N.C. DPI releases guidebook on the use of AI in schools – By Mebane Rash, EdNC
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (DPI) just released a guidebook for the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) in our public schools.
“Humans must always be in the loop to ensure fair and equitable treatment of student work,” notes the guidebook.
DPI is the fourth state education department in the nation to issue guidance to its schools on the use of this cutting-edge technology, according to the press release.
“Generative artificial intelligence is playing a growing and significant role in our society. At NCDPI, we’re committed to preparing our students both to meet the challenges of this rapidly changing technology and become innovators in the field of computer science,” said State Superintendent Catherine Truitt. “We also believe that, when implemented thoughtfully and responsibly, generative AI has the power to revolutionize student learning and better prepare North Carolina’s students for the jobs of tomorrow.”
Mass. Gov. Healey to seek $113M on new early childhood spending in 2025 budget plan – By Chris Lisinski, Mass Live
Gov. Maura Healey will press for major investments into the long-strained early education and care sector despite her administration’s muted forecast for state finances, pitching the spending as an economic and competitive necessity.
Healey on Tuesday announced plans to pursue about $113 million in new child care spending in her fiscal year 2025 budget proposal, which will also request another $475 million in grants to continue supporting early education providers.
Altogether, the governor outlined more than half a billion dollars she wants to deploy to help more Bay State families access and afford child care, particularly in lower-income areas and communities of color.
Arkansas schools compress salary schedules in response to LEARNS Act – By Antoinette Grajeda, Arkansas Advocate
Nearly a third of Arkansas school districts no longer offer pay increases for experience or additional education, an immediate result of a new state law that increased the minimum teacher salary to $50,000 a year.
The LEARNS Act increased Arkansas’ minimum teacher salary from $36,000 to $50,000 and requires all teachers to receive at least a $2,000 raise for the 2023-2024 academic year.
The law also eliminated the state’s minimum salary schedule, which required pay increases for teachers with more education and experience. But districts must create a salary schedule to receive state funding that assists with the additional teacher compensation.
“It was very challenging to make sure that we do what we’re required to by law so we can get the [state] money that we can get to help pay those raises, but not overdo it to the extent that we put ourselves right out of business because that doesn’t help our kids or us at all,” said Lisa Kissire, Western Yell County School District superintendent.
Some superintendents interviewed by the Arkansas Advocate said paying $50,000 to everyone is temporary until they see what effect the new law has on their budgets. Others said it’s all they can afford, even with the state providing supplemental funding.
Gov. Cox wants Utah teachers to ban cellphones during class time - By Carmen Nesbitt, The Salt Lake Tribune
In his latest move to shield Utah’s youth from the harmful effects of social media, Gov. Spencer Cox on Wednesday sent letters to Utah school districts, charter schools and state education leaders calling for teachers to remove cellphones during class time.
“We all know that cellphones are a distraction and when we put phones away we can actually focus and study,” Cox said in a statement. “Cellphone-free learning environments will help our teachers teach and our students learn.”
There are currently no statewide policies regulating cellphone use at school. That’s left up to schools and districts to decide, said Utah State Board of Education officials.