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Charter Schools

Appeals court rejects challenge to education law

Jim Saunders, News Service of Florida TALLAHASSEE --- Rejecting arguments of numerous school boards across the state, an appeals court Thursday upheld the constitutionality of a controversial 2017 law that sought to bolster charter schools. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal backed a decision by a Leon County circuit judge, who turned down arguments that the mammoth education law improperly infringed on the rights of school boards to operate their districts. The law, known in education circles by the shorthand HB 7069, was a priority of then-House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Land O’ Lakes Republican who now serves...

2019 EdNext poll: vouchers, tax credits and charter schools

Editor’s note: On Wednesday, redefinED reported on one aspect of Education Next’s latest survey of public opinion – the extent to which the public underestimates the amount of money spent on K-12 education. We continue exploring the survey today, reviewing responses related to questions about vouchers, tax credits and charter schools. Methodology This portion of the survey looked at trends in public opinion between 2016 and 2019 on four school choice policies: targeted vouchers limited to students from low-income families; universal vouchers for all families; tax credits for contributors to organizations that give scholarships to low-income families; and charter schools. The...

Jack Coons: The needy need charters

The New York Times recently managed yet another article discrediting charter schools, this one asserting they have lost their luster. This knock comes in harmony with the current kibitzing by the teachers unions, so far quite successful in persuading state legislators to limit the growing number of these competitors of our “public schools.” New York and California are among the states that have surrendered and put brakes on new charters. Whatever “luster” was intended to mean, the charter has in fact lost none of its charm for the concerned parent. I recommend a recent article in the Journal of Political...

Bellwether Education report: toward equitable access and affordability

Bellwether Education researchers recently released an interesting slide deck that shows how private schools and microschools seek to serve middle- and low-income students. Slide 10 is especially interesting, illustrating trends in American school enrollment – district, private and charter – since 1900. A deeper dive If you are attempting to read this on your phone, charter schools are indicated by the small grey area at the top right. That grey smidge is what passes for “the destruction of public education” in certain hyperbolic circles, by the way. The Bellwether chart should, in fact, make charter advocates feel daunted rather than encourage charter...

Urban Institute study: charter school impact on school segregation

While charter school opponents claim that charter schools are increasing racial segregation, a new national study from the Urban Institute finds a modest overall charter impact on student segregation. Some background District schools rely upon attendance boundaries while American housing remain largely segregated by income and race. Thus, only a minority of schools have a demographic profile matching their metropolitan area. Educators developed magnet schools in the hope that they would increase racial integration in schools. Innovators created charter schools decades later with a different aim in mind: increasing the diversity and quality of schools.  Looking deeper Charter opponents sometimes make the reckless...

Time for faith-based charter schools

The teachers unions have discovered that charter schools are enemies of the good society. Bernie Sanders is with them, warning us that these institutions are anti-democratic and must be brought to heel – that is, in reality, to the heel of the union, which insists that charter schools are essentially private and threatening to work evil among the poor in our cities. And private they are in varying degrees depending to some extent upon the terms of their particular compact. The point of the original charter concept (1971) was to aid the liberation of the low-income parent and child from subordination...

Students need more charter schools – and more than charter schools

The Hamilton Project, launched in 2006 as an economic policy initiative of the Brookings Institution, calculated the percentage of K-12 students by state with one or more charter schools operating in their zip code during the 2014-15 school year. The top 10 states: Making sense of the numbers: The Brookings access calculation is a useful but imperfect measure of choice. A charter school operating within a child’s zip code but with a long wait list is not equivalent to one with available seats, for instance. With the nation’s largest statewide charter sector, many Arizona zip codes will have multiple charter...

Siblings find safety, inspiration and second family at charter school

Editor’s note: Throughout July, redefinED is revisiting stories that shine a light on extraordinary schools. Today’s spotlight, first published in August 2018, relates how a third-grader who experienced bullying was able to thrive after enrolling in Renaissance Charter School at Tradition in Port St. Lucie. Dylan Stanton was routinely bullied at his former school. A boy in his third-grade class hit him, pushed him off benches, stole his money. Once, he rammed Dylan face-first into a fence. At the same school, another student once held a sharp metal file to the throat of his older sister Kaitlyn. Not surprisingly, they did not thrive there. But...