redefinED roundup: Vouchers in N.C., voucher politics in N.J., charter school grades in Florida & more


Arkansas: The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses a lawsuit to overturn the state’s public school choice law, which will allow public school students to openly transfer to other public schools outside their district (Arkansas TimesArkansas Online).

Arizona: The state sees an upswing in school districts wanting to convert some of their traditional schools into charters (Arizona Daily Star). Charter schools in Arizona will get greater parity in funding for vocational programs (Arizona Daily Star).

Florida: Charter schools again earn A and F grades at higher rates than district schools under the state’s grading system (redefinED). A breakdown provided by the Hillsborough County School District, the eighth largest in the country, shows that in some district schools, 100 or more students have left for charters (Tampa Bay Times).

Louisiana: The U.S. 5th Circuit Court  of Appeals partially dismisses the Louisiana Department of Education’s appeal on the injunction against the state’s new education voucher program in Tangipahoa Parish (The Advocate).

Michigan: Detroit may be shrinking, but charter schools in Michigan are growing (Detroit News).

Nevada: Wait-lists for magnet, charter and private schools grow in the Silver State as demand exceeds the available options to Nevada’s public school students (Reason Magazine).

New Jersey: Gov. Chris Christie’s administration approves six new charter schools for next fall, bringing the total statewide to 87 (New Jersey Spotlight). Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan says his likely Democratic rival, Newark Mayor C0ry Booker, needs to “man up” and admit whether he is for or against school vouchers (Newsworks New Jersey).

New Hampshire: Appeals to a superior court decision prohibiting the use of tax-credit scholarships at religious schools have been filed in New Hampshire. School choice opponents think the decision didn’t go far enough and have also appealed the ruling in order to stop the program altogether (The Telegraph).

New York: Democracy Prep, a charter school in Harlem, is now one of New York City’s top performing schools (New York Daily News).

North Carolina: Lawmakers pass a budget that includes a new, statewide voucher program for low-income students (Associated Press). They also pass an expansion to a special needs school choice program that expands eligibility to more students, converts it into a voucher and increases the grant to $6,000 (WWAY TV 3, Associated PressEducation Week). (Gov. Pat McCrory later signs the budget into law.) Voucher opponents in North Carolina threaten a lawsuit to block the programs while the North Carolina Association of Educators plan to mobilize teachers to protest the budget cuts and new voucher programs (Raleigh News & ObserverCharlotte Observer).

Ohio: Ohio is a “hot spot of education options” (News Net 5News Net 5Cleveland Plain Dealer).

South Carolina: The state passes a budget with a temporary $8 million tuition-tax credit scholarship program for special needs students(Heartland News).

Washington D.C.: A review of the annual financial audits submitted by the district’s charter schools results in three being flagged for poor fiscal performance, down from 13 in the prior year. (Washington Post).

Wisconsin: New schools are applying to participate in Wisconsin’s expanded voucher program (Appleton Post-Crescent)(LaCrosse Tribune). But some private schools are opting out the first year (Superior Telegram).

National: Many charter schools across the U.S. are struggling to find affordable spaces to provide education (Education Week). A new survey from the American Federation of Teachers finds that parents prefer quality public schools over school choice (American Federation of Teachers). (For commentary on this check out redefinEDCato Institute and Heritage Foundation.) A new survey from the Black Alliance for Educational Options finds that black adults in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi overwhelmingly support school choice (Market  Wired, Education Week.)

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BY reimaginED staff