Hold on to your collective hats, everyone. 2021 is just one month old, but big changes are in the air. What’s old is new again, and some things will never be the same …

  • The 2020 federal budget deficit hit $3 trillion+.
  • So far, each taxpayer’s share of the federal debt: $219,000.
  • So far, $3 trillion has been spent on COVID-19 relief efforts with more on the way.
  • Former educator Cindy Marten is in as Deputy Education Secretary and seeks $350 billion in direct aid to schools over two years and a nationwide coronavirus testing strategy for schools.
  • From the Obama years, Carmel Martin is in as White House Domestic Policy Council. She was involved in both the $4.35 billion Race to the Top and the School Improvement Grants programs.
  • A Biden executive order ensures transgender students will have such protections as access to the restroom, locker room, or school sport that aligns with their gender identity.
  • Andrew Jackson is out; Harriet Tubman will soon appear on $20 bills.
  • A Virginia school board recently and unanimously voted to rename two schools named after Founding Fathers and former slave owners Thomas Jefferson and George Mason; most community members opposed the move, however.
  • The San Francisco school board has voted to remove certain names from the city’s public schools because of their “ties to slavery, oppression, and racism.” These include Abraham Lincoln, Paul Revere, George Washington, and Dianne Feinstein.
  • A Burbank, California school district has banned several books as “offensive and demeaning to students of color.” Though still available in school libraries, teachers must “pause” their classroom use:
    • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    • Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
    • The Cay, by Theodore Taylor
    • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor (a Newbery Medal winner)
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. based on a sophomore’s Snapchat message: “F**k school… f**k cheer f**k everything,” posted after being placed on the junior varsity cheerleading team instead of the varsity squad.

And so it goes this new year… ~ With thanks and well wishes, Carol