It's the first day of class for thousands across the state. How does the state's School Superintendent look at the new school year?
Elizabeth Burmaster says schools need to keep the optimism and energy the first day of school brings to make sure a quality education is available to every one in the state no matter where they live.
The State Superintendent cites growing graduation rates and other gains but says there is always room for improvement especially in the area of closing the achievement gap among minority students.
Unfortunately, Burmaster says, there are more students living in poverty. The number of students enrolled in the reduced or free school lunch program has jumped thirty-one percent. And it's not just an urban issue.
One thing the superintendent says schools need as soon as possible is a state budget. School districts have a sense of apprehension she says because they don't know if allocated state aid will meet growing operational costs.