redefinED roundup: Charlie Crist, Marco Rubio, Tony Bennett – all eyes on Florida

Florida: Former Indiana education leader Tony Bennett is one of three finalists for the education commissioner job in Florida, with the state Board of Education scheduled to make a decision Wednesday (redefinED). U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., says in a major speech that expanding school choice is a key to revitalizing the middle class and proposes a federal tax credit scholarship (redefinED). Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist tells the Tampa Tribune he was wrong to support an expansion of vouchers (redefinED), then, in a move many expected as he positions himself for another run at governor, signs paperwork to change his party registration to Democrat (Tampa Bay Times). (Image from

Louisiana: U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan reiterates his opposition to private school vouchers during a visit to New Orleans (Fox 8 New Orleans). A district judge’s ruling on the statewide voucher program also threatens an initiative to provide students more choice by course (New Orleans Times Picayune).

Texas: School districts gear up to fight lawmakers on vouchers (Dallas Morning News). Education commissioner Michael Williams urges charter schools to better inform lawmakers about their work (Dallas Morning News).

Arkansas: A crowded education agenda for lawmakers next year is likely to include school choice proposals, including tax credit scholarships and expansion of charter schools (Arkansas Business Online).

Washington: A new parents group forms to fight the formation of charter schools in the wake of the state’s recently passed charter school ballot initiative (Seattle Times.)

North Carolina: The state board of education postpones a vote on rules that would make it tougher for virtual charter schools to open (Associated Press).

California: An appeals court overturns a ruling that potentially gave charter school operators in Los Angeles access to more classroom space (Los Angeles Times).

Connecticut: The Hartford school system gets $5 million from the Gates Foundation to strengthen its relationship with two charter school networks (Hartford Courant). The foundation distributed $25 million to seven cities nationwide (Washington Post).

Indiana: Seven more charter schools are coming to Indianapolis, more than half as many as Mayor Greg Ballard approved in his first five years (Indianapolis Business Journal).

Tennessee: High-performing district schools and charter schools in Nashville offer an opportunity for educators to learn what works, what doesn’t (The Tennessean).

New York: Black pastors in Buffalo support the conversion of low-performing schools into charter schools (Buffalo News).

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BY reimaginED staff