A Recap of This Week’s Top News – January 12, 2024

Changes to policy, scientific discovery, and expert recommendations and opinions all have the power to rapidly influence the landscape of a sector. Whether you’re a leader at a non-profit, a member of a university’s marketing department, or a stakeholder for a public health agency, being informed about the latest industry happenings can be the difference between exceeding and falling short of organizational goals. At Hager Sharp, our experts vigorously scan media coverage to identify areas of opportunity. And now, with the introduction of the Sharp Round-Up, you too can review what we consider to be some of the top news of the week.

Below you will find a compilation of news spanning the health and education, labor, and economy sectors. This list includes mainstream, DC-focused, and trade publication coverage from Saturday, January 6, to Friday, January 12. Let these clips serve as a resource when developing thoughtful strategies and use them to further foster organizational innovation and adaptability.

Here’s what you need to know.

Education News:

  • Thousands of public schools across the country risk closing or merging with nearby schools due to a decrease in student enrollment, according to a recent story by The 74. The decline in student enrollment, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is “projected to continue throughout the decade,” said the article.
  • A 2023 Florida state law concerning removing books with mentions of “sexual conduct” led to the removal and investigation of dictionaries and reference books from a Florida school district, according to an article by the Washington Post.

Health News:

  • Taxes targeting sugary drinks helped decrease sales of those drinks, according to a recent article by NPR. According to the article, as prices for sugary drinks increased, purchases decreased proportionally. Sugary beverages make up one-fourth of the added sugar in adults’ diets, and too much sugar is associated with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other diet-related diseases.
  • According to a recent article by ABC News, public schools in America lack access to running water for drinking due to the presence of lead. While some schools provide bottled water to students, regulation and enforcement of change is hard to track, especially as there isn’t a federal law that requires schools to test their water for lead.
  • A new study found that plastic water bottles could contain “10 to 100 times more bits of plastic than previous estimated,” according to an article by CNN. The study reaffirms health experts’ recommendations to drink tap water from glass or stainless-steel containers to avoid ingesting plastic particles.


  • An opinion article from STAT News criticizes the wealth of health data available through fitness trackers, health apps, and smart scales. The author advises that consumers turn their focus away from health data and towards listening to how their body is managing sleep, food, and exercise in real time.