redefinED roundup: School choice prospects in Mississippi, ESAs in Arizona and more

Mississippi: State lawmakers are expected to try again this year to pass charter school legislation, but some suburban Republicans continue to have concerns (Desoto Times Tribune). Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves says there’s bipartisan support for charter schools (Associated Press). More from the Memphis Commercial Appeal. At least one lawmaker is talking about the possibility of tax credit scholarships (

florida trendFlorida: Jonathan Hage, CEO of Charter Schools USA, is named Florida Trend magazine’s Floridian of the Year for 2012. A new state lawmaker works in public schools as an assistant principal, but supports publicly funded private school choice options (redefinED).

Arizona: The state’s education savings accounts program expands to include students from the lowest-performing public schools (Arizona Republic.)

Oregon: The founders of a charter school chain are accused of racketeering and money laundering and charged with scamming $17 million from the state (The Oregonian).

Washington D.C.: Charter schools in the district expel students at far higher rates than traditional public schools (Washington Post).

Indiana: Lawmakers will look at expanding the state’s voucher program during the upcoming legislative session (Associated Press).

Louisiana: The legal challenge against the state’s voucher program heads to the state supreme court (New Orleans Times Picayune).

Maine: Dozens of parents immediately apply for a new charter school in Portland (Portland Press Herald).

Tennessee: School choice supporters launch a radio ad campaign to support legislative push for vouchers (WREG).

Texas: State Sen. Dan Patrick, the education committee chair, offers a passionate argument for a legislative push to expand school choice this year (My Fox Houston).

South Carolina: A conservative state senator calls fellow lawmakers “socialists” because they do not support expanded school choice (Clinton Chronicle).

Washington: The state’s largest teachers union is looking for ways to challenge the new charter school law passed by voters in November (Seattle Times).

Massachusetts: Gov. Patrick Deval signs legislation to expand virtual schools (SouthCoast Today).

 New Hampshire: A new bill aims to remedy a charter school funding issue (Nashua Telegraph).