TEENS TAKE CHARGE High school students from across the city recently shared open letters about what it’s like to learn in a segregated school system. One student spoke about hiding his legal status for 11 years. Chalkbeat

Another described the transition from a Harlem middle school to an elite high school. “I didn’t realize that an A in Harlem was not the same as an A in a majority-white high school on the Upper West Side.” Chalkbeat

A senior at the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics described her frustration with the “suffocating phenomenon” of poverty. Chalkbeat

FREE LUNCH Advocates say Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s recent directive that schools offer free lunch to students who ask for it misses the reason students feel stigmatized: having to ask in the first place. DNAinfo

Here’s one student’s account of why being identified as a free lunch recipient can be humiliating. Chalkbeat

RECORD NUMBERS About 73,000 students applied for seats in city charter schools in 2017, a 7 percent increase over last year. New York Daily News

PAY PARITY David Nocenti, executive director of Union Settlement, argues the city’s 3-K for All program must address wide disparities in pay between teachers in public schools and nonprofit centers who are doing the same work. New York Daily News

CHARTER RULES A city program that allows district schools to waive certain provisions of the union contract are not outperforming charter schools, according to a report from the charter advocacy group StudentsFirstNY. New York Post

ENFORCEMENT CONCERNS Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the city’s response to a U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services agent who stopped by a Queens school last week. New York Daily News

SCHOOL ZONE A new state law would expand the use of speed cameras in school zones. Staten Island Advance

FILM FESTIVAL The District 75 Citywide Speech Services Film Festival, which showcases special education students, is set to take place in Queens on Friday. Staten Island Advance

BUDGET SCOOP The Washington Post obtained an advance version of the Trump administration’s education budget, which includes more than $10 billion in cuts to after-school programs for poor students, teacher training, and more. It also includes $1 billion for “student-based budgeting,” an essential feature of the administration’s school choice agenda. Chalkbeat