Photo: Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

The cost of a public education is increasing annually as some schools flood students and parents with fees to cover everything from alert systems and textbooks to anatomy class cadavers, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: "The cost of a free public education is on the rise, as a growing number of districts across the U.S. are charging students for registration, textbooks, the use of libraries and more," the WSJ reports.

Laws that govern school fees differ from state to state.

  • In Texas schools cannot charge fees for textbooks
  • In Indiana schools can attach a price tag to books.
  • Minnesota and Indiana permit districts to pursue legal action to collect fees that go unpaid.

By the numbers: School districts across the country brought in $6 billion in 2017 from student fees, activity costs and more, up 20% from 2002, found the WSJ. The number of schools charging fees also went up form 61% to 71%.

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Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

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Germany goes back into lockdown

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

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Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.

How overhyping became an election meddling tool

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As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.

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