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News roundup: housing and education articles

14 Feb

Housing

Foreclosure settlement could help 17K Minn. homeowners

Minnesota homeowners with foreclosed houses, could get help from a settlement announced Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012.

Obama wants Congress to act on expanded home refinance plan

The Obama administration’s latest refinancing proposal could extend mortgage refinancing opportunities to millions of homeowners, but it faces plenty of opposition. The plan is intended to help qualifying borrowers refinance into lower-interest-rate loans, saving them $3,000 a year on average.

Minn. gets $280M for mortgage aid

Certain borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure could get a $2,000 refund, and banks have been ordered to speed up the notoriously slow short-sale process.

A refinance benefit allows borrowers to refinance at a lower interest rate if they are current on their mortgage and have no delinquencies in the past 12 months, are “underwater” on their mortgage (owe more than the home is worth), originated their loan prior to Jan. 1, 2009, and are paying an interest rate of at least 5.25 percent. Minnesota’s portion is valued at about $36 million.

If you might qualify for any type of relief you should contact the Attorney General or the Minnesota Commerce Dept. for more info.  Also, let your friends know about these possibilities.

Education

Bill: teacher evals overrule seniority in K-12 schools

A proposed bill in the state Legislature could drastically change how schools make staffing decisions in tough times by basing layoff on teacher evaluations. However, how to evaluate teachers have yet to be decided upon.

Area superintendents pleased to have ‘No Child’ waiver

Minnesota to be granted waiver from NCLB law

Minnesota schools excused from controversial No Child

Minnesota will be among 10 states freed from the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind law, allowing the state to move ahead with a new accountability system for schools that focuses not just on test scores but also on other measures of student growth.

Minnesota Legislature: Charter schools would gain levy funding from district under bill

The Republican-backed plan would allow local referendum dollars to follow students if they attend a charter within their district boundaries. It would take about $20 million from local school districts and transfer it to charters, which are public schools that operate outside the traditional district structure.

State integration task force adopts plan to close achievement gap

A bipartisan task force approved a plan Tuesday that begins to spell out how Minnesota schools can better spend $108 million in funds to integrate schools and close the ever-widening achievement gap. Two members of the 12-member task force voted against the plan and will be submitting separate reports to lawmakers.

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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Community news, Legislative

 

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