redefinED roundup: Vouchers in Louisiana, charters in New Mexico, virtual ed in Virginia & more

Louisiana: Supreme Court rules that the funding method for the state’s expanded voucher program is unconstitutional (The Advocate). Gov. Bobby Jindal calls the ruling a victory because it didn’t dissolve the overall voucher program (The Times-Picayune). More from the Washington Post and Education Week.

MondayRoundUpNorth Carolina: The Senate approves a bill that creates a charter school oversight board (Associated Press). Another bill aims to provide funding for school innovation programs that link schools and districts with businesses, community colleges and universities (News &  Observer). A low-performing charter school pays its top administrator $187,000 a year and his wife, $120,000 (WCNC). Researcher finds charter schools are more racially segregated than public schools (WCNC).

Washington, D.C.: Demand for charter school seats seems to be highest for early-childhood programs and for schools rated high-performing (Washington Post). Education Chancellor Kaya Henderson introduces a new hybrid school that calls for a charter school to run a traditional school (Washington Post).

Oklahoma: Congressman Tom Cole introduces legislation to allow homeschool families a tax deduction for certain expenses (Associated Press).

South Carolina: The state receives 18 charter school applications for the 2014-15 school year (The State).

Florida: Private schools that accept tax credit scholarships look to improve parent engagement (redefinED). Digital learning bill calls for study of course-choice options (redefinED). Legislators approve bill that allows online learning companies better access to public funding (Miami Herald).

Maine: The state Education Committee tabled a proposal to change the way charter schools are funded (Bangor Daily News). More from Portland Press Herald. The Maine Charter School Commission approves three more charter school contracts (Bangor Daily News). Gov. Paul LePage’s school choice bill calls for some religious schools to be partly funded by the public (Kennebec Journal).

Massachusetts: Charter school advocates want school cap removed (Boston Globe).

Texas: Lawmakers’ plan to expand virtual education could stall due to costs (Education News). More from The Dallas Morning News. Sen. Dan Patrick vows during a rally that his charter school plan will pass (Associated Press). Raise Your Hand Texas flexes its muscle in school choice policy decisions (The New York Times). More from The Texas Tribune.

Georgia: Atlanta Superintendent Erroll Davis says he will return $3 million to charters to fund legacy teacher pension (WSBTV).

Nebraska: Lawmakers try to resurrect discussion on creating charter schools in Omaha (Associated Press).

New Mexico: Santa Fe’s public school leaders move ahead with a plan for charter school performance compacts that provide greater transparency and set clear goals (The New Mexican). A local investigation finds that with charter schools leasing public school buildings, taxpayers are footing the rent bill for school buildings they already own (Eyewitness News 4). Taos charter schools celebrate National Charter Schools Week by touting their programs (Taos News).

Illinois: A school choice rally organized by Charter Parents United brings more than 7,000 people together to support privately-run charter schools (Chicago Tribune).

California: About  150 charter school leaders and parents turn out for the California Charter Schools Association’s Advocacy Day (Fox 40).

Indiana: Gov. Mike Pence expands the state’s voucher program, signing off on a bill that opens the program to siblings of current
voucher students and children living in the districts of failing public schools (Associated Press). More from The Indianapolis Star.

Utah: Virtual school Utah Connects Academy partners with two other online schools to hold their first prom (Standard-Examiner).

Delaware: An estimated 1,000 charter advocates, parents and  students gathered for a rally to celebrate National Charter Schools Week (WDDE).

Pennsylvania: For the past three years, 100 percent of the seniors at Urban Pathways Charter Schools have graduated and been accepted into mostly four-year colleges and universities (New Pittsburgh Courier).

Arkansas: Questions surround a new state school choice law that removes race as a factor in student transfers, but exempts school districts under desegregation orders (Log Cabin Democrat).

Virginia: The state’s first and largest full-time virtual school, operated by K-12 Inc., may close (The Washington Post). More from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Iowa: Homeschooling divides advocates for K-12 education reforms (Shreveport Times).

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BY Sherri Ackerman

Sherri Ackerman is the former associate editor of redefinED. She is a former correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times and reporter for The Tampa Tribune, writing about everything from cops and courts to social services and education. She grew up in Indiana and moved to Tampa as a teenager, graduating from Brandon High School and, later, from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/news editing. Sherri passed away in March 2016.