redefinED roundup: Vouchers in Tennessee, tax credit scholarships in Mississippi & more

Tennessee: Gov. Bill Haslam proposes a voucher that’s limited to low-income students in low-performing schools, with additional state funding for those schools to boot (KnoxNews). More from and Nashville Public Radio. Haslam reiterates that his proposal won’t affect funding for public schools ( Both supporters and opponents find details to criticize (KnoxNews). Haslam’s administration is also backing a bill that would cap enrollment at a virtual charter school run by K12 Inc, reports


Florida: At a National School Choice Week event, new Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett gives some school districts credit for expanding public options such as magnet schools and career academies (redefinED).

Louisiana: The teachers union in New Orleans asks for the names of teachers in the city’s charter schools in the hopes of organizing them (The Lens).

Arkansas: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush makes an appearance during National School Choice Week, urging lawmakers to expand charter schools and other choice options and calling education reform both the civil rights and economic issue of our time (Associated Press). More from the Arkansas Press-Gazette.

Virginia: Democratic lawmakers kill a charter school bill and snub their party’s national platform in the process ( More from the Associated Press. A bill to allow home-schoolers to play sports in public schools – a so-called “Tebow” bill – passes the House but must still clear the Senate (Associated Press).

Georgia: The state charter schools commission holds its first meeting since being revived by passage of a constitutional amendment (Atlanta Journal Constitution). More than 1,000 charter school supporters gather to celebrate the amendment’s passage (Atlanta Journal Constitution).

South Carolina: State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais says at a National School Choice Week event that he supports a legislative proposal for tax credit scholarships (

North Carolina: An expansion of charter schools brings debate about quality (Durham Herald Sun).

Mississippi: A bill backed by Gov. Phil Bryant to create a tax credit scholarship program clears the Senate education committee (Associated Press).

Texas: A charter school chief executive testifies in a trial about education funding that low state spending is hurting charters too (San Antonio Express News). The Amarillo school district joins others in supporting an anti-voucher resolution (NewsChannel 10). Gov. Rick Perry backs expansion of charter schools and a proposal for tax credit scholarships (Dallas Morning News).

Pennsylvania: State education officials reject eight statewide cyber charter school applications (Pittsburgh Post Gazette). A state official says a student exodus to charter schools is jeapordizing the Harrisburg school district’s financial future (Harrisburg Patriot News). The state’s tax credit scholarship program is providing options to more than 45,000 families (Pennsylvania Independent).

Maine: Democratic lawmakers either want to ban virtual charter schools or put a moratorium on any opening (Portland Press Herald). Democrats on the Legislature’s education committee vote to cut funding for the state’s two fledgling charter schools at the same rate as district schools (Bangor Daily News).

New Hampshire: The Institute for Justice files papers to defend the state’s new tax credit scholarship program from a legal challenge (Nashua Telegraph).

New Jersey: Most charter schools in the state are in outdated facilities, according to an analysis by charter supporters (Newark Star-Ledger).

Illinois: Thousands of charter school supporters rally for a bill that would increase charter funding (Chicago Tribune). More from the Chicago Sun Times.

Indiana: Parents in Gary sing the praises of vouchers and faith-based schools (

Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker pitches an expansion of school choice during a National School Choice Week event, but doesn’t offer details (Appleton Post Crescent). School choice expansion proposals are likely to spark another contentious debate this year (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Ohio: Gov. John Kasich’s education budget includes an expansion for charters and vouchers (Toledo Blade). More from the Columbus Dispatch and Dayton Daily News. Failed charter schools in central Ohio owe the state millions of dollars (

California: School choice puts more responsibility on parents to learn about options (San Diego Union Tribune).

Alaska: State lawmakers consider putting a constitutional amendment before voters that would create a voucher program (Associated Press).

Arizona: Lawmakers will consider a bill that requires school choice information be mailed to parents every year (Arizona Republic).

Idaho: Charter school supporters urge lawmakers to increase charter facilities funding (Associated Press).

Nevada: Education leaders call for more school choice during a National School Choice Week panel discussion, and lawmakers are set to hear proposals for vouchers, a charter expansion and a parent trigger (Las Vegas Sun).

Washington, D.C.: A new Stanford University report finds charters that start out strong stay strong and, unfortunately, charters that are low-performing remain poor (Huffington Post).

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BY reimaginED staff