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Off the News

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Free Wi-Fi at Starbucks? About time

With the announcement that Starbucks will offer free one-click Wi-Fi Internet access in its company-owned stores nationwide, beginning July 1, there’s only one question: What took so long?

Anyone who has been to Seattle, where Starbucks was born, knows that free Wi-Fi there is as ubiquitous as the rain.

Then again, perhaps it was the move by McDonald’s to offer free Wi-Fi — along with its new line of fancy brews — that made Starbucks sit up and smell the coffee.

 

Reducing special-ed burden

The federal government is allowing two states to reduce the amount of money spent on special education, and at least one other state has requested a similar one-year waiver, Education Week reports.

Analysts are split on whether more states are likely to follow the lead of Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina in curtailing special-ed spending, which has risen at a faster rate than general education funding. But they agree that it’s highly unusual for the federal government to relax the unfunded mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and that the waivers signal recognition of the states’ dire budget conditions.

 

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