California: A parents group in Los Angeles is using the state’s landmark parent trigger law to force the school district to reform a low-performing school. (Los Angeles Times). More from the Associated Press and Education Week. A national report finds the state continues to lead the nation in charter school growth, despite funding disparities and access to facilities (Huffington Post). Oakland district officials say the American Indian Model Schools, a charter network touted for its academic successes, suffers from “corrupt fiscal practices” and should be shut down (Oakland Tribune).
Michigan: A new report finds the typical Michigan charter school student school gained more learning in a year than a district school peer, amounting to about an additional two months of reading and math learning (The Detroit News).
Texas: Key state lawmakers are looking at the franchise tax on businesses as a vehicle to fund private-school scholarships for low-income students (Austin Business Journal). Critics of a proposed voucher program say all it will strip the public school system of funding and state leaders should instead restore $5.4 billion cut from education in 2011 (KUT News). Similar arguments in stories from KX11.com and the Associated Press.
Florida: Magnet schools continue to grow on the school choice landscape (redefinED). A new bill would require emergency response agencies to notify private schools just like they do public schools (redefinED). In response to the Newtown tragedy, private schools and charter schools are considering additional security measures too (redefinED).
Georgia: Tax credit scholarships are used at private schools that bar gay students (New York Times).
Massachusetts: New legislation seeks to end the state’s cap on charter schools (Boston Globe). District officials offer a mixed reaction to a new law that opens the door for virtual schools (Boston.com).
Illinois: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago will seek support for a voucher program in the state Legislature (Chicago Tribune).
Indiana: A voucher expansion is high on the legislative list for new Gov. Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers (Associated Press).
Wisconsin: Two Republican senators threaten to oppose any plan to expand voucher program unless residents get to vote first (Associated Press).
Pennsylvania: To counter the growth of charter schools, western Pennsylvania school districts are turning to advertising and marketing (Pittsburgh Post Gazette).
Louisiana: The state education board passes new rules that allow successful charter networks like FirstLine and KIPP to open up to two new schools without applying for new charters (New Orleans Times Picayune). A federal appeals court rules that the state can continue its voucher program in the Tangipahoa school district despite district concerns that it complicates a desegregation order (Tangilena.com).
Tennessee: The governor wants a limited voucher program for the state’s poorest-performing schools (Knoxville News Sentinel). The state charter school association is pushing for independent authorizers, a move that would take away public school districts’ authority to approve and oversee charters (The Commercial Appeal).
North Carolina: The Durham school board adopts a vision statement that calls for more cooperation between traditional public schools and charter schools (Durham News). Nearly 30 new charter schools could open in the Triangle area next year (Raleigh News & Observer).
Mississippi: The state senate passes a charter school bill for the second year in a row (Natchez Democrat). Two Democrats are among those voting in favor (Jackson Clarion Ledger). Virtual charters won’t result in a solid education for students, says one senator, who has filed a bill to prevent such schools (Jackson Clarion Ledger).
Maryland: The CEO of Baltimore city schools tells the school board it needs to shut down six “schools of choice” that aren’t performing well, sending a message that these new approaches may sound good, but unless they help Baltimore students become academically successful, they will not last (Baltimore Sun).
New Hampshire. The state education board continues a moratorium on new charter schools (Concord Monitor).
Utah: The Center for Education Reform gives the state a B for its charter school laws (Associated Press).