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Daily Headlines for June 16, 2011

Chartered Into Unions
American Spectator, June 16, 2011
These days, the American Federation of Teachers must be relieved that it has avoided at least some of the wrath faced by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for the suit it filed last month against New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to stop the city’s longtime practice of allowing the publicly funded, privately operated schools to share space with its traditional counterparts in the city’s massive (and often half-empty) buildings.

FROM THE STATES

ARKANSAS

Judge Jolts Little Rock
Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2011
A federal judge has halted longtime state payments intended to help integrate three Arkansas school districts, including Little Rock , site of one of the most bitter desegregation fights in U.S. history.

CALIFORNIA

Teacher Quality Must Be Job 1 of Education Reform in L.A.
Los Angeles Times, CA, June 16, 2011
A study released last week by the National Council on Teacher Quality calls attention to just how dramatically L.A. Unified is failing when it comes to recruiting, training, evaluating and compensating teachers

West Covina Charter School Gets Approval to Become Independent of District
San Gabriel Valley Tribune, CA, June 15, 2011
In a 3-2 vote Tuesday night, the West Covina Unified school board voted to let its charter school break away from the district and operate as an independent non-profit organization.

Parents Plead For More Charters Schools in San Jose
San Jose Mercury News, CA, June 15, 2011
In an emotional public hearing that contrasted different approaches to school reform, the Santa Clara County Board of Education on Wednesday heard heartfelt pleas for more high-achieving charter schools serving poor children, while local superintendents cautioned against moving too fast.

FLORIDA

Pines Finds Money For Charter Schools
Miami Herald, FL, June 15, 2011
Pembroke Pines city commissioners voted late Wednesday to adopt a budget that makes ends meet – if only in theory – for its financially strapped Pembroke Pines Charter School system.

Pasco Charter School Idea Already Has Two Backers In Florida Legislature
St. Petersburg Times, FL, June 16, 2011
A proposed charter school near Land O’Lakes can count two future state House speakers as supporters. The founder is married to Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, and Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, is one of the school’s board members.

ILLINOIS

Chicago Public Schools Board Rescinds Teacher Raises, Angers Union
Chicago Tribune, IL, June 15, 2011
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s handpicked Chicago Public Schools board drew a battle line between the new administration and the teachers union with its first official act when it voted Wednesday to rescind the 4 percent annual raise due to teachers and other school union members.

INDIANA

Voucher Act Has Phones Ringing at St. Pat’s
Tribune Star, IN, June 16, 2011
Schools anticipate rules, regulations, application forms from state by July 1

Programs Help High Schoolers Get A Jump On College
Indianapolis Star, IN, June 15, 2011
Programs help students earn enough credits for a 2-year degree before leaving high school

MINNESOTA

TiZA Takes Fight To Federal Court
Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN, June 15, 2011
With the clock ticking down to a pivotal June 30 deadline, a beleaguered metro-area charter school has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a change in state law that could force it to close.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Bill Extending Teacher Tenure Time Moves to Senate
Portsmouth Herald, NH, June 16, 2011
After days of review, House and Senate members responded to teachers’ concerns by recommending changes to a Senate bill that, as originally written, would extend the probationary period for the educators.

NEW JERSEY

New School Reform Group Comes to the Table Very Well Funded
NJ Spotlight, NJ, June 16, 2011
Better Education for Kids, or B4K, can dip into hedge fund money to help get its message across

NEW YORK

We’re Not Against Charter Schools
Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2011
In “The NAACP vs. Black Schoolchildren” by William McGurn (Main Street, June 4), Mr. McGurn avoids the troubling facts underlying the problems in New York City’s schools and instead focuses on dividing communities that need unity to resolve these issues.

High-Stakes School War
New York Post, NY, June 16, 2011
As he won control of the city’s public schools nine years ago this week, Mayor Bloomberg boldly promised: “We will not have to tolerate an incapable bureaucracy which does not respond to the needs of the students.”

OHIO

Dayton’s Top-Notch Charter
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, June 16, 2011
No one was more surprised than founder Ann Higdon when Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation selected her Dayton-based charter schools as one of the nation’s 25 most innovative government-supported programs this year.

3 Finalists Set For State Schools Superintendent
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 15, 2011
Three educators with differing backgrounds are competing to be Ohio’s next superintendent of public instruction.

PENNSYLVANIA

Will Kirkland’s Theatrics Pay Off For Ailing Schools?
Delaware County Daily Times, PA, June 16, 2011
You have to admire Thaddeus Kirkland’s flair. The Democratic state rep
who represents the city of Chester and the towns that make up the Chester Upland School District decided to hold a press conference to bemoan the $20 million state funding cut the district is facing.

Christiana Unveils Vouchers Bill
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PA, June 15, 2011
With state lawmakers have kicked budget negotiations into high-gear (now that both chambers are run by the GOP, like the gov’s office, the only word on those talks is “they’re going fine”), there may be another issue beyond a shale tax/fee aiming to get shoehorned into that budget package.

TENNESSEE

Charter Schools To Be Open To All In District
Jackson Sun, TN, June 16, 2011
Proponents of charter schools laud them as an innovative way to educate those who simply want to learn, but critics say a provision of recently passed Tennessee legislation that opens enrollment to students who aren’t in failing schools defeats the purpose of charter institutions.

WISCONSIN

Green Bay School Voucher Talk Isn’t Over, Advocates Say
Green Bay Gazette, WI, June 16, 2011
School-choice advocates say the push to bring a school voucher program to Green Bay won’t end even if the concept is removed from the state’s proposed budget.

VIRTUAL SCHOOL

Daleville Schools Sponsoring Virtual Charter School
Muncie Star Press, IN, June 16, 2011
District students will be able to take online classes at cost, including some they can’t get in school.

Virtual Charter School Opens in Choctaw-Nicoma Park
The Oklahoman, OK, June 16, 2011
The largest online education company in the nation will open a charter school in the Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District when school resumes Aug. 18.

New Online Learning Law Full of ‘Unintended Consequences’
Deseret News, UT, June 15, 2011
Legislation intended to create more options for students through online courses could actually end up limiting their choices and creating major logistical problems, according to state education and charter school officials.

Educators Wary Of New Online Education Law
Salt Lake Tribune, UT, June 15, 2011
Some education leaders worry that a new law intended to give students more opportunities to take online classes will be difficult to implement, may limit students’ educations and could hurt some schools in the long run.