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Charter Schools

school safety

Parkland Commission recommends sheriffs train school staff by law

The Marjory Stoneman High School Public Safety Commission wants lawmakers to require Florida’s sheriffs to train public school staffers to carry a gun on campus. The commission voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend the change to a guardian program that was named after the Stoneman Douglas coach, Aaron Feis, who died protecting students. The program provides law enforcement training to public school staffers, excluding teachers, who want to carry a gun on campus, but current law does not require sheriff’s offices to participate. So far, only 25 of 67 school districts are participating in the program, according to the Florida Department...
demographics

Coons: A charter with God?

In Chicago, the teachers from a system of fifteen charter schools that serve 7,000 mostly Hispanic students have gone on strike. These schools are among the few charters in the country that are unionized. Well, good luck to them all, but it is only fair to remind these folks of the essentially private and voluntary nature of these schools, and the risk that this entails. In the private sector, parents freely choose. A strike by teachers, just as a strike by widget makers, puts their own employment at risk. Their company's product has competitors all hoping to see another one...

Annual EdChoice survey: majority of teachers support school choice

More than half of current public school teachers support school vouchers and charter schools, according to EdChoice’s annual survey of Americans’ views of education. What’s more, 78 percent of those same teachers surveyed support education savings accounts (ESAs). Step Up For Students, which publishes this blog, administers Florida’s Gardiner Scholarship, the nation’s largest education savings account for students with special needs. “I think it is interesting like the general public, teachers are more supportive of ESAs than the other types of choice programs,” said Michael Shaw, coauthor of the report and research assistant at EdChoice. “It does make me believe that...
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...