Charter schools. Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano uses the specter of for-profit charter schools to slam state lawmakers who support parent trigger: “They say tomato, I say morons.” Times columnist Bill Maxwell, meanwhile, highlights the success of Urban Prep Academies, a high-performing, all-male, all-black charter school in Chicago where, for four years in a row, every graduate was accepted into a four-year college.
The Palm Beach Post looks at lawmakers with charter school ties. The Lake Wales Charter School system is considering adding a second middle school, with the waiting list for the existing one at 360 and growing, reports the Winter Haven News Chief. The Athenian Academy charter in New Port Richey and the Pasco school district are clashing over whether the school has the right to expand, reports the Tampa Bay Times. A charter school in Miami Shores is getting better at private fundraising, reports the Miami Herald. The state’s charter school appeals commission recommends approval of a proposed Orange Park charter school twice rejected by the Clay County School Board, reports the Florida Times Union. Lawmakers should limit charter school to districts with failing schools, editorializes the St. Augustine Record.
School choice lotteries. A lot of parents in Palm Beach County are about to get bad news: They did not get their children into the district school choice they wanted. According to the Palm Beach Post, “At more than half of the choice programs, less than 1 in 3 students that applied got a seat. At four of the 185 choice programs, fewer than 1 in 10 students won a seat.”
Vouchers. The League of Women Voters asks if McKay vouchers and tax credit scholarships are constitutional in a Gainesville Sun op-ed.
Parent trigger. Former Board of Education member Julia Johnson responds to critics in this op-ed in the Tallahassee Democrat: “I don’t understand what a critic of parent empowerment meant when she recently wrote that it would use parents like “cheap napkins.’’ But I do know that low-income kids were used as a cheap paycheck and their schools were oftentimes used as a training ground for novice teachers and a depository for ineffective ones.” The Tampa Tribune writes up the debate. Pensascola News Journal columnist Shannon Nickinson doesn’t like it: “How about the state fulfilling its obligation to the public education system, rather than working to pass off that responsibility under the guise of “parental choice.”
Virtual schools. The Miami Herald writes up the bills that will expand digital education.