Alabama: The Southern Poverty Law Center is suing to block the new school choice law under equal protections grounds (AL.com, NPR, Times Daily, US News and World Report). Essentially, they’re arguing that if you can’t help every child, you shouldn’t help any child (HT to Jason Bedrick).
Florida: Step Up for Students, which administers Florida’s education tax-credit scholarship program, received a $1 million donation from WellCare Health Plans, Inc. The contribution will fund 198 scholarships this school year (PRWeb).
Kentucky: U.S. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) appeared at an event with the Black Alliance for Education Options and Democrats for Education Reform to promote school choice and charter schools (Huffington Post, Education Week).
Louisiana: Education leaders in Baton Rouge are reviewing applications from charter schools to see who might be eligible to use some of the $16 million available for capital and start-up costs (The Advocate). The U.S. Justice Department is trying to stop vouchers from being offered in any school district still under court ordered desegregation (Associated Press, Times-Picayune, The Advocate).
Massachusetts: School choice students in the Berlin-Boylston area won’t be getting bus rides to school anymore (The Telegram).
Minnesota: Charter schools are feeling more pressure to participate in accountability rating systems (Hechinger Report).
New Jersey: Walter Farrell, a professor at UNC Chapel Hill, visits Montclair New Jersey to speak before the NAACP on the dangers of vouchers and school choice. The NAACP continues to oppose school choice around the country (Montclair Times). The school district in Upper Township is waiting on approval to participate in the state’s public school choice program. The district anticipates earning an extra $1 million a year by attracting students from neighboring districts (Upper Township Gazette).
North Carolina: Several education reforms, including school vouchers, prompt protests from opponents (Education Week). Legislative employees visited Douglas County Colorado to study the school district’s school choice program (News and Observer).
Ohio: Homeschooling offers educational choices and in Ohio, homeschoolers are getting about 2,000 hours worth of education although the state mandates just 900 (Richland Source). Charter schools receive similar A-F grades to peer public schools, though some newspapers are reporting this means charter schools failed (The Blade, Canton Rep). Ohio’s EdChoice voucher program expands this year to include low-income students regardless of whether they attend a failing school or not (Cincinnati Enquirer).
Pennsylvania: The founder of the state’s largest charter school turned himself into the FBI after being accused of funneling school money into his personal bank account (Commonwealth Confidential).
South Carolina: Gov. Nikki Haley says its time to expand school choice (WISTV). Education leaders are preparing to approve more private schools to participate in the state’s upcoming school choice program (The State).
Texas: Virtual school enrollment doubles, raising policymaker concerns about quality (The Texas Tribune).
Tennessee: The attorney for the Metro Nashville Public School District argues the state’s charter school law is unconstitutional, saying since the state allows charter schools to get both state and local support dollars, it is imposing additional cost on traditional public schools (The Tennessean).
Virginia: School choice emerges as a campaign issue as teachers unions attack Republican gubernatorial candidate for supporting charter schools and parent trigger (Public News Service).
Washington: The state’s charter school commission has finally approved the rules for operating a charter school and will solict requests for charter applications soon (Seattle PI).
Wisconsin: Voucher opponents are upset most of the voucher applicants are already enrolled in private schools, saying it is not fair for parents to pay for private tuition and for a public school at the same time (WSAU). A Republican bill to measure student performance at private schools draws concern from a school choice advocacy group, who claim the bill is vague and leaves too much power in the hands of the very state agency that opposed school choice to begin with (Wisconsin Radio Network, WPR). Meanwhile, at least one Democrat in the state wants to take that a step further and make private schools follow the same rules as public schools (Lacrosse Tribune). The 500 students selected for school vouchers and they have five days to accept or decline the offer (WSAU).
National: Two polls released just a day apart find very different opinions on school choice (Education Week, EducationNext). You can learn about how the different results occurred at redefinED and EducationNext.