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Teachers set strike deadline in contract dispute in Portland, Oregon

By Teresa Carson PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – Portland teachers put Oregon’s largest school district on formal notice Thursday that they intend to go on strike February 20, disrupting classes for nearly 48,000 students, unless the two sides reach agreement by then on a new contract. Rank-and-file instructors in the 2,800-member Portland Association of Teachers voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday night to authorize union leaders to call a strike if talks collapse in a labor dispute centered on staffing levels and wages. Students at several Portland high schools staged walkouts from classes on Thursday to show support for the teachers. Bill Wilson, chairman of the union’s bargaining committee, said that formal notification was delivered to the district Thursday morning.

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Thirty Minnesota school children treated for carbon monoxide

(Reuters) – Thirty students from an elementary school in southern Minnesota were treated Thursday at a local hospital for possible carbon monoxide poisoning, a hospital spokesman said. None of the injuries were life threatening and all but one child from the Springfield Public Schools had been treated and released by late Thursday afternoon from Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield, system spokesman Kevin Burns said. Springfield is about 100 miles southwest of Minneapolis. A representative of Springfield Public Schools could not be reached immediately for comment. …read more

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Portland, Oregon, teachers vote to authorize strike

By Teresa Carson PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – Teachers in Portland, Oregon’s largest school district, voted Wednesday night to authorize a strike, setting the stage for a walkout that could disrupt classes for nearly 48,000 students, union officials said. Portland’s 2,828 teachers have been engaged for months in contentious off-and-on negotiations with the district on a new three-year contract, and the strike authorization vote clears the way for a strike on February 20 if no settlement is reached, the Portland Association of Teachers said late Wednesday. It said the strike authorization was approved by an overwhelming majority, but the vote count was not disclosed. School district officials are “deeply disappointed” that teachers voted to authorize a strike, Christine Miles, spokeswoman for Portland Public Schools, said in an interview with Reuters.

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Portland, Oregon, teachers set for strike authorization vote

By Teresa Carson PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – Teachers in Portland, Oregon’s largest school district, were due to vote Wednesday night on whether to authorize their union to call a strike that would disrupt classes for nearly 48,000 students in a labor dispute over staffing levels and wages. Portland’s 2,828 teachers have been engaged for months in contentious off-and-on negotiations with the district on a new three-year contract, and a strike authorization vote would clear the way for a walkout the week of February 17, if no settlement were reached. The district already is bracing for a possible walkout with plans to keep its 78 schools open using substitute teachers if the need arises. “We can still negotiate after a strike vote,” said Portland Public Schools spokeswoman Christine Miles. …read more

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Gather Tax Paperwork for College Savings Accounts

In the case of withdrawals from these accounts, commonly known as 529 plans, families have to prove the money went to pay for qualified education expenses such as textbooks or tuition to avoid tax penalties. California parents Jerry and Shawna Straw are waiting for their 529 plan 1099-Q, the tax document that shows all withdrawals and transfers between plans, says Deborah Fox, owner of Fox Financial Planning Network. The Straws already received theirs, and the amount of tuition paid helps prove that the Straws used 529 plan savings toward their son’s college tuition. Families in states that offer state tax deductions for college savings contributions need to save evidence of the contributions they made, says Susan Howe, a Pennsylvania-based certified public accountant. …read more

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45 arrested, 16 juveniles rescued in Super Bowl prostitution bust

Forty-five people were arrested and 16 juveniles rescued in a two-week crackdown on prostitution in the New York-New Jersey area leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl, Federal Bureau of Investigation officials said on Tuesday. The minors rescued ranged in age from 13 to 17 and included high school students and children reported missing by their families, the FBI said. Arrests were made and victims recovered in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, said FBI spokeswoman Barbara Woodruff. The FBI, backed by state and local law enforcement agencies, had mounted a major crackdown on human trafficking and prostitution ahead of the February 2 championship game, with some 3,000 law enforcement agents and civilians trained to help spot people who might be the victims of human trafficking. …read more

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10 Most Expensive Public Schools for In-State Students

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. That’s compared to an average of $19,465 for out-of-state students and nearly $30,500 for those attending a private school, according to data reported by 1,110 ranked public and private universities in an annual U.S. News survey. Staying close to home isn’t always a bargain, though, especially if you live in Pennsylvania. The University of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania State University–University Park — the state’s two flagship institutions — are the two most expensive public schools for in-state students. …read more

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3 Tips for ‘Digital Learning Day’ Lessons

Nearly all middle and high school students use the Internet, 80 percent are on social media and almost 40 percent video chat with friends using programs such as Skype and iChat, according to reports by the Pew Research Center. Digital Learning Day on Wednesday, Feb. 5, aims to spotlight how teachers can do just that. Brainstorming an event for Digital Learning Day may seem like a daunting task, especially when dealing with a classroom of disinterested teens. But teachers can hit the right note if they keep these three things in mind, says John Sessler, manager of program engagement for PBS LearningMedia, which provides free online media for educators and is an official partner of the event. …read more

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