10/14/11 Charter News Round-Up

October 14, 2011

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CDE's Head Of Charter Division Stepping Down

This week, it was announced that the head of the charter schools division at the California Department of Education, Beth Hunkapiller, will be leaving her post at the end of October. Hunkapiller, who's been at the helm of the division for only 18 months, has faced numerous challenges. For more information, read the article in EdSource Extra.

Governor Brown's Education Views Analyzed After Veto

This week, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB 547, a bill that intended to revise the state's API system, bringing attention to his views on education and testing. Several publications analyzed Brown's veto and what it means for education reform, including this editorial from the Los Angeles Times, as well as an article in the Sacramento Bee. And speaking of the Governor, it is still unclear if he will sign on to the Race ToThe Top application, which is due next week. If approved by the federal government, Race To The Top could bring in as much as $100 million to California to improve and expand early education programs. But Brown has expressed concern over commitments that could extend beyond the life of the funding. Read the Educated Guess blog for more.

Clayton Valley Conversion Next Steps

This week, the Mount Diablo School Board voted against the conversion of Clayton Valley High into a charter school without onerous conditions. Parents and leaders in favor of the conversion are now looking at next steps, but the media focused on the Board's missed opportunity to set things right. For more, read the editorials in the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune as well as stories in San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News and the Patch.com (Clayton).

Charters Look For Growth In Oakland

A Montessori charter is set to open in Oakland next school year, after the Alameda County Board of Education approved their petition. The Montessori charter had been rejected by the Oakland Unified School District, but supporters continued their efforts to bring more choices. Read more in the Oakland Tribune. Also in Oakland, the district announced plans to close a number of schools due to budgetary issues. Now, parents are requesting that one of those schools be re-opened into a charter. Read about their efforts here.

New Charters on the Horizon

Ending the week once more on a positive note, the media reported on a number of charter proposals that look promising in a number of communities. For instance, one charter in Visalia was approved by their board, as reported by the Visalia Times Delta. Further south, the Pomona and Tustin Unified School Boards are considering different charter proposals, the latter for a bilingual program. Read about both in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and the Orange County Register. And in Sacramento, a proposal in the Elk Grove area is creating buzz with parents and students. For more, read the piece in the Sacramento Bee.

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