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Latest News USA

Liberty Uni to fully probe Falwell tenue

Liberty University on Monday announced that it would commission an “independent investigation” into how its now-former president Jerry Falwell Jr. managed the Christian school for years until he resigned last week.

An outside firm will “conduct a thorough investigation into all facets of Liberty University operations during Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s tenure as President, including but not limited to financial, real estate, and legal matters.”

Falwell is among the most prominent evangelical supporters of President Trump. The former university leader’s wife, Becki, has served on the advisory board of Women for Trump.

Falwell submitted his resignation last week, at the request of the university’s board, in the wake of allegations that he and his wife, Becki, had engaged in an ongoing relationship with Giancarlo Granda, a former pool attendant at a hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. Falwell has denied that he was involved, though Granda has repeatedly said in media interviews over the past week that Falwell observed Granda’s sexual encounters with Becki.

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Latest News New York

Quitting teachers cite remote learning & Covid concerns

New York: Veteran K-12 teachers in states across the U.S. are resigning and retiring at higher rates as schools begin reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic this fall, with educators citing the stress tied to remote learning, technical difficulties and COVID-19 health concerns, reports Newsweek.

Several teachers who recently resigned, retired or opted out of their jobs say leaving their kids has been hard, but remote learning has made their jobs too difficult. One Florida teacher said she became paranoid due to the constant requirement of being live-streamed to dozens of students throughout all hours of the day. And an Arizona high school science teacher said he resigned from a job he loves after his district voted to return students to in-person classroom learning—creating a health risk he and many other teachers say they aren’t willing to take.

In New York State, teacher retirements are up 20 percent from 2019, according to data from the New York State Teacher Retirement System. About 650 teachers filed for retirement between July and early August alone.

A number of K-12 teachers said much of the joy they received from personal interaction with students has been undermined or eliminated altogether by teaching through a computer screen rather than a classroom.

“I had to consider the health of my family. I am a science teacher. We gather evidence and we make decisions. If there is competing data, we look at both and weigh them,” Kevin Fairhurst, who resigned from his teaching position at Arizona’s Queen Creek Unified School District on August 13, told Healthline. “The data from the experts in our health field suggested we should not yet be teaching in person because of the potential for this to cause more outbreaks.”

Fairhurst is among nine of 17 science teachers at two of the district’s high schools who have quit in the past few months. Students and teachers at school districts around the country receive daily temperature checks and are required to wear masks—even on recess playgrounds—as administrators are aiming to eliminate the chance of spreading COVID-19.

A St. Petersburg, Florida, teacher of five years, Jessica Smith, put in her resignation earlier this month over the stress and “paranoia” that comes with live-streaming to scores of students. The Thurgood Marshall Fundamental School teacher’s departure comes amid 90 other teachers retiring from public schools in Pinellas County, where St. Petersburg is located, through the Deferred Retirement Option Program, Bay News 9 reported Monday. District records showed there were 58 retirements and 252 resignations through the state employee “DROP” program this year.

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Latest News New York

Comcast program connects low-income students to Internet at home

Philadelphia, PAWith distance learning plans rolling out across the country due to the coronavirus, Comcast has announced a new program for cities, schools, and nonprofits to connect large numbers of low-income K-12 students to the Internet at home. The “Internet Essentials Partnership Program” is designed to help accelerate Internet adoption at a critical time. Internet Essentials is the nation’s largest l low-income Internet adoption program and has connected millions to the Internet. It offers households low-cost, broadband Internet service for $9.95/month, and the option to purchase a heavily subsidized computer. Comcast’s xFi platform enables parents to control and manage their children’s WiFi connected devices.

Accelerating Internet Adoption

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Internet Essentials Partnership Program” has already collaborated with more than 70 schools across the country. The program relies on public-private partnerships and enables entire communities to work together to coordinate funding to help connect K-12 students. The program also includes two months of free Internet service for new Internet Essentials customers. Recent partnerships with schools in Chicago, Atlanta, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Portland, and Arlington, VA mean more than 200,000 students now have a greater opportunity to get connected. Visit: www.comcastcorporation.com/IEPP for more information.

“We’ve seen firsthand that low-cost Internet access is an important part of improving digital equity and creating positive opportunities for low-income students and families,” said Dana Strong, President of Xfinity Consumer Services. “Through this new partnership program, we are accelerating the efforts of cities, schools, philanthropies, nonprofits, and private citizens to collaborate and open the doors of Internet access for more families in need.”

WiFi Controls in Parents’ Hands and Keeping Families Safe Online

With so many families at home, parents and caregivers need controls to manage their home WiFi connection and their children’s devices. So, Comcast is providing all Internet Essentials customers free access to xFi, which is a simple, digital dashboard that enables customers to set up and manage their home WiFi. With it, they can see what devices are connected, set safe-browsing modes so children can only access age-appropriate content, get notifications about activity on their home WiFi, and have the ability to pause devices for dinner or bedtime.

The success of Internet Essentials is due to partnerships with more than 10,000 government and elected officials, school districts, libraries, nonprofits, community-based organizations, and others. Collectively, they help to address the full range of barriers to broadband adoption.

Comcast Corporation is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky.

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