Good morning and welcome back for the second first day of school this year. (Happy New Year to those who were celebrating Rosh Hashanah!) Scroll down for the day's local education news, including a mysterious reduction in federal funding, a tally of still-unsafe water pipes in schools, and some last-minute governor's race edu-analysis.
Two other important things to watch: This evening, Chancellor Richard Carranza will appear at a town hall meeting for District 75, the citywide division of schools for students with severe disabilities (6:30 p.m. at Manhattan's P.S. 94). The district hasn't gotten much attention since Carranza took over, but its challenges remain pressing as the city strives to include students with disabilities more often in mainstream schools and classes. That's something Carranza has said he supports — but didn't make a priority in Houston, where a push to deny students special education services created a crisis during his tenure there. Stay tuned for updates on how the conversation is developing here.
Plus, make sure to read American Public Media's report about the research-backed reading instruction that often isn't happening — including in New York City schools that instead use the "balanced literacy" approach. Carranza has indicated that he has questions about the city's approach to teaching reading but hasn't yet elaborated publicly. (Hearing anything different in your school? Let us know.)
—Philissa Cramer, managing editor