Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists


  • A student stands in front of a row of lockers with their back to the camera. The student is reaching into an open locker. There are materials like notebooks on the floor in front of the lockers.
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    Jon Cherry via Getty Images
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    How lockerless schools are shaping building design

    As locker popularity wanes, schools are removing them and finding other uses for the spaces; educators and parents note an end of an era.

    Kara Arundel • Feb. 20, 2024
  • A cooler full of various brands of milk in half-pint containers.
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    Lindsey Shuey/The Republican-Herald via AP

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    School milk carton shortage may last through school year, but brandless packaging brings relief

    Manufacturer Pactiv Evergreen said it’s producing half-pint cartons at maximum capacity as a supply chain disruption still challenges dairies and schools.

    Katie Pyzyk • Jan. 16, 2024
  • An adult stands behind a podium near the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. To the adult's right, there is a large photo of a child. People are standing behind  the adult.
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    Win McNamee via Getty Images
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    Another record high: Counting school shootings in 2023

    Varying — and in some cases lacking — definitions and data make the issue hard to track, as experts continue to pursue solutions for both prevention and recovery.

    Naaz Modan and Kara Arundel • Dec. 20, 2023
  • Students hold protest signs
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    Permission granted by Ani Chaglasian
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    Duties Deferred: The price students pay when schools pass the buck on Title IX

    Case records document a pattern of schools deferring to law enforcement and other outside agencies — and failing to protect students in sexual assault and harassment cases in the process.

    Naaz Modan and Julia Himmel • Dec. 13, 2023
  • College students climb up the stairs to a campus building.
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    Vladimir Vladimirov via Getty Images
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    Why more colleges are adopting direct admissions

    The practice — which notifies students that they’re admitted before they even apply — is taking off at public systems and some private institutions.

    Lilah Burke • Dec. 12, 2023
  • An adults stands in a school hallway talking to a student. Other students are passing by in the hallway
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    Kara Arundel/K-12 Dive, data from https://stmdc.org/
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    ‘Opportunity’ knocked — and stayed: Successes and flaws of DC’s private school voucher program

    While some credit the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program as a "lifeline" for thousands of low-income students, others are pushing for its demise.

    Kara Arundel, Shaun Lucas and Julia Himmel • Nov. 21, 2023
  • Two adults stand, facing each other outside. In the background is the dome of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
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    Tom Williams/Roll Call/Newscom

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    ‘Opportunity’ knocked — and stayed: Two decades of private school vouchers in the nation’s capital

    As private school choice programs increase across the U.S., the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program gets credit, and blame, for leading the way.

    Kara Arundel, Shaun Lucas and Julia Himmel • Nov. 20, 2023
  • A group of students outside in a school yard.
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    Jae C. Hong/AP

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    Equity in IDEA: Finding solutions to racial disproportionality in special ed

    Efforts to remedy overrepresentation of students with disabilities takes time and collaboration with general education, experts say.

    Kara Arundel, Shaun Lucas and Julia Himmel • Aug. 1, 2023
  • A yellow school bus with "mt diablo unified school district" written on the side.
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    Smith Collection/Gado/Sipa/AP

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    Equity in IDEA: Why racial disparities are increasing in special ed programs

    A nearly 100% increase in the number of districts identified as significantly disproportionate is causing school leaders to examine data and practices.

    Kara Arundel, Shaun Lucas and Julia Himmel • July 31, 2023
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    Vitalii Pasichnyk/Getty via Getty Images
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    MOVEit mass exploit timeline: How the file-transfer service attacks entangled victims

    The slow-moving disaster has ensnared some of the world's largest enterprises. Cybersecurity experts expect further damage to come.

    Matt Kapko • July 18, 2023
  • A row of six teenagers are sitting on a outdoor bench. Most are looking down at cellphones in their hands.
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    LeoPatrizi via Getty Images
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    ‘Wave’ of litigation expected as schools fight social media companies

    Districts are joining a complaint against Meta, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube, but some doubt the firms can be blamed for teens’ mental health struggles.

    Kara Arundel • June 1, 2023
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    Permission granted by Martin Romine
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    K-12 anticipates a summer of school construction

    As schools plan for a surge of ESSER-supported upgrades over summer break, many administrators remain concerned about spending deadlines.

    Kara Arundel • May 10, 2023
  • Students walk through an AI gun detection monitoring system at Fayetteville High School in Georgia.
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    Permission granted by Evolv
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    Districts turn to AI to keep guns out of schools

    With school shootings on the rise, some educators seek solutions in artificial intelligence as others urge caution.

    Kara Arundel and Anna Merod • Feb. 15, 2023
  • A couple stands among a memorial for the children and teachers killed on May 24, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas
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    Jordan Vonderhaar / Stringer via Getty Images
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    School shootings reach unprecedented high in 2022

    There’s been an on-campus shooting ‘pretty much every single school day’ this fall, the founder of the K-12 School Shooting Database said.

    Naaz Modan and Kara Arundel • Dec. 21, 2022
  • An adult teacher is in the front of a classroom sitting in a chair reading a book and showing the young students sitting in front of the teacher on the floor the pages in the book.
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    Permission granted by Jenn Adams
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    ‘Tripledemic’ upends school operations, requires adjustments

    Administrators share strategies on how they are working to minimize sickness and missed class time.

    Kara Arundel • Dec. 19, 2022
  • A child holds a sign that read, "please let me use the girl's room."
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images
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    Star-Spangled Bans: No place for Pride in some schools after anti-LGBTQ laws spread

    Counselors, educators and students are paying the price for policies that make students feel unsafe as their mental health and lives hang in the balance.

    Naaz Modan, Jasmine Ye Han and Shaun Lucas • Nov. 17, 2022
  • A person moves a large poster that reads, "Confess when being racist; Nothing disrupts racism more than when we confess the racist ideas that we sometimes express."
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    Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images
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    Star-Spangled Bans: Anti-CRT policies lead schools to downplay race, history

    “Divisive concepts” regulations are dividing entire communities, with people and children of color caught in the middle.

    Naaz Modan, Jasmine Ye Han and Shaun Lucas • Nov. 16, 2022
  • Several students hold signs that read "protect trans kids," "we deserve to learn queer history," and "vote out book banners" in front of a brick building.
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    Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/TNS/Newscom

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    Star-Spangled Bans: How Trump’s call to preserve U.S. history energized a movement to erase it

    As classroom censorship laws spread, school cultures, climates, and even curricula are shifting at all levels of the education system.

    Naaz Modan, Jasmine Ye Han and Shaun Lucas • Nov. 15, 2022
  • A gridded wall of photos are on display.
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    Alex Wong via Getty Images
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    Fighting fentanyl: Schools tackle opioid crisis head-on

    Educators are on the front lines of the trauma facing students and families — and working to be part of the solution.

    Kara Arundel, Shaun Lucas and Jasmine Ye Han • Oct. 26, 2022
  • A group of Black elementary school children stand in line to the left of their teacher in a hallway.
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images
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    4 ways transitioning to a 4-day school week impacts districts

    Moving to a shorter week offers a variety of advantages for students and educators, but it is not without challenges.

    Elena Ferrarin • Aug. 3, 2022
  • Community members grieve after a shooting in Uvalde, Texas leaves 19 children and 2 adults dead.
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    Brandon Bell via Getty Images
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    'Waiting for the next thing': What it's like teaching after a mass shooting

    Educators are expected to teach through emotional and psychological side effects reaching far beyond communities impacted by tragedies.

    Naaz Modan • May 26, 2022
  • A young student has their back to the camera and is wearing headphones and sitting at a desk. A computer is on the desk.
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    Michael Loccisano via Getty Images
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    Remote learning special ed litigation lower than expected

    Though disruptions continue and statutes of limitations on missed services have yet to expire in some places, a lawsuit spike hasn't materialized.

    Kara Arundel • April 12, 2022
  • Miguel Cardona sits surrounded by students and others
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    The image by U.S. Department of Education is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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    As Ed Dept weighs Title IX changes, pressure mounts from growing state anti-LGBTQ measures

    Districts are caught between a rock and a hard place as they navigate conflicting state laws and federal urges to support LGBTQ students.

    Naaz Modan • April 6, 2022
  • The School District of Lee County, Florida, reintroduced peanut butter in school cafeterias in February 2022. The district uses stickers to mark items containing peanuts.
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    Permission granted by The School District of Lee County
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    How a Florida district reintroduced peanut butter after an 18-year absence

    Lee County schools work to protect students with food allergies as supply chain problems and rising food prices lead to changes in cafeteria menus.

    Kara Arundel and Anna Merod • April 4, 2022
  • student riding bus alone
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    Permission granted by All4Ed
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    Slipping through the cracks: Differing federal policies keep homeless students from getting help

    COVID-19 likely increased homelessness, but different definitions of 'homeless' continue making it difficult for districts to help families access resources.

    Naaz Modan • March 7, 2022