Arizona: A former school teacher criticizes the state superintendent of public instruction for his support of Common Core and school choice (East Valley Tribune). The Sierra Vista Herald editorial board says the state superintendent’s support of ESAs hurts public schools. Applications for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts doubles (Heartlander). The Arizona Republic editorial board opposes allowing public funding to go to private schools, especially now that the state support for ESAs exceeds the state support for public schools (note: the editorial board’s calculation excludes local support for public schools). A consultant at a scholarship organization is indicted for stealing $529,000 in scholarship money (Arizona Republic).
California: Vanila Singh, a professor and physician at Stanford University and congressional candidate, says school choice is the key to student success (Mercury News). The California Charter Schools Association has sued the West Contra Costa School District for withholding tax revenue intended to fund charter schools (Contra Costa Times). Charter schools struggle with online assessments (FSRN Radio).
D.C.: Two charter schools allegedly under federal investigation for possible discrimination say they have never received a complaint from a student or parent (Washington Post). President Obama sends his daughters to Sidwell Friends, an elite private school that refuses to release information on student course completion and graduation rates (Washington Post).
Florida: The tax-credit scholarship expansion will allow the program to serve higher-income families (Education Week, Tampa Tribune, WJHG TV). More low-income families will benefit from the tax-credit scholarship program if the Governor signs the bill into law (Florida Times-Union). The state passes the nation’s second education savings account program (Foundation for Excellence in Education). Daphne Cambell (D-Miami-Dade) says she voted to expand the program because giving poor kids more options is the right thing to do (Miami Herald). The Tampa Tribune editorial board says the scholarship expansion is justified because every student deserves to find a school that works well for them. Brian Tilson, owner of a communications firm in Boca Raton, says the scholarships are unpopular and are hurting public schools (Gainesville Sun). Ron Matus, the editor of redefinED, says more progressive Democrats support parental choice (Gainesville Sun). The scholarship program helps families afford Jewish day schools (Chabad News). State Impact talks with Sen. John Legg about the legislative session including the passage of the scholarship bill. Marc Yacht, a retired physician, say charter schools should be more regulated and held to the same standards and rules as traditional public schools (Sun Sentinel).
Georgia: The Southern Education Foundation helps file a suit to overturn the state’s tax-credit scholarship program (Watchdog). A former reporter sends her daughter to a charter school and says each school is so different it is difficult to compare them to each other let alone public schools, and that is a good thing (Atlanta Journal Constitution).