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The Daily Churn: Wednesday

Updated — A U.S. Senate procedural vote this afternoon advanced a $26 billion budget measure that could help Colorado schools. Included in the measure is $10 billion that would be distributed nationwide to reduce teacher job cuts. (Based on Colorado’s percentage of national student enrollment, that could yield about $150 million for the state.)

Two previous efforts to create a teacher jobs fund have failed. If the bill gets final approval in the Senate later this week, House leaders said representatives will return from recess and vote on it next week.

The measure would use $16 billion to continue a program of extra federal Medicaid payments to states through next June. Gov. Bill Ritter has warned that federal failure to continue the payments might mean mid-year cuts in state aid to schools.

What’s churning:

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has issued its investigative look at for-profit colleges. The title may say it all: Undercover Testing Finds Colleges Encouraged Fraud and Engaged in Deceptive and Questionable Marketing Practices. Stocks for some for-profit schools began dropping Tuesday afternoon after the report was leaked ahead of a hearing today before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Expect school boards through this month to make the tough calls on whether to ask voters in November to approve tax increases for their cash-strapped schools. The deadline for district decisions is Sept. 3. Douglas County leaders decided last spring against a ballot question, after preliminary polling showed a slim chance of success. But Boulder Valley has informally said yes and other districts – including Fort Collins, Aspen and Durango – are considering it.

On tap today:

Supe on the bus… Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry gets back on the yellow bus this morning to kick off the first day of school in the metro district. Barry is continuing his tradition of riding the bus with students, as well as serving them breakfast, to welcome them back from the summer off.

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