redefinED roundup: Vouchers in N.C., public school choice in Missouri & more

Alabama: 29 private schools are now eligible to accept scholarships and transfer students under the state’s new Alabama Accountability Act (AL.com). The Revenue Department proposed rules for the new tuition tax-credit law and it will prohibit tax-credits for students currently enrolled in private schools (Associated Press).

MondayRoundUpArizona: School children in Phoenix have lots of educational options (East Valley Tribune).

Florida: Some private schools in Florida are signing on to the Common Core standards (Education Week). Florida Virtual School eliminated 177 full-time teaching and support staff positions due to budget cuts (redefinED). Parents are picking out clothes, backpacks and school supplies but the hardest choice is where to send their kids to school (The Tampa Tribune). Florida Urban League leaders and education advocates to talk about growing school choice options during series of town hall meetings (redefinED).

Illinois: Four new public schools outside Chicago will be required to offer public school choice to students under No Child Left Behind (Daily Herald). Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) is running for governor and he plans on pushing for a school voucher, worth up to $3,800 (Alton Daily News). Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke at a conference in Chicago calling for education reforms including expanding school choice programs nationwide (KWTX.com).

Louisiana: It’s back to school time in Louisiana and parents are busy making their school choices (The Advocate). Rapid Parish school board just approved its public school transfer policy that allows students in lower-performing schools to transfer to better ones (Associated Press). A new CREDO study shows students in Louisiana charter schools average an extra 50 days of learning and reading and 65 days in math compared to their public school counterparts (CREDO Stanford).

Massachusetts: Pentucket Regional School committee is considering cutting back enrollment in its public school choice policy as it grows more popular than ever (Newbury Port News).

Missouri: A public school choice law that allows students to transfer out of poor performing school districts may leave one district bankrupt as more than 2,000 students apply to transfer (Education Week). Meanwhile, parents of children denied transfers to other public schools are looking to the ACLU and other civil-rights lawyers for advice (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). At least one parent is mad that the government will spend nearly $20,000 on their child’s public education, but won’t spend a penny for the child to attend a local, less expensive, private school (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

New Jersey: Senate candidate and Democrat Cory Booker is under attack again for supporting school choice measures, including vouchers (Huffington Post, NJ.com).

New York: A new study from Will Dobbie and Roland Fryer shows statistically significant achievement gains and college attendance rates for students attending high quality charter schools in Harlem (Princeton University).

North Carolina: The state is the 13th in the U.S. to offer a voucher program, but since it was based through the budget it will have to be renewed each year (OneNewsNow, WRAL.com).

Ohio: The state received more than 1,700 applications from students wishing to transfer to private schools under the expanded school choice program (Associated Press, Lancaster Gazette).

South Carolina: The first private schools for the state’s first school choice program have been approved to participate and accept special needs students next year (The State, SCNow.com).

Wisconsin: The state expects thousands to apply for the new school choice program that only offers 500 scholarships (Sheboygan Press). Private schools are waiting to be approved to accept school choice students, but only 25 will be selected (Fox6Now.com). Some private schools have reported scholarship applications coming from students already enrolled, prompting concern from Democrats, some of them already opposed to school choice (Leader Telegram).

National: It’s been a busy year for school choice advocates. School choice programs were enacted in Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin. School choice programs expanded in Georgia,  Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin (USA Today, Pew Charitable Trusts, Education Week). Virtual education is disrupting and changing higher education, but it continues to be resisted in K-12 education (EducationNext). Meanwhile, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush “blasts Matt Damon as a hypocrite on public education” (Washington Times).

World: Parents in Australia seeking to enroll their child in an out-of-district public school were provided incorrect information on enrollment and transfers from the Education Department for nearly nine months. Choice advocates believe the misinformation was an intentional effort to delay or stop parental choice (The Advocate).