Charter Schools

charter schools

Gap persists on charter funding

Charter schools have become a popular choice for families seeking alternative ways to educate their children. In 2017-18, more than 7,000 charter schools in the United States enrolled nearly 3.2 million students, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year. Even though charters are public schools, they have been consistently underfunded compared to their traditional public school counterparts. A new study released this week offers a fresh look at this ongoing – and in some cases, increasing – inequity. Researchers at the University of Arkansas, led by Corey A. DeAngelis of the Cato Institute and Patrick J. Wolf of the...

Senate Education Chairman seeks to expand school choice options

The new chairman of the Florida Senate Education Committee said Tuesday he wants to focus on expanding school choice. “It is important to continue to meet the individual needs of every child,” said Sen. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah. “My continued goal is to make sure that all parents have the best options available for their child. A full menu of parental choice options should be looked at.” That menu, according to Diaz, should include expansion of education saving accounts, tax credit scholarships for low-income students, charter schools, magnet schools, online learning and vocational training. He also wants to revisit the issue of...
school choice

Hating school no more

Editor's Note: This is the second in a week-long series of posts from students and parents who've benefited from school choice. For yesterday's story, click HERE. by Ramona Ceballo No words can express how thankful we are for the McKay Scholarship. I have been a single mother of four for a long time. ln the past my son Alberto Cruz struggled with the family’s marital turmoil, as well as with a speech impediment and a form of attention deficit disorder. He went from one school to another, one counselor to another. He struggled academically and socially in class because he couldn’t find...
school security

Charter officials hope lawmakers expand access to Guardian program

Florida charter school officials struggling to comply with the state’s new campus safety mandates are hoping lawmakers can help: Expand access to the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program by requiring all county sheriffs to participate in training armed school personnel. After the Parkland shooting in February, Gov. Rick Scott signed into law legislation increasing security measures at schools. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act requires all public schools to hire a school resource officer (SRO), a sheriff’s deputy or trained employee to carry a gun on campus. However, many charter schools (which receive less in revenue than traditional...

A refuge for the most bullied

LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Last June, Kasey, 14, was walking to the bus stop, en route to an LGBTQ center, when the sign came out of nowhere. It was emblazoned with rainbow colors, in a window of the block-long building that houses a warren of doctor’s offices, a Brown Sugar Thai … and now, a new school. “Albert Einstein Academy,” it said. “LGBTQ Affirming.” For Kasey, dreading yet more bullying in a district school, the sign might as well have said, “LIFE SAVING.” The Albert Einstein Academy is a charter school. It opened in August to serve mostly LGBTQ high school students in...

Will school districts share tax increase revenues with charter schools?

As voters in eight Florida counties Tuesday approved extra taxes for public schools, charter school officials aren’t sure whether any of that money will be shared with charters. Four of the counties – Alachua, Lee, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach – made formal decisions prior to the election not to share the revenue from tax increases with charter schools. Three others – Charlotte, Hillsborough and Polk – say they intend to share some portions. The eighth county, Martin, could not be reached for comment. Charter officials say they are troubled by the decisions because they believe charters, as public schools, should also...
board of education

As he departs Florida board, Chartrand tips his hat to parental choice

In his final meeting after serving nearly eight years on the Florida Board of Education, Gary Chartrand on Thursday used the occasion to speak of parental choice. “To me, education is as important as oxygen,” said Chartrand, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott and served two terms. “A great education is not only a privilege, but a right. ... The potential to live the American dream is not just for a few, but for all. That is why we need to fight for all educational opportunities for students to reach their potential. Choice is important. The more choice we...
charter school

Against all odds, Jo’Keal Sweed found hope at a Tampa charter school

Jo’Keal Sweed has a quick mind, polite nature and gentle voice. You can’t immediately tell she’s been through hell. A senior at Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School in Tampa, Jo’Keal can’t remember ever seeing her father, although he occasionally emails her from a Michigan prison. Nor does she have any memories of her mother. She doesn’t even know if she’s alive. She was adopted as a baby, and the family soon moved from her native Flint, Michigan, to Tampa. While the weather was much warmer, life was turbulent. In Tampa, her adopted mother, along with five adopted siblings, moved often. Jo’Keal attended seven elementary...