Gov. John Kasich to Sign Cleveland Schools Bill
According to the Plain Dealer, Ohio Governor John Kasich plans to sign a bill into law today that will make sweeping changes to Cleveland’s schools. The Cleveland Plan for Transforming Schools, as the bill is known, aims to increase the number of high-performing schools in the city and eliminate low performers. The bill will allow the district to share property tax revenue with partnering public charter schools. In addition, through the yet-unformed Transformation Alliance, the city and district will have a role in setting standards and reviewing sponsors for new public charter schools in the city. School district CEO Eric Gordon called for continued cooperation between the district, city, legislators, public charter schools and the city's businesses and foundations. "When the governor signs this bill, that can't be the conclusion of this collaborative effort," Gordon said. "It's just the beginning."
Source: Plain Dealer
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North Carolina Judge Rules Virtual Charter School Can’t Open Without State Approval
According to the News & Observer, a superior court judge in Wake County, North Carolina ruled Friday that the North Carolina Virtual Academy, the state’s first online public charter school, cannot enroll students without authorization from the State Board of Education. After the state board decided last year that it needed more time to study online charter schools before approving any, the academy received initial authorization from the Cabarrus County school board. An administrative law judge ruled in May that the academy could open because the state board did not respond to its application by the March 15 deadline. The superior court judge ruled that the state board was not legally bound to respond to the application because it had already explicitly stated that virtual charter school operations were not being accepted for the 2012-2013 school year. The superior court judge also found that the administrative law judge went beyond his power in giving the academy permission to operate, because only the state board has that power.
Source: News & Observer
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Charter School Proposal Fails to Clear Pennsylvania Budget
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed a new state budget into law minutes before the fiscal year expired, leaving proposed changes to charter school law unresolved. Charter proposals in both the House and Senate would have created a commission to examine funding for charter schools, allowed charters to receive funding directly from the state and required them to undergo annual audits. Neither proposal would have allowed prospective charters to apply directly to a single statewide authorizer instead of to local school boards, as the governor had wanted. The House plan included an independent board that would oversee public charters. Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools Executive Director Bob Fayfich praised the plan, saying: “It adds both more responsibility to charters and more accountability to charters, which I think is good." At his midnight news conference, the governor said there will be more time to pass a charter school bill in the fall.
Sources: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Philadelphia Inquirer
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Opinion: Create a Single Lottery for all D.C. Schools
In Greater Greater Washington, Ken Archer proposes creating a single lottery for public charter and non-charter schools in Washington, D.C. Archer calls the current application system, which requires separate applications for each pre-K slot, public charter school seat and out-of-boundary school a “a chaotic mess that confuses parents and hurts education for students.” According to Archer, the company whose software already enables a centralized application for district application-only high schools is currently implementing a centralized application for charters and non-charters in Denver. With a centralized application, parents would be more likely to get their top choice schools, spots at competitive schools wouldn’t be locked by parents who have applied for multiple slots, principals would have better estimates of enrollment for funding purposes and data on capacity at all grades could be generated. D.C. officials are said to be interested in exploring the idea in partnership with the city’s school district and Public Charter School Board. Archer calls for the State Board of Education and a city council education committee to “help move this forward.”
Source: Greater Greater Washington
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