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Inside the Classroom

Would you be affected by proposed student loan tax changes? 5 things to know about education this week

Emily Balser
| Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, 11:36 a.m.

Have you seen the first two videos in our new “Inside the Classroom” series? If not, you can see them here and here.

It's a series of videos the TribLIVE education team is doing to show readers what students are learning and how they're learning it, highlighting innovative programs and teaching methods along the way. We're always looking for ideas, so reach out to with a class in your district you think might be a good candidate for one of these videos.

Here are five things to know about education this week:

1. SCHOOL ATTENDANCE: Pennsylvania is among seven states that require the fewest years of school attendance, according to an updated 50-state comparison by the Education Commission of the States. Students in Pennsylvania are guaranteed a free education in the state's public schools between the ages of 6 and 21; however, attendance is required only for students between the ages of 8 and 17.

2. STUDENT LOANS & TAXES: The tax deduction for student loan interest would be eliminated as part of the sweeping tax changes proposed by House Republicans last week. More than 12 million Americans deducted student loan interest on their tax returns in 2015, the most recent year available, according to Internal Revenue Service data.

3. INDEPENDENT LIVING: Pennsylvania teens and young adults with disabilities now have access to a free app designed to help them find jobs, manage their needs and get on track to living independently. Gov. Tom Wolf's administration and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania announced the app's rollout Wednesday afternoon in Downtown Pittsburgh.

4. NEW TEACHER CONTRACT: The Apollo-Ridge School District and its teachers have agreed to a new contract — and ahead of schedule. The five-year agreement, which begins Aug. 2, 2018, gives teachers annual raises that amount to 2.8 percent. It also switches the teachers to a high-deductible health insurance plan.

5. LEADERSHIP CHANGES: There were several local school board races that took place this election. Check out the list below to see the changes in leadership in your district.

Plum School Board

Greensburg Salem School Board

Norwin School Board

Greater Latrobe School Board

You can also find regional election results for the East suburbs, North Hills, Sewickley Valley, South Hills and from across Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

Follow the TribLIVE Education Team on Twitter:

• Emily Balser (Valley News Dispatch) @emilybalser

• Deb Erdley (Greensburg) @deberdley_trib

• Natasha Lindstrom (Pittsburgh) @NewsNatasha

• Jamie Martines (Greensburg) @Jamie_Martines

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4680, or on Twitter @emilybalser.

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