remote had lost the equivalent of 13 weeks of in-person instruction. At high-poverty schools that stayed remote, students lost the equivalent of 22 weeks. Racial gaps widened too: in the districts that stayed remote for most of last year, it was as if Black and Hispanic students had lost four to five more weeks of instruction than white students had.
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