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John Brighenti / Flickr

A Connecticut town is dealing with another incident in which a student in the district is being accused of committing an alleged racist act.

RYAN CARON KING / Connecticut Public Radio

A Superior Court judge has dismissed a parents’ lawsuit against the Connecticut Department of Public Health over the release of school-level vaccination data.

Brian and Kristen Festa, of Bristol, challenged DPH’s decision to release school-by-school vaccination data in May. The report also included the percentage of kids with religious and medical exemptions at each school.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The University of Connecticut has a new leader. This hour, we sit down with UConn’s new president, Thomas Katsouleas, who stepped into the role this August.

Katsouleas is trained as a physicist and electrical engineer whose career has focused on plasma science. We hear about his path to Connecticut and ask him about his vision for Connecticut's flagship state university.

Matthew Lotz / U.S. Air Force

After months of prodding by lawmakers to take a stance on repealing Connecticut’s religious exemption from vaccines, state Health Commissioner Renee Coleman-Mitchell is expected to announce Monday that she is supporting the rollback. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Brian and Kristen Festa, of Bristol, sat beside their attorney in Hartford Superior Court Monday as they fought to advance their lawsuit against the state Department of Public Health over the release of school vaccination data.

Monday’s hearing centered around the state’s motion to dismiss the entire case. 

Christiaan Colen / Wikimedia Commons

As students head back to school, teachers and administrators in Wolcott, Connecticut will start the school year without access to important files.

The Wolcott Public School system computers were attacked by ransomware, a type of computer virus that holds essential data hostage unless the school agrees to pay attackers a ransom.

This hour, we take a look at why hackers have increased attacks on local governments and schools for ransomware. What does this mean for Connecticut, a state with hundreds of separate municipal governments and school systems?

Government of Prince Edward Island / Creative Commons

Fewer Connecticut kindergarteners are getting vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella, and more students are getting religious exemptions for mandatory vaccines, new data shows.

Tong: State Officials In Dalio Partnership Must Share Public Records

Aug 7, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A new opinion from Attorney General William Tong could lead to much greater transparency for the public-private partnership investing millions of dollars in Connecticut’s struggling schools. 

David DesRoches

Shawn and Shane Brooks had a problem. They'd been accepted into Morehouse College, excited to attend the same school as Martin Luther King Jr. and other black male leaders. 

But then they got their financial aid packages. 

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A state investigation into Norwalk's special education program has found that the district has not been following federal law, but the findings reflect deeper problems that the district has faced for years.

The complaint that sparked the investigation was filed on behalf of 14 Norwalk students, but Jill Chuckas, a special education advocate who filed the complaint along with two lawyers, said the problems impact all kids with disabilities in the district.

RHODA BAER / NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE / CREATIVE COMMONS

A civil lawsuit being brought by two Bristol parents against the state Department of Public Health over school vaccination data was delayed in court Monday as attorneys for the state try to get the case tossed.

Mark Ojakian
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

There's currently a $12 million hole in the state's community college budget for next year, and the gap is expected to widen in the coming years if changes don't happen soon.

The Board of Regents for Higher Education approved the use of $8 million from its reserve funds to cover some of the shortfall, but that money won't last forever.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With Connecticut's legislative session now over, there were a few bills passed that impact education issues in the state, and some that didn’t make it through.

Every time Jennifer Tidd's son was secluded or restrained at school, she received a letter from his teachers. Her son has autism and behavioral issues, and over three years — from 2013 to 2016 — Tidd got 437 of those letters.

"I see this pile of documents that's 5 inches tall that represents hundreds of hours of being locked into a room, and I feel, you know, horrible," Tidd says.

She's sitting in her living room in Northern Virginia, her head hanging over the stack of papers. Tears are in her eyes.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A textbook being used in Hartford middle schools gives equal weight to an argument against climate change, despite the vast majority of scientists who say the planet is warming and human activity is a contributing factor.

Cloe Poisson/Connecticut Public Radio

As she sat with her newborn in the hospital bed after a long and painful labor, an exhausted Corrine Walters held her son close, rocking him in her tired arms. Her first child. She smiled at him.

“Hi Jackson, you’re here, finally!” Corinne remembered saying. “I’m your mom!”

Read the full story, view videos in American Sign Language, and listen to the radio documentary at wnpr.org/makingsense.

Genome Research Limited / Creative Commons

Gilead, the biopharmaceutical company responsible for manufacturing Truvada, has come under scrutiny for its HIV drug pricing. This hour, we get the latest on this story. We also preview an upcoming Hartford rally, scheduled to coincide with AIDS Awareness Day. 

LA Johnson (Special To Connecticut Public Radio)

It’s still hard for Keyanna Tucker to talk about what happened to her when she was six.

“I was molested,” Tucker said. “I didn’t know how to cope with it … I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew it wasn’t right. So I started becoming a bully.”

Tucker, who is now 22, recalled other problems. Her father was incarcerated, which was another layer of stress. And as time went on, her behavior slowly got worse.

Pexels

A new report by the National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers union, says that Connecticut's charter school laws need to be improved.

GOVERNMENT OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND / CREATIVE COMMONS

New and corrected data on school vaccination rates were released Friday after the state gave out controversial and disputed information last week.

Officials from the state Department of Public Health said they worked with school officials to identify and correct errors in a report that shows the number of unvaccinated children attending every school in the state.

Elise Amendola / Associated Press

Four years ago, Hartford school officials decided to try to reduce the numbers of students being suspended. So they implemented what's known as a "restorative justice" model for discipline, but many teachers report that they haven't been trained on the new practice, and now many students are acting out, with no consequences.

Rhoda Baer/National Cancer Institute / Creative Commons

The state Department of Public Health has made public the number of unvaccinated children attending every school in the state. But some of the numbers have already been disputed as inaccurate. 

Jason Taix / Pixabay

For the first time, the state Department of Public Health has released to the public details about how many children at each school in the state are vaccinated.

Young people and their supporters gather in Hartford to protest climate change and ask for the Green New Deal.
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A large majority of teachers say that climate change should be taught in schools, according to a new NPR - Ipsos poll. But the same poll that found that most teachers don't teach climate change to their students. 

Ng Han Guan / Associated Press

When it comes to philanthropic giving to public schools, the hype is always big. Like when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on Oprah Winfrey’s show that he was giving $100 million to Newark, New Jersey, schools.

But the results don’t always live up to the hype. 

sabianmaggy/flickr creative commons

Connecticut's Safe Haven Law has been on the books since the year 2000 -- but supporters say it needs to be better known. The law allows a parent to legally and confidentially leave an infant at a hospital emergency room within 30 days of giving birth, if they are unable to care for it. 

Butler County Sheriff's Deputy Doug Hale has worked as a school resource officer for 24 years in the Lakota Local School District near Cincinnati.
Matt Richmond / ideastream

Teachers or other school staff in districts in 31 states can legally carry weapons in schools, according to a review of state laws and local news coverage by Guns & America.

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A recent state investigation found significant problems with a special education program in Torrington run by EdAdvance, one of six regional educational service centers, or RESCs, in the state. RESCs are publicly-funded schools that offer a variety of programs, including specialized services for students with disabilities who can’t be taught at their home schools.

But a former social worker at EdAdvance’s Torrington location said the school was rife with problems, and a state investigation agreed.

Carlos Mejia / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Venture into one New London, Connecticut nonprofit and you will find yourself surrounded by art. Not just any art, either. Art inspired by the rich cultures of Latin America.

This hour, we go inside Expressiones Cultural Center. We meet up with one of the nonprofit's co-founders, and wander through the mind of its current artist in residence: a forestry engineer from Lima, Peru. 

Students Gather In Hartford To Demand Climate Action

Mar 16, 2019
David DesRoches

About 200 young people and their supporters gathered at the capitol in Hartford on Friday to demand action on climate change.

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