Florida roundup: charter schools, school spending, tax credit scholarships & more

Charter schools. In the face of low reading scores, the city of West Palm Beach takes steps to open its own charter school. South Florida Sun Sentinel. More from the Palm Beach Post. Is there room for charter schools in Jefferson County, one of Florida’s smallest (and most struggling) school districts? Tallahassee Democrat.

florida roundup logoTax credit scholarships. The program (administered by Step Up For Students, which co-hosts this blog) served 51,075 students in 2012-13, up 10,827 or almost 27 percent from 2011-12, the latest annual state report on the program shows. News Service of Florida.

Private schools. A new day school for children with autism is opening in Bradenton. Bradenton Herald.

School grades. Superintendents are right to ask for a few breaks on school grades this year. Tampa Tribune.

Common Core. Using it to stem summer learning loss. StateImpact Florida.

Jeb Bush. Mike Thomas at the EdFly Blog explains why the Foundation for Florida’s Future puts out an annual report card for lawmakers.

School spending. Lake cuts back on busing and guidance counselors, among other changes, to fill a $16.3 million deficit. Orlando Sentinel. For the first time in years, Pinellas isn’t facing big cuts. Tampa Tribune.

Schools and religion. Orlando Sentinel: “Lawyers for Orange County Public Schools did not review the Bible before it was given out to high-school students but did review atheist materials before they were distributed, school officials said Monday.”

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BY Ron Matus

Ron Matus is director for policy and public affairs at Step Up for Students and a former editor of redefinED. He joined Step Up in February 2012 after 20 years in journalism, including eight years as an education reporter with the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times). Ron can be reached at rmatus@stepupforstudents.org or (727) 451-9830. Follow him on Twitter @RonMatus1 and on facebook at facebook.com/redefinedonline.