Kabul Collapse Tears Families Apart


“As quickly because the Taliban took over, we shortly deserted our home,” his mother and father informed BuzzFeed Information in an e-mail. Their neighbor had informed them that militants had damaged into their home whereas they have been out and searched the place, asking about them. On the day the Taliban swept via Kabul, Wajdi noticed TV information studies of individuals streaming to the airport, and there have been rumors of Afghans getting on planes just by being on the proper place on the proper time. It was harmful, however contemplating the threats, staying behind may very well be worse.

Wajdi’s mother and father determined to threat it. With their younger children, they left all the pieces however a number of luggage of meals and drinks behind, asking a neighbor to regulate the home. For days, they stayed within the areas close to the airport, sleeping on the road to keep away from lacking any alternatives and shifting from gate to gate based mostly on rumors they heard about the place folks have been being allowed inside. Waving paperwork, they shouted for assist at overseas navy officers and interpreters. No person would intervene.

They saved operating out of water whereas on the airport, Wajdi mentioned. “Solely folks can go via — it is simply you together with your paperwork and your children. No luggage, no baggage.”

The household spent days camped out close to the airport, praying to be evacuated. (BuzzFeed Information is withholding their names to guard their security.) Wajdi spent his nights on the telephone along with his mom, who was charging a cell with an influence financial institution. Each his mother and father saved saying the identical factor: “Son, there isn’t a progress taking place.” He spent the times making calls to anybody who might probably assist— the foundations that had supported him, journalists and pals within the US and Europe.

When terrorists bombed Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport on Thursday, killing not less than 170 Afghans in addition to 13 American service members, Wajdi’s household have been outdoors the airport — however at a unique gate, the place they may hear the blast however didn’t really feel the influence. They’re now in hiding once more. Wajdi heard in regards to the bombing on the information — he instantly tried to telephone however couldn’t attain his mother and father. “I used to be so apprehensive,” he mentioned. Finally, when cell sign returned, he was in a position to get in contact.

Now that the US has pulled out of Afghanistan, Wajdi is making an attempt to maintain hope. The Taliban has promised to permit Afghans who maintain visas to different international locations or overseas passports to depart, however Wajdi doesn’t consider them.

“It’s extremely arduous,” he mentioned. “While you’re seeing the scenario on TV, if you see the way forward for your nation, it appears to be like actually gloomy. You assume, what if someday your mother and father are executed earlier than your eyes?”

Lately, his thoughts is stuffed with what-ifs. Wajdi rues the overly rosy projections made by the Afghan and American governments about Kabul’s stability. “That is why my mother and pop did not have passports already,” he mentioned. “We weren’t mentally ready for leaving the nation.” If Wajdi had not trusted a good friend within the Afghan authorities who had sought to allay his fears that the Taliban would shortly defeat the navy, he might need seen this coming.

“It seems like we’re nonetheless in a dream,” he mentioned. “How is it attainable for issues to alter so shortly? I by no means thought all the pieces would collapse so simply.”

Families sue West Virginia school district for Christian assembly : NPR


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A gaggle of fogeys and college students are suing a West Virginia faculty district for permitting an evangelical preacher to carry a non secular revival meeting in the course of the faculty day earlier this month that some college students have been required to attend.

The swimsuit, filed in a U.S. District Courtroom in West Virginia on Thursday on behalf of households by the Freedom From Faith Basis, says the Cabell County faculty system within the southwestern a part of the state has a scientific historical past of disregarding the non secular freedom of its college students and instituting Christian non secular practices.

“For years, faculty system staff have violated the constitutional rights of scholars by selling and advancing the Christian faith, in addition to by coercing college students into collaborating in Christian non secular exercise,” the swimsuit reads. The Freedom From Faith Basis is a nonprofit that promotes the separation of church and state.

The swimsuit follows a walkout at Huntington Excessive College final week the place greater than 100 college students left their lecture rooms chanting, “Separate the church and state,” and, “My religion, my alternative.”

Huntington Excessive College senior Max Nibert holds indicators he plans to make use of throughout a scholar walkout on the faculty in Huntington, W.Va., on Feb. 9. Now, households are suing the varsity district, alleging it violated college students’ non secular freedoms.

Leah M. Willingham/AP


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Leah M. Willingham/AP


Huntington Excessive College senior Max Nibert holds indicators he plans to make use of throughout a scholar walkout on the faculty in Huntington, W.Va., on Feb. 9. Now, households are suing the varsity district, alleging it violated college students’ non secular freedoms.

Leah M. Willingham/AP

What occurred on the meeting

The Related Press left a voicemail with Cabell County Colleges spokesperson Jedd Flowers requesting remark Thursday afternoon. Throughout an interview with The Related Press earlier this month, Flowers stated the meeting was presupposed to be voluntary, however two academics introduced their whole courses to the meeting. Flowers known as it an sincere mistake by the academics.

“It is unlucky that it occurred,” Flowers stated. “We do not imagine it’ll ever occur once more.”

In an announcement on Friday, Cabell County Colleges Superintendent Ryan Saxe stated the district is investigating the revival occasion and that he believes some college students’ rights have been violated. Saxe is called within the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says that on Feb. 2, two Huntington Excessive College academics escorted their whole homeroom courses to an meeting hosted by evangelical preacher Nik Walker, who had been main revivals within the Huntington space in latest weeks.

College students, together with a Jewish scholar who requested to go away however was not permitted to take action, have been instructed to shut their eyes and lift their arms in prayer, based on the lawsuit. The teenagers have been requested to offer their lives over to Jesus to seek out goal and salvation. College students stated they have been advised that those that didn’t observe the Bible would go to “face everlasting torment.”

The mom of the Jewish scholar who was compelled to attend the meeting is among the many swimsuit’s plaintiffs, together with the Huntington Excessive scholar who organized final week’s walkout.

Through the assemblies, college students and their households have been inspired to affix night providers at a close-by church, the place they may very well be baptized.

Nik Walker Ministries additionally visited one other district faculty, Huntington East Center College, on Feb. 1 and held the same meeting.

The college had a historical past of complaints towards it

Saxe stated final week that the district honors college students’ rights to precise their views and respects their proper to non secular expression however that “forcing non secular expression on these with differing beliefs will not be acceptable and isn’t in alignment with district, state, or federal coverage and won’t be tolerated by my administration or the Board of Schooling.”

Freedom From Faith Basis attorneys say that non secular providers — voluntary or not — shouldn’t be allowed throughout faculty hours. The muse alleges it has written a number of authorized grievance letters over the course of years which were ignored by the varsity district.

In 2017, the inspiration alerted Cabell County Colleges about two separate non secular assemblies that have been held in the course of the faculty day at Huntington Excessive College, based on the lawsuit.

In 2019, the inspiration stated it wrote to the district concerning considerations that adults had created and have been operating non secular golf equipment inside Cabell County Colleges.

Plaintiffs are searching for a everlasting injunction barring the district from sponsoring any non secular worship providers, adult-led non secular actions in the course of the faculty day or collaborating in such occasions with college students in the course of the faculty day. They’re additionally searching for damages of $1 per plaintiff, plus prices and attorneys’ charges.

New Updates to College Scorecard Make Tool More Useful for Students and Families With Data About College Costs, Graduation Rates, and Post-College Earnings


Right this moment, the U.S. Division of Training launched updates to the School Scorecard that make the device extra helpful for college students and households weighing school choices.  The device additionally contains new and up to date data that could be helpful to highschool counselors, school entry suppliers, researchers, and different essential stakeholders. The Division has improved the School Scorecard interactive net device, along with restoring a number of metrics that assist college students gauge how their potential establishment compares to different schools throughout prices, commencement charges, post-college earnings, and different metrics. The adjustments replicate the Division’s precedence of supporting and inspiring inclusive, inexpensive postsecondary packages that present robust profession outcomes for college students.

U.S. Secretary of Training Miguel Cardona will spotlight these new updates to the School Scorecard at the moment, in the course of the 2022 Neighborhood School Nationwide Legislative Summit, an occasion that brings collectively lots of of neighborhood school leaders from throughout the nation.

“For thus many college students and households, the school search course of could be overwhelming. However simply accessible, high-quality details about increased schooling establishments can assist college students decide which school or college is one of the best match for them,” stated U.S. Secretary of Training Miguel Cardona. “The up to date and enhanced School Scorecard shines a highlight on affordability, inclusivity, and outcomes, over exclusivity and schools that depart college students with out good jobs and with mountains of debt. This replace displays the Biden-Harris administration’s dedication to making sure college students stay on the coronary heart of the Division’s work.”

Updates to the School Scorecard additionally embrace an annual refresh of the cumulative mortgage debt of pupil debtors at each the institution-level and by subject of examine inside every establishment, in addition to federal pupil mortgage reimbursement charges for the establishment.

For the primary time since 2018, the Division is publishing—each within the information recordsdata and on the patron web site—institution-level earnings information, which give an general sense of the profession outcomes for alumni of the establishment. The Scorecard additionally contains further details about graduates who’re higher off for having gone to the school, by displaying the share of these incomes greater than the everyday employee with solely a highschool diploma.  

School Scorecard information present important particulars for college students and potential college students throughout all schools, serving to them to make knowledgeable selections about their postsecondary schooling plans. The info additionally shine a highlight on accessible schools which are serving their college students nicely, together with by closing gaps within the completion charges amongst college students of colour in contrast with white college students and by guaranteeing packages result in optimistic profession outcomes with manageable ranges of debt. Examples embrace:

  • College of Baltimore, a Predominantly Black Establishment in Maryland, enrolls Black college students as practically half of its enrollment, fees a lot decrease tuition than most four-year establishments, and noticed median post-college earnings of greater than $58,000.
  • Valencia School, a neighborhood school in Florida, enrolls three in 4 of its undergraduate inhabitants as college students of colour and has narrowed its school completion fee gaps; at the moment, 45% of white college students and 41% of Hispanic college students graduate from this system.

The School Scorecard contains many different examples of establishments which are inclusive, typically under-resourced, and are working to enhance their college students’ outcomes.

The School Scorecard builds on efforts by the Biden-Harris Administration to handle obstacles to school completion, significantly for college students from low-income backgrounds and college students of colour, and enhance accountability for establishments of upper schooling. Secretary Cardona mentioned these efforts as a part of his imaginative and prescient for schooling from early childhood schooling by way of increased schooling and profession pathways, which he laid out earlier this 12 months. These efforts embrace:

  • Launching the Institutional and Programmatic Eligibility negotiated rulemaking committee to develop robust guidelines to make sure profession coaching packages result in priceless credentials for his or her graduates;
  • Establishing an Workplace of Enforcement inside the workplace of Federal Pupil Help to establish and tackle main issues throughout establishments that pose widespread dangers to college students and taxpayers;
  • Offering billions in federal COVID reduction funding for establishments that serve excessive populations of scholars of colour and college students from low-income backgrounds;
  • Cancelling greater than $15 billion in pupil mortgage debt for 675,000 debtors throughout the nation; and
  • Proposing expanded entry by way of extra funding for Pell Grants for college students.

Every State Plan for American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Students & Families Experiencing Homelessness Approved


Every State Plan for American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Students & Families Experiencing Homelessness Approved

This week, the U.S. Division of Schooling (Division) permitted all remaining American Rescue Plan Act of 2021’s Homeless Youngsters and Youth Fund (ARP-HCY) state plans. With at this time’s approval of Mississippi’s state plan, all 52 ARP-HCY state plans are permitted by the Division. The $800 million in funding offered by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) will proceed to establish and help college students experiencing homelessness and join them with crucial sources and helps, and work to allow them to attend faculty and absolutely take part at school actions.

The American Rescue Plan offered unprecedented funding to states to assist college students and households experiencing homelessness. The Division believes states should act with urgency to offer all college students, together with college students experiencing homelessness, equitable entry to high-quality studying environments and the sources to assist meet their fundamental wants which colleges typically present.

Throughout the nation, states are distributing these funds and we’re already seeing the influence. In Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the college district is utilizing ARP-Homelessness funds to assist establish and help their practically 70 college students experiencing homelessness. In Altoona, Pennsylvania, the college district is utilizing these essential {dollars} to deal with the fundamental wants of scholars experiencing homelessness. Meaning working with associate organizations to offer issues like meals, housing, faculty provides, and medical care to those kids and their households.

These closing permitted plans proceed to point out states’ dedication to develop alternative for college students experiencing homelessness and their households. For instance:

  • The Tennessee Division of Schooling is creating a McKinney-Vento knowledge dashboard to visualise all knowledge, tutorial and help companies, on college students experiencing homelessness in a single location to raised help choice making for sources, helps, and programing for college students and households experiencing homelessness.
  • Nevada is assessing the place and find out how to finest handle the problem of youngsters and youth experiencing homelessness utilizing ARP-HCY funds. This effort will pinpoint areas of power within the state in addition to establish the place extra helps are wanted. These helps may present coaching, technical help, extra staffing capability, and engagement on the state and native stage.
  • The New Mexico Public Schooling Division is making a statewide neighborhood of apply for early childhood applications, and for postsecondary training. They’re additionally creating a Pilot Challenge with the Regional Schooling Cooperatives within the state to enhance identification and companies for youngsters and youth experiencing homelessness in rural areas.

These be a part of the plans which have already been permitted by ED earlier this yr. Highlights from these plans are:

  • In Washington, the state training company will use ARP-HCY funds to help faculty districts, develop and supply coaching, and enhance coordination with different state applications. Moreover, the state will award contracts to community-based organizations which are well-positioned to establish traditionally underserved populations of scholars, together with immigrant and refugee college students, experiencing homelessness and join them to instructional helps and neighborhood wraparound companies.
  • Ohio will use ARP-HCY funds to offer grants to districts, early studying facilities, and career-technical facilities with a purpose to enhance identification of scholars and households experiencing homelessness. These funds will enable colleges to offer extra help to preschool kids and unaccompanied youth in profession technical education schemes.
  • The West Virginia Division of Schooling will have interaction state stage community-based organizations offering wrap-around companies and allocate ARP-HCY funding particularly to offer focused companies to high school age kids who’re experiencing homelessness.
  • And Oregon, in response to a sequence of wildfires in 2020, might be utilizing a portion of ARP HCY funding to extend faculty, district, and neighborhood capability to identification and reengage college students who’re experiencing homelessness.

“Each single scholar deserves a protected place to name residence, however for thousands and thousands of scholars experiencing homelessness that isn’t the case—and through this pandemic these college students confronted actually unthinkable challenges,” stated U.S Senator Patty Murray. “It’s important that we establish college students experiencing homelessness and get them the sources and help they should thrive—and that’s precisely what this funding will assist do. I’m so proud to have fought to incorporate this important funding within the American Rescue Plan, and I’m glad to see the Division of Schooling appearing rapidly to get these funds to our colleges and communities in want. With so many college students and households fighting homelessness, I’ll preserve preventing to make sure each single scholar can succeed within the classroom.”

“Each youngster deserves to have a roof over their head and a heat place to sleep at night time,” stated U.S. Senator Joe Manchin. Sadly, that isn’t the case for greater than 9,500 kids in West Virginia and over 1,000,000 kids throughout the nation. We should handle this heartbreaking concern, which is why I’m happy the final plan for using American Rescue Plan funding to deal with kids and youth homelessness, which I efficiently fought to incorporate, has been permitted. This struggle is much from over, and I’ll preserve working with the Division of Schooling to make sure our kids get the assistance they want and deserve.”

“We labored throughout the aisle to make sure the American Rescue Plan included our bipartisan program defending households and kids throughout the pandemic. All state plans have been finalized, together with in Arizona to make sure youth experiencing, or prone to, homelessness may have elevated entry to important companies to maintain them protected and related to studying,” stated U.S. Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

All through the state plan assessment course of, the Division has emphasised the significance of states getting funds to high school districts as rapidly as doable, encouraging robust partnerships with community-based organizations, and techniques that construct capability to establish college students experiencing homelessness and supply wraparound companies to fulfill their full wants.

Extra details about every state’s ARP-HCY plan might be discovered right here: https://oese.ed.gov/places of work/american-rescue-plan/american-rescue-plan-elementary-secondary-school-emergency-relief-homeless-children-youth-arp-hcy/arp-hcy-state-plans.