redefinED roundup: School choice expansion in Pennsylvania, charter school initiative in Washington and more

Pennsylvania: A budget deal expands the state’s existing tax credit scholarship program and creates a new one aimed at helping students in struggling schools. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Washington: Bill Gates chips in $1 million for a ballot initiative to bring charter schools to one of the last states without any. (Associated Press) It appears supporters gathered enough signatures to get the initiative on the ballot. (Associated Press)

Florida: Former Gov. Jeb Bush endorses a local school board member who openly supports vouchers, tax credit scholarships and other forms of expanded school choice. (Tampa Bay Times) The incoming state House speaker also backs the board member. (Tampa Bay Times)

New Jersey: The state-appointed superintendent in Newark overrules a local advisory board and moves ahead with plans to lease empty buildings to charter schools. (NJ Spotlight)

Louisiana: State Superintendent John White continues to face criticism for his handling of a questionable private school that is seeking to participate in the state’s new voucher program. (New Orleans Times Picayune) A state lawmaker now says she regrets voting for the program because she fears it will promote Islam. (Huffington Post)

California: The teachers union at Green Dot charter schools pushes for performance pay and evaluations tied to test scores. (Contra Costa Times)

Tennessee: A charter school operator vows to appeal to the state after a local school board rejects its plan to open charter schools in wealthy West Nashville. (The Tennessean)

Oklahoma: Online learning is growing more popular in Oklahoma, with supporters seeing it as an equalizer between districts that are big and small, rural and urban. (Tulsa World)

(Image from businessweek.com)