redefinED roundup: de Blasio to the rescue? Vouchers increase property values and more news

MondayRoundUp_magentaAlabama: Judge Gene Reese issues a stay on his own injunction against the Alabama Accountability Act school choice program (, Montgomery Advertiser, redefinED, American Federation for Children). The decision to lift the injunction takes uncertainty away from low-income families ( Jeff Reed, public relations director for the Friedman Foundation, says school choice thrives in the state even with the lawsuit (One News Now).

Arizona: Eileen Sigmund, president of the Arizona Charter Schools Association, and Glenn Hamer, the association’s vice chairman, say charter schools provide some of the best education in the state and are still looking to improve (Arizona Republic).

Connecticut: Education leaders in Bridgeport drop the idea of suing the state over approving six charter schools in the area after the city attorney says the district has no basis for a lawsuit (Stamford Advocate).

Delaware: Lawmakers debate education savings accounts (, Choice Media, Education Week). The News Journal editorial board supports school choice if parents pick charter schools but not if parents want vouchers or education savings accounts to choose private schools.

Florida: The Florida PTA, state teachers union and Florida NAACP urge the governor to veto a school choice bill that includes expansion of tax credit scholarships (the scholarship program is administered by Step Up For Students, which co-hosts this blog). (Tampa Bay Times, Orlando Sentinel).

Idaho: Terry Ryan, president of the Idaho Charter School Association, says over 19,000 children attend charter schools in the state, making support for it a winning proposition for elected Republicans (Idaho Education News).

Louisiana: The Recovery School District and New Orleans schools see achievement growth and include some of the top-performing schools in the state (Hechinger Report). Charter schools with strict discipline may not be as bad as critics claim (The Advocate).

Maine: Julie McDonald, a columnist for The Forecaster, wonders why state Democrats are trying to stop charter schools, which are popular with the public.

Missouri: A St. Louis-area Catholic school will convert to a public charter school (Education Week). The Normandy School District wants to prevent students from transferring out by resetting the district’s accreditation status (St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

New York: New state law will make it very difficult for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to limit charter school co-locations (Chalkbeat). Success Academies plans to open up 14 more charter schools in New York City (New York Daily News, Wall Street Journal). Catholic leaders make a last-minute push to pass tax credit scholarships (New York Daily News, The Buffalo News, The Buffalo NewsEducation Week, WIVB 4). The New York Daily News editorial board supports Cardinal Dolan’s efforts to create tax-credit scholarships. Education tax credits will be a tough sell in Albany with less than two weeks left in the legislative session (The Chronicle). Will private Jewish pre-k schools be required to become secular to participate in a publicly funded pre-k program (City & State)? Mayor de Blasio’s support for private religious pre-k schools angers his most liberal allies (New York Daily News). Could de Blasio be the one to save religious private schools (New York Post)?

North Carolina: WECT information requests revealed that three charter schools paid out a total of $171,200 in bonuses. The editorial board of the Daily Journal says charter school budgets and teacher evaluations should be public record. An amendment to eliminate the $10 million voucher program fails 43-71 (WRAL, Charlotte Observer).

North Dakota: The Grand Forks Herald editorial board believes school choice hasn’t come to the state because voting public believe they are already getting good value for their tax dollars.

Ohio: The FBI is investigating a company that operates several charter schools (Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal). Democrats criticize for-profit charter schools (Toledo Blade). A former charter school trustee says charter schools are high-performing public schools that also save the state money ( Guido H. Stempel III, a professor emeritus at Ohio University, says it is unfair to give charter schools local district support taxes because the schools have private boards, meetings and budgets (Athens Ohio Today).

Pennsylvania: Charter school supporters oppose a plan that fixes over-payments for special needs education because the plan has a “holds harmless” provision for public schools but not for charter schools (Penn Live). A dad writes about homeschooling his boys (Philadelphia Inquirer).

South Carolina: Gov. Nikki Haley’s education plan includes expanding charter schools (Cola Daily).

Tennessee: School board candidates debate charter school expansions (Nashville Public Radio). A candidate for the school board sends says “zoned” public schools don’t work well for every child, which is why she supports charter schools and sends some of her children to private schools (The Tennessean).

Vermont: A new study shows people are willing to pay more in towns with school choice (Vermont Public Radio).

Wisconsin: Joshua Cowen, an education professor at Michigan State University, says voucher schools in Milwaukee improved when required to disclose standardized test scores of voucher students (Fox 47). School choice advocates accuse the state Department of Public Instruction of being “lapdogs” for the Obama administration’s “overreach” into private school education (Watchdog).

Nation: Mike McShane, an education fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says carrots are better than sticks for school choice regulation (redefinED). Jason Bedrick, an education policy analyst at the Cato Institute, says education excellence can’t be imposed from above (redefinED). Patricia Levesque, executive director of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, says education customization is the way of the future for K-12 education (redefinED). Chad Aldis, the Fordham Institute’s Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy, says good regulations can make the school choice marketplace better (redefinED). Robin Lake, director of the Center on Reinventing Education, says market-based reforms are good but there should be more regulatory accountability for disadvantaged students (redefinED).

Education Next asks three education experts if regulators should impose special needs student quotas on charter schools (redefinED). Education Week looks at two different adequacy lawsuits in California and Florida.  Support for teacher unions falls as the public and more elected Democrats support school choice and education reform (Politico).

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, a major charter school and school choice supporter, is defeated in a primary (Education Week). Deborah Simmons, a Washington Times columnist, says Cantor’s defeat shouldn’t discourage continued education reform. The FBI raids 19 charter schools in 3 states during an investigation into “white collar” crimes (World Bulletin). Matt Di Carlo of the Albert Shanker Institute discusses the impacts of extended learning time in charter schools.

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BY reimaginED staff