Court OK of student-led school board prayers to be appealed

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal appeals court in New Orleans will be asked to reconsider its ruling allowing student-led prayer at school board meetings. On Monday, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in a Texas case that such prayers don't run afoul of the prohibition against government-established religion. The American Humanist Association, a plaintiff in the case, disagreed.

High Court bolsters rights of learning-disabled students

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A unanimous Supreme Court on Wednesday bolstered the rights of millions of learning-disabled students in a ruling that requires public schools to offer special education programs that meet higher standards. The court struck down a lower standard endorsed by President Donald Trump's nominee to the high court. Chief Justice John Roberts said that it is not enough for school districts to get by with minimal instruction for special needs children.

Court: Student prayers OK at school board meetings

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A Texas school board can open its meetings with student-led public prayers without running afoul of the Constitution's prohibition against government-established religion, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld a lower court ruling dismissing a lawsuit against the Birdville Independent School District.

Pittsburgh hires Heather Lyke as athletic director

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Heather Lyke spent nearly four years overhauling the athletic department at Eastern Michigan, aggressively courting donors and generating buzz for a program that lacked plenty of both. The results were startling on the field and off. The football team shook off decades of mediocrity to reach a bowl game for the first time in 30 years last fall.

Iowa State's Steven Leath named president at Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Auburn University hired Iowa State University president Steven Leath on Monday after a six-month presidential search process that some criticized as too opaque since no finalists were named publicly. Trustees unanimously selected the 59-year-old Leath to replace Jay Gogue, who is retiring. Leath, who has recently been under fire for his use of university aircraft at Iowa State, begins at Auburn on July 15. "Dr.

Baylor hoops hopes NCAAs can help school amid scandal

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Baylor's players are hoping a deep NCAA Tournament run can help improve the school's reputation amid a sexual assault scandal that sparked a federal lawsuit and prompted the university to fire its football coach and demote its president. "We want to do something positive for our school and represent Baylor in the way we know it should be represented," guard King McClure said as the third-seeded Bears prepared to play No.

Carol T. Christ to become UC Berkeley's 1st woman chancellor

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Carol T. Christ, a scholar of Victorian literature and former president of Smith College, was named the next chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley on Thursday and the first woman in the school's 149-year history to hold the position. The UC Board of Regents, the governing board of the system's 10 schools, voted unanimously to approve Christ's nomination and welcomed her with a standing ovation.

Nonprofit head picked to manage takeover of failing schools

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina's statewide school board is tapping the head of an education non-profit to run an experiment giving charter operators a shot at turning around struggling elementary schools. The State Board of Education said Thursday it hired Eric Hall to lead the new Achievement School District. Hall's job allows him to choose charter-operating companies to take over five schools that have consistently shown poor growth and performance.

Fired Missouri coach to get $650,000 in severance package

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri's fired men's basketball coach Kim Anderson will receive $650,000 as part of a severance package. Under the agreement released to media outlets Thursday, when the Tigers' season ended in the second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, Anderson will receive $450,000 for "liquidated damages" and $200,000 "for meeting or exceeding the academic accomplishment and social responsibilities" spelled out by the school's athletics department administrators.

Lottery funds sought for school construction, principal pay

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Senate Republicans want to use more North Carolina Education Lottery proceeds generated from expanded advertising to build more schools in poor counties and increase compensation for principals and assistant principals. Three senators filed legislation Thursday that would spend at least $100 million in lottery profits during the next fiscal year. Most of the funds would go to a grant program matching local money for school construction in the neediest counties.

Transgender student wants court ruling before graduation

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Attorneys for a transgender teenager who's suing his school board for the right to use the boys bathroom are asking that arguments be expedited so he might see a ruling before he graduates. The filing Wednesday in Gavin Grimm's case comes two days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order handing the case back to a Richmond appeals court without reaching a decision. The motion asks the 4th U.S.

Senate panel sets March 15 hearing for Trump's labor nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alexander Acosta, President Donald Trump's new choice to be secretary of labor, pledged Wednesday to leave his position as a law school dean and resign from the board of a bank if he's confirmed. Acosta, 48, is dean of Florida International University's law school. He's also on the board of U.S. Century Bank, a locally owned and managed community bank that aims in part to aid local businesses.

City shows pitfalls of school choice as issue goes national

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Hailed nationally as a success story on school choice, Hartford in the two decades since a desegregation order has seen growing racial integration and new levels of academic achievement. That is, at least for students who win seats at magnet schools through a lottery. Traditional public schools still educate about half the city's children, but they are not moving in the same direction.

Politician who slammed Ramadan message under fire for slur

SPRING GROVE, Pa. (AP) -- A Pennsylvania politician who apologized for criticizing a church that wished Muslims a "blessed Ramadan" is under fire again -- this time for a slur referring to Mexicans on his Twitter page. Spring Grove school board member Matthew Jansen insisted his Twitter account was hacked and he was not responsible for the slur in a response to an illegal immigration article on Feb. 6.

The Latest: Trump pushes vouchers in Florida school visit

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times local): 2:45 p.m. President Donald Trump is praising a Florida Catholic school as the kind of school that disadvantaged children should be able to choose for their education. Trump visited St. Andrew Catholic School in Florida on Friday and told its principal that "the love you have for what you do is really fantastic." The president was joined by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Yelp to help customers find gender-neutral bathrooms

NEW YORK (AP) -- Yelp, the crowd-sourced company specializing in online reviews, is wading into the national debate over transgender people's bathroom access with a new feature that will enable consumers to search for businesses offering gender-neutral restrooms. In a blog post on Friday , Yelp said it would collect information from both customers and business owners in order to add a "Gender Neutral Restrooms" category to its listings.

Trump tours private school in Florida, promoting choice

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- President Donald Trump toured a private religious school in Florida on Friday, praising it as an ideal institution for "disadvantaged children" while re-emphasizing that his education agenda will focus on school choice. Trump visited St. Andrew Catholic School in Orlando, dropping in on a fourth-grade classroom and shaking hands with students who said they were learning about the history of Florida.

Apple, IBM, Microsoft back transgender teen at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Apple, IBM and Microsoft are among 53 companies urging the Supreme Court to rule that a transgender teenager has the right to use the boys' bathroom at his Virginia high school. The businesses signed onto a brief filed Thursday in high school senior Gavin Grimm's lawsuit against the Gloucester (GLAH'-stur) County school board. Grimm says he wants to use the bathroom that matches his chosen gender.