redefinED roundup: charters win in WA, voucher suit begins in NC, FL district denies military base charter & more

MondayRoundUp_redAlabama: Applications for the state’s new tax credit scholarship program are now open (Alabama Opportunity Scholarship FundWTVY)

Arizona: Three charter schools will be shut down for poor performance (Arizona Business Journal).

California: The L.A. metro area has the largest number of students attending charter schools in the nation (LA School Report). Charter school growth booms in L.A. and San Diego (San Diego Union Tribune).

Georgia: NPR asks “what is school choice?” (WABE). Hall County ranks No. 1 in the nation for charter school enrollment growth (Access North Georgia). Charter school enrollment grows in the state as more schools request permission to convert to charters (Atlanta Journal Constitution).

Florida: If Catholic schools were a district, they’d be the 9th largest in the state (redefinED). 80,000 students attend charter schools in Miami-Dade, making it the 6th largest (numerically) metro charter area in the nation (Miami Herald). A virtual charter school is approved to set up shop in Pinellas County (Tampa Bay Tribune). Across the bay in Hillsborough, a school board votes down a charter school request by MacDill Air Force Base (redefinED). The number of students using “opportunity scholarships” to leave poor-performing schools doubles in Duval County (Florida Times Union). Florida Virtual School offers students flexibility (Townhall.com).

Indiana: Gov. Mike Pence wants vouchers for pre-k students (Indianapolis StarGreenfield Reporter). Pence thinks charter school networks should be allowed to operate more like school districts (Courier-Journal). Public school districts will have to hold lotteries for public school choice if demand exceeds supply (Education Week). Gary ranks 5th in the nation for charter school enrollment (Post Tribune).

Louisiana: The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry is the most influential organization on education reform, according to a Brookings Institute study (Times Picayune). New Orleans has the largest percentage of students attending charter schools of any city in the nation…for 8 years in a row (Times Picayune).

Massachusetts: The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education holds a hearing today on a proposal to open the state’s first virtual school (Boston Globe).

Michigan: More students in Detroit attend charter schools than traditional public schools (Detroit Free Press).

Minnesota: One in five students in Minneapolis/St. Paul opt into charter schools (CBS).

Nevada: Charter school enrollment growth in the Silver State outpaces the growth nationally (Las Vegas Sun).

North Carolina: The Justice Center and North Carolina Educators Association sue to stop the new voucher program for low-income students (News & Observer, Winston-Salem Journal,  NBC, Gaston Gazette, Asheville Citizen TimesCato Institute). An editorial board is in favor of stopping vouchers (News & Observer). An editorial says vouchers are unconstitutional but questions how the state can improve education for the poor (Fayetteville Observer). The Institute for Justice, a civil liberties law firm, says the vouchers are on solid constitutional footing in the state (Watchdog). Seventy-one organizations file to open charter schools in 2015 (News & Observer). The state run virtual school gets bad marks on an audit (Winston Salem Journal). The state school board looks into establishing rules for virtual charter schools (News & Observer).

New Hampshire: The state Department of Revenue Administration rules that 70 percent of scholarships must go to students transferring from public to private schools (Concord Monitor).

New Jersey: The state’s public school choice enrollment cap threatens a successful alternative school (Asbury Park Press)

New York: A school board official in Rockland County says tuition tax-credit scholarships will drain money from public schools (The Journal News). Will NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio deliver for left-wing Democrats who want charter schools under union control ( Wall Street Journal)? The outgoing NYC chancellor of education urges the next administration to keep charters and school choice (Capital New York). Lawmakers in Staten Island push for tuition-tax credits for donations to public or private schools and educator expenses (Staten Island Advance).

Ohio: 31,000 students in the state use vouchers to attend private schools (State Impact).

Tennessee: The Charter School Growth Fund invests $2 million in KIPP, which plans an expansion in the Nashville Metro area (Nashville Business Journal).

Texas: Forth Worth-area charter schools grow in size and importance (KERA News). Greg Abbott is running for governor but won’t say whether vouchers will be part of his education platform (Texas Tribune, Fort Worth Business Press). National School Choice Week will make a stop in Houston (Tomball Potpourri)

Washington: A judge upholds most of the state’s charter school law but will prohibit charters from accessing state school construction funds (Education Week, Seattle Times, Seattle Times (editorial)). Some charter schools are requesting parents volunteer (10-60 hours per year) but critics say this may deter low-income families (KUOW).

Wisconsin: School choice activists are motivated and mobilized (South Milwaukee Now). School choice students appreciate their options (Journal Times).

Nation: The National Association of Public Charter Schools releases its annual report on charter school market share (National Alliance for Public Charter Schools). New Orleans leads the nation in the percentage of students attending charter schools, followed by Detroit and D.C. (Washington Post). Will Common Core negatively impact school choice (American Thinker). Valerie Strauss reports that education reform policies are being made in secret (Washington Post).

World: One of the first free schools (publicly funded private school) in Britain will be shut down due to poor performance and poor management (The Guardian, The Independent).

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