Weekly NewsBrief 6/24-6/30

News Clip

'Tech for Rural Districts' brings new resources to remote schools – By Katya Schwenk, edscoop

The Consortium for School Networking on Wednesday announced a new initiative in partnership with the online educator network edWeb.net designed to improve technology for rural school districts. The project, “Tech for Rural Districts,” will offer support for district leaders through a webinar series and a new online platform.

The initiative aims to narrow the technology gap between rural and urban districts, a reality that CoSN and edWeb.net say deserves more attention.

“Rural students and rural schools are often overlooked in a lot of education-reform policy discussions,” Beth Holland, CoSN’s digital equity project director, told EdScoop. “I think it’s incredibly important that we’re talking about how to bring equitable learning solutions to all students.”

Rural school districts, which enroll nearly a fifth of U.S. public school students, lag behind urban districts in adopting technology and have more limited access to services like broadband, CoSN has reported. That divide in turn reduces opportunities and classroom quality for students in rural areas.


23 colleges and groups get $183.8M to expand apprenticeships – By Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive

The U.S. Department of Labor is granting $183.8 million to colleges and their private-sector partners to support training for more than 85,000 apprentices in the health care, advanced manufacturing and information technology fields.

Twenty-three higher education institutions and groups — including the Alabama Community College System, Purdue University and the Colorado Department of Higher Education — received funding. It will be partially matched by the private partners.

The grant program stems from a 2017 executive order, in which President Donald Trump called on the federal government to expand apprenticeships.

The Trump administration sees apprenticeships as a way to help fill open jobs, which outnumber the count of unemployed workers. The three fields selected for the apprenticeships all face steep worker shortfalls.

The U.S. manufacturing industry could have up to 2.4 million unfilled jobs by 2028 due to the retirement of baby boomers and automation. The health care field will need to hire 2.3 million additional workers by 2025 to keep up with an aging population. And about two-thirds of surveyed technology leaders said labor shortages are harming the industry.