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Top Education Stories of 2018

We look back on 10 Capital & Main stories that reported on the changing conflicts within public education.




Illustration: Define Urban


1. California Tries to Close Its College Degree Equity Gap

Bill Raden: It’s been no secret that public higher education in California is badly broken, following four decades of disinvestment and tuition hikes.

Hill Street Studios LLC/Getty Images


2. Will New York Fund Amazon Subsidies or Student Debt Relief?

David Sirota: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made headlines begging Amazon to site its second headquarters in the state. Now, however, prominent Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly have slammed the idea of offering taxpayer subsidies to the retail giant.

Co-published by Splinter.


Long Island City photo by King of Hearts


3. California’s Schools Chief: Why a Low-Profile Job Matters — And Is Awash in Election Money

Bill Raden: The state’s new Superintendent of Public Instruction will have a historic opportunity to correct the course of a system in which the public good has increasingly been compromised by the competing demands of private interest.


Superintendent-elect Tony Thurmond


4. Living Homeless in California: The University of Hunger

Gabriel Thompson: A January study found that 11 percent of students on the California State University’s 23-campuses reported being homeless during the past year. At Humboldt State nearly a fifth said they’d been homeless at one point during 2017.


Illustration: Define Urban


5. Living Homeless in California: For Many Kids, Home Is Where the School Is

Bill Raden: The Los Angeles Unified School District has more homeless students than many school districts have in total enrollment. In response, the district has created some innovative policies.




6. Actress Speaks Out Against Lunch Shaming in School Cafeterias

Deborah Klugman: When a student doesn’t have enough money for lunch, cafeteria staff in many school districts take away the child’s tray of hot food and hand the student a brown paper bag containing a cold cheese sandwich and a small milk.


7. The Hard Work of Diversifying Higher Education in California

Bill Raden:  In California, where 76 percent of its K-12 enrollment is students of color, diversifying public colleges and universities is a top priority.


(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)


8. Orange County Parents: Change Name of School That Honors Klan Member

Gustavo Arellano: There are over a dozen streets, parks or monuments in Orange County named after former Klan members — and one elementary school.


(Photo: Gustavo Arellano)


9. Mentors Under Siege: California’s DACA Teachers

Bill Raden: Of California’s roughly 223,000 DACA recipients, an estimated 5,000 are working teachers, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.


(David McNew/Getty Images)


10. Investment Banker Named Los Angeles Schools Superintendent 

Bill Raden: Austin Beutner, who has no background as an educator, was widely seen as the more politically connected of two finalists, as well as being the prospect most sympathetic to charter schools.


Austin Beutner, center. (Photo: Isidoro Hoyos)

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