TRUMP’S PICK  Here’s what you should know about Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary  —  and what her choice might tell us about his plans. Chalkbeat 

SCHOOL CLOSURES  Shelby County Superintendent Dorsey Hopson wants to build three new schools, but he also wants to close seven others. Here’s a roundup of stories that examine what he’s proposing, why Memphis has closed schools in recent years, and what’s at stake. Chalkbeat

SCHOOL BUS CRASH  Three children remain in critical condition, six days after a school bus crash killed six classmates in Chattanooga. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Students and administrators raised concerns about the driver’s behavior in the weeks before the crash. The Associated Press, The New York Times, Chattanooga Times Free Press

A transportation safety expert says state lawmakers should re-examine adding seat belts to school buses and tightening standards around who can drive the buses. Knoxville News Sentinel, Chalkbeat

A Cheatham County school board member pleads for laws requiring school buses to have seat belts. The Ashland City Times

Outsourcing school transportation services has become increasingly popular with U.S. schools. CNN

The bus company’s CEO speaks about the fatal crash as Durham School Services announces plans to pay for the students’ funerals. WRCB-TV, Nashville Public Radio

The PTA president for Shelby County Schools explains why she won’t put her daughter on a school bus operated by Durham School Services in Memphis. WMC-TV

Here are profiles of each of the six elementary school students killed. Chattanooga Times Free Press, Times Free Press, Times Free Press, Times Free Press, Times Free Press, Times Free Press

Families of the children killed in the bus crash can receive no more than $750,000 in personal damages under Tennessee law. Chattanooga Times Free Press

Money is being donated to a fund that will to benefit the families of the bus victims. Chattanooga Times Free PressThe Associated Press

A safety feature that might have helped the driver keep control of the bus is mandatory for new cars but not required for school buses. Chattanooga Times Free Press

TEACHER ABSENTEEISM  The superintendent of Jackson-Madison County Schools says teacher absenteeism is a problem in her West Tennessee district, where each teacher on average has missed about a day each month this school year. The Jackson Sun

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT  An app launched last summer is putting more information at the fingertips of students and parents of a Blount County high school. The Daily Times

REAL ESTATE  Sullivan County School officials identify potential sites to build a new high school and middle school. Kingsport Times-News

FIELD TRIP  Students at a Jackson Middle School visit Jackson State Community College to learn how college degrees can guide them into a career. The Jackson Sun

YARD SIGN EXCELLENCE  Alcoa Elementary School presents 72 students with yard signs honoring their good behavior. The Daily Times

FUTURE SHADE  A Blount County beautification group plants trees at an elementary school with only a few. The Daily Times

OPINION: TRUMP AND RURAL EDUCATION  Rural Americans helped elect Donald Trump, but his ideas won’t help their schools. What will? asks a former veteran educator writer for the Southern Regional Education Board. Chalkbeat 

OPINION: THE IMPACT OF AGING BUILDINGS ON LEARNING   The national conversation around equity and student achievement should include an examination of school facilities and whether all offer an environment that is conducive to learning, says Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson. The Commercial Appeal