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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 USA

Dr. Kuncham and Dr. Kusum Sinha reassure on safe schools opening

Hicksville, NY: As schools are scheduled to open next month, parents and community leaders are concerned about safe return of students to the classroom.  Indian American Forum, led by Indu Jaiswal, and TLCA, invited two Superintendents Dr. Kishore Kuncham and Dr. Kusum Sinha for a virtual dialogue. They gave an overview of reopening of schools plan. It was moderated by Flora Parekh and Aashmeeta Yogiraj.

With over three decades of senior-level experience in public education, community leadership and the corporate world, Dr. Kishore Kuncham is the first Indian American Superintendent in the State of NY serving Freeport School District.

Dr. Kusum Sinha, Superintendent, Garden city Schools, a doctorate in instructional leadership from St. John’s University.

As the superintendents answered questions, it led to in-depth discussions about hybrid and remote instructional models, services to special education and ENL students, equity issues, fiscal challenges, technology, and safety protocols. It was assuring to hear from the superintendents the high level preparedness and readiness on the part of the schools for the well-being of all students and staff.

Several organizations including TLCA, IDP USA, Gift of Life USA, Shanti Fund, LILC and were represented at this very important discussion to help address school  opening challenges and concerns. Various community leaders and parents – Babu Kudaravalli, President Telugu Literary Cultural Association (TLCA), Rizwan Qureshi, Nikita Bhatia, Mukesh Modi, Arvind Vora, Bakul Matalia, Gobind Munjal, Vimal Goyal, Teacher Vasundhara Surekha and several others including Board members and directors of Indian American Forum and TLCA were gratified being part of this important discussion and concluded requesting a follow-up session as things shape in coming weeks.

The event was live on social media. For more information, www.indianamericanforum.org.

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