Indiana: Lawmakers expand state’s school voucher program to allow more children to be immediately eligible. (Associated Press). The legislature may forgive $12 million in loans to nine failing charter schools (Associated Press).
Washington, D.C. : Charter advocates make their annual plea to district officials for equitable funding (Washington Post). Malcolm E. “Mike” Peabody saw improving the city’s schools as a civil rights issue, which led him to found a powerful pro-charter advocacy group in 1996 called FOCUS -Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (Washington Post).
Florida: Florida Virtual School is already taking a hit with enrollment as lawmakers debate bill that ultimately cuts funding to the program (redefinED). More from the Orlando Business Journal and the Associated Press. Gov. Rick Scott signs the Career and Professional Education Act, what some lawmakers call the most “transformational” education bill of the 2013 legislative session (Tallahassee Democrat). The parent trigger bill moves to the Senate floor, but likely will see more drama with last-minute changes (redefinED). And the parent trigger debate continues to churn controversy, with a video said to be from a mysterious grass-roots group that turns out to be Parent Revolution (Miami Herald).
Pennsylvania: The Philadelphia school district plans to open a virtual academy to lure back students and families (Education Week). If 21 charter schools get their wish – to add 15,000 new charter students in the next five years – the Philadelphia school district could be faced with losing millions in funding (NewsWorks). And now the district says it can’t expand charters due to a $300 million budget shortfall (CBS Philly). Mother of a son with autism plans to open the Pennsylvania Autism Charter School with a goal to eventually return students to regular classroom (Express-Times).
Illinois: Parents of charter school students have formed a new group, Charter Parents United, to advocate for more equality – especially concerning public school funding (Chicago Tribune). Gov. Pat Quinn has cut off state funding to the United Neighborhood Organization, the state’s largest charter school operator, due to allegations of corruption (CBS Chicago).