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Daily Headlines for June 7, 2012

Jim Crow-Era Measures Used Against Vouchers
The Oklahoman, OK, June 7, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to allow low-income children and students with special needs to use federal funds to attend the school of their choice. This is the right thing to do.

FROM THE STATES

CALIFORNIA

District and BCS Butt Heads Regarding Agreement
Los Alto Crier, CA, June 6, 2012

A proposed facilities agreement between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School remained in question Monday when the Town Crier went to press.

Students vs. Status Quo
City Journal, June 6, 2012

When politics fails, reformers turn to the courts. California’s Democrat-controlled state legislature has resisted reforms that threaten teacher-union power.

CONNECTICUT

Charter Schools Get Renewals, More Seats
CT Post, CT, June 6, 2012

Two local charter schools, Bridge Academy and Achievement First Bridgeport, were among several state charter schools to win five-year renewals from the state on Wednesday.

FLORIDA

Study: Polk Underpays Teachers
The Ledger, FL, June 7, 2012

School Board members Wednesday got their first detailed look at a report that says Polk underpays its teachers and doesn’t have enough administrators. Overall staffing, however, is high in comparison with other districts of similar size, it said.

GEORGIA

Charter Schools Default on Construction Bonds
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GA, June 6, 2012

Fulton Science Academy Middle School and its two sister schools have been declared in default on an $18.9 million construction loan for failing to disclose last fall that the academy’s public school charter was in trouble, documents obtained Wednesday show.

IDAHO

New Group Files Papers To Defend Education Reform Laws
Idaho Reporter, ID, June 6, 2012

A new political committee called YES! For Idaho Education filed paperwork Wednesday with the secretary of state’s office in order to begin a campaign to defend the Students Come First education reform laws that took effect in April 2011.

ILLINOIS

Teacher Resolve Being Tested In Strike Authorization Vote
Chicago Tribune, IL, June 6, 2012

It might be several days before the Chicago Teachers Union announces the results of its strike authorization vote, but already Chicago Public Schools officials are questioning the integrity of the process.

INDIANA

‘The De-professionalization of Teaching’
Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette , IN, June 7, 2012

In 2010, after a period of intense and sometimes acrimonious public debate, the Indiana Department of Education approved a set of rule changes to the way teachers are prepared and licensed in Indiana – known as the Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability.

LOUISIANA

Panel Debates Value of Jindal School Changes
The Advocate, LA, June 7, 2012

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s far-reaching, but divisive changes to public education in Louisiana , particularly new state aid for some students in low-performing schools to attend parochial and private schools, prompted extensive and inconclusive debate at two panel discussions Wednesday morning.

MICHIGAN

Senate OKs Plan to Convert Failing Schools
Detroit Free Press, MI, June 7, 2012

The state Senate voted 20-18 on Wednesday to let parents and teachers petition to have a failing school converted to a charter school or require it to adopt one of four improvement models. The bill now goes to the House.

Making Sure Students Profit From Choice
Tri-City Times, MI, June 6, 2012

Is it okay to treat our education system more like an enterprise as long as our children can profit? Outcomes from such an arrangement will determine if Michigan citizens are okay with Lansing’s influence in the classroom.

MINNESOTA

Education Reform That Wasn’t
Bemidji Pioneer, MN, June 7, 2012

With the stroke of Gov. Mark Dayton’s red veto pen, the Minnesota House Republicans’ sweeping education reform measure fell by the wayside during the recently concluded legislative session. Had it passed, it could have put Minnesota on a path similar to that taken by Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin .

MISSOURI

Missouri School Funding Fix Is No Cure-All
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MO, June 7, 2012

State education officials are hoping that a temporary fix to the state’s beleaguered school funding formula will defuse an explosive battle — and possible legal dispute — among the state’s more than 500 school districts.

NEW YORK

City, UFT in Talks to Replace Arbitrators
Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2012

New York City and its teachers union are in discussions to replace a number of arbitrators who quit over a pay dispute, in hopes of avoiding delays in teacher firing cases.

When Public Schools Rely on Parents’ Largess
New York Times, NY, June 7, 2012

Re “Way Beyond Bake Sales: $1 Million PTAs” (news article, June 3), about the large sums raised by parents at some public schools:

Charter Parents Fire A Warning At Mayorals
New York Post, NY, June 7, 2012

Thousands of charter- school parents and supporters descended on City Hall yesterday to warn mayoral hopefuls who are tight with the teachers union not to ignore charter schools and their positive impact on kids.

Hearing Held Over Charter School Change
YNN, NY, June 7, 2012

The debate over charter schools is re-ignited in Ithaca. New Roots Charter School opened three years ago, but administrators are looking for a revision to its charter. At a hearing Wednesday, parents, teachers, community members and many of the students gathered to express their opinions on the change.

NORTH CAROLINA

In Education, GOP Robbing Peter To Enrich Paul
The Daily Advance, NC, June 6, 2012

Both the tax diversion plan and the online charter school should be defeated. The scholarship program expands private school education at the expense of public education. Virtual charter schools operated by for-profit businesses also would bleed precious resources from public education.

OHIO

School Districts Can’t Shut Charters Out When Selling Buildings, Court Rules
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 7, 2012

In a victory for charter schools, the Ohio Supreme Court yesterday upheld a state law giving them first dibs when public schools sell buildings. Cincinnati public schools violated state law when they sold a vacant school in 2009 but included a deed restriction barring its use as a school, the high court ruled.

State Kills Off Tutoring Program
Columbus Dispatch, OH, June 7, 2012

A beleaguered tutoring program for students in struggling schools won’t be back next school year.

PENNSYLVANIA

Commonwealth Court Rules On Charter School Enrollment Cap
Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, June 7, 2012

The Philadelphia School District has lost another legal battle over capping charter school enrollment.

Going Over the Finances for Charter Schools
Daily Review, PA, June 7, 2012

Public charter schools have grown exponentially in Pennsylvania because parents want educational choices that best suit their children.

Diversity and Choice in Schools Necessary
The Morning Call, PA, June 6, 2012

Public school districts must pay for each student attending charter and cyber schools, and there are competing proposals to deal with that growing burden. One, favored by school boards and teachers unions, involves more restrictive controls. Another approach, favored by charter schools and the state Department of Education, calls for a state commission to first study the funding issue. Which approach is better?

TENNESSEE

Great Hearts Revives Charter School Bid
The Tennessean, TN, June 7, 2012

Great Hearts Academy, the Arizona-based charter school chain that had its application to bring five new schools to Nashville unanimously rejected by the school board last week, plans to appeal the decision, according to an email sent by its CEO to supporters on Tuesday.

School Board Wants Input On Future Of Old Knoxville High
Knoxville News Sentinel, TN, June 7, 2012

The Knox County school board has decided to move forward in gauging community interest in selling Historic Knoxville High School .

VIRGINIA

Hampton Reviews Updated Teacher Evaluation System For 2012-13
Daily Press, VA, June 7, 2012

A revised teacher evaluation system that will take effect next school year was reviewed by the Hampton School Board Wednesday.

ONLINE SCHOOLS

Opposition to Online Charters Heats Up State BOE Meeting
New Jersey Spotlight, NJ, June 7, 2012

The State Board of Education yesterday got an earful on the Christie administration’s push for charter schools and other so-called innovations, both pro and con, some quite public and some a bit quieter.

North Carolina School Districts Opposing Online Charter School
News & Observer, NC, June 6, 2012

Wake County, are joining the State Board of Education’s effort to prevent the opening of an online charter school that could divert more than $34 million a year in taxpayer dollars away from traditional public schools.