11/18/11 Charter News Round-Up

November 18, 2011

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Rocketship Schools Approved Despite Controversy

This week, the Santa Clara County Board of Education approved a handful of Rocketship charter schools, despite efforts to derail the petitions. The controversy arose when certain groups tried to equate an inapplicable court case regarding statewide benefit charters to the county efforts. Read more about that and about how the Board voted in Educated Guess and the San Jose Mercury News.

Despite Challenges, Aspire Submits Application For LAUSD's Public School Choice (PSC) Round 3

When the Public School Choice (PSC) initiative was approved by the Los Angeles Unified School Board two years ago, it was hailed across the nation as a bold education reform effort. After several changes and proposals, the PSC program has shifted, discouraging many charters from applying. For the most recent round, only one group, Aspire, submitted an application. For more, read CCSA's Statement

Budget Shortfall May Translate Into Mid-Year Cuts For Schools

As the end of the year approaches, revenue forecasts are dim for the state. This week, the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) announced yet another budget shortfall for California in the current year. That means that mid-year cuts to programs, like education, may be around the corner. The Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Times, and Educated Guess discuss what those mid-year cuts may look like, while cash-strapped districts like San Diego Unified brace for the worst, as illustrated in the San Diego Union Tribune and the Voice of San Diego. In addition, this San Jose Mercury News story explains the options many school districts are considering.

More Somber News For California's Low-Income Children

Speaking of budget shortfalls and their potential impact on education, there were some interesting, yet somber, articles concerning California's low-income children. The Sacramento Bee, for instance, featured an article that puts the number of children living in poverty in the state at two million. At the same time, the online publication EdSource Extra explains how the "income achievement gap" has surpassed the racial achievement gap, bringing to light the urgency of giving quality education choices to these populations. You can find that article here.

The Good News

This week, several publications featured great news on charter growth and expansion. The Hispanic Business Journal, for instance, posted a story on a grant the KIPP Charters were awarded by the Walton Family Foundation to expand enrollment. Click here to read more. Speaking of growth, Summit and Everest charters held an open-house this week to expand their enrollment. The schools, located in Redwood City, drew record crowds of parents and students interested in applying. Patch.com had that story. In addition, the Tri-Valley Herald wrote a story on the increasing number of charter petitions in the Livermore area, while the Orange County Register discussed the continued the journey of a bilingual charter school making its case to open next school year.

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