redefinED roundup: charter school growth in N.C., legal battle in Alabama, Condoleezza Rice & more

MondayRoundUpAlabama: The state files documents to dismiss the Southern Poverty Law Center’s suit against the new school choice program (

Florida: A new private school specializing in special needs education will open in Sarasota, with the state’s McKay scholarship program funding the $11,000 to $17,000 a year tuition (Bradenton Herald). After five years of declining enrollment, Catholic schools in Palm Beach County are seeing a rebound in student enrollment (Sun-Sentinel).

Indiana: Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks at a church in Indianapolis and calls for more options for students (Indianapolis Star).

Kentucky: With nearly 10,000 students, the Catholic Diocese of Covington would be the third largest school district in northern Kentucky.  The diocese would like to see a tax-credit scholarship program for low-income students (

Louisiana: The Department of Justice’s lawsuit to block the voucher program is based on the enrollment of 570 of the 8,000 voucher students located in 22 districts under federal desegregation orders (Education Week, Washington Times, The Advocate). Gov. Bobby Jindal aired television ads slamming the anti-voucher lawsuit (Associated Press).

Maine: Three charter schools in the state claim success with their special needs student population (MPBN).

Mississippi: The state’s new charter school board will operate on 3 percent of the revenue collected from authorized charters but the board has no charter schools yet and the state didn’t appropriate a starting budget (Clarion Ledger, Fordham Institute).

North Carolina: The Charlotte area sees strong growth in charter school enrollment and has piqued the interest of more charter school operators (Charlotte Observer). Minority Democrats in the state legislature took a bold step supporting school choice, says Robert Danos, a former spokesman for the 11th District GOP (Blue Ridge Now).

Ohio: A state legislator wants to allow residents to show their support for, and help pay for, school choice through special license plates (Akron Beacon Journal Online). The mayor of Cleveland wants more local control over approving charter schools (The Plain Dealer).

Oklahoma: The state spent $1.6 million on vouchers for special needs students in 2012-13 (Tusla World). The Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce is setting up a nonprofit to help promote school choice (Tulsa World).

Tennessee: 350 students in Tullahoma pay $300 to $900 a year to enroll in the city schools outside their zoned district schools. State and county tax dollars cover the rest of the education costs for this public school choice program (Tullahoma News). Last year the Metro Nashville School Choice festival attracted 5,000 participants and the district is expecting 15,000 applications from students seeking to attend schools outside their normal zoned schools (The Tennessean).

Texas: Houston Independent School District is holding a school choice orientation to inform students of available public schools of choice (Houston Chronicle).

Washington D.C.: The D.C. school district will allow KIPP and Two Rivers charter schools to lease shuttered district school buildings (The Washington Post).

Washington: Tacoma Public Schools are showing interest in authorizing charter schools. If approved they will become the second school district in the state allowed to authorize new charter schools (The News Tribune).

Wisconsin: Republican Rep. Steve Nass takes issue with the State Journal and says money and power drive opponents of school vouchers (Wisconsin State Journal).

Nation: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush continue to criticize the U.S. Department of Justice for blocking the Louisiana voucher program (The Advocate, Politico, National Review).

World: British parents get to choose which public school their children attend, so the Guardian asks how public school teachers choose a school for their own children (The Guardian).

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BY reimaginED staff