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Charter Schools

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...

Charter schools outperform traditional public schools in 2018-19

More than half of Florida’s charter schools earned an A grade in 2018-19 compared to 32 percent of traditional public schools based on school grades released this morning by the Florida Department of Education. Seventy-four percent of Florida’s 658 charter schools, which serve more than 313,000 students, earned an A or B compared with 61 percent of traditional public schools. Lynn Norman-Teck, executive director of the Florida Charter School Alliance, praised the state’s charters for consistently raising the bar on public education. “The recent scores showing that charter schools outperformed district-run schools, especially in minority communities, is proof that the charter...

Charter school grad, aspiring singer hits academic high notes

She impatiently waits for the day she can spread herself thin For the day when her momma says, “You can do anything you want to if you sacrifice a bit”         -- “I.O.U.” by Mercedes Ferreira-Dias Notes bounced from an upright bass as Mercedes Ferreira-Dias strode to center stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. The spotlights were trained on her before a full house at a performance for the National YoungArts Foundation, but if the 18-year-old was nervous, it didn’t show. Nerves aren’t a struggle for Mercedes, 18, who is so academically gifted that she will enroll at...

Charter school grad thrives at FSU despite horrific past

NEW PORT RICHEY, Florida – Warrior. That’s the word inscribed on a shaft of arrows Zoe Jenkins recently had tattooed on the inside of her left arm. It perfectly describes the 19-year-old Florida State University student. “She designed it herself; it reflects the struggles she’s been through and how she’s come out on top,” said Bonnie Hansen, Zoe’s grandmother. “I’m amazed at how well she’s handled everything.” Zoe is on pace to earn a bachelor’s degree in information technology at FSU by May 2020. Her future wasn’t always so bright. She continues to struggle to heal the wounds of a horrific childhood...

This charter school answered prayers

TAMPA, Fla. -- When Tay'Shaun Holley stumbled at his neighborhood school, his mom, Crystal Fountain, enrolled him in another district school 20 miles away. But that didn't lead to solid footing either, and the complications of a single mom juggling three jobs, four kids and grueling commutes began to take its toll. Fountain prayed for help. Then, a friend called. A neat, new school was opening near Fountain’s home. A charter school. Fountain researched Collaboratory Preparatory Academy, filled out an application, scheduled a visit. Even before meeting the principal and teachers, she had a feeling: This was the one. “Honestly, I cried...
school choice

DeSantis budget cuts to impact Florida charter schools

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has vetoed just over $1.35 million in funding that would have gone to several charter schools around the state, including Academy at the Farm in Pasco County and Somerset Academy in Jefferson County. The cuts were part of the $131 million in appropriations the governor excised from the $90.9 billion budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which begins Monday. The governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment. The veto disappointed Ray Polk, principal at Academy at the Farm. The K-8 school had requested $650,000 to fund infrastructure improvements and plans to expand to begin...