News & Notes:  

Our View: Charter school bill would burden taxpayers

Nov30

A bill co-sponsored by Republican state Republican Sens. Pat Vance and Rick Alloway, purporting to reform the funding and administration of Pennsylvania’s burgeoning charter and cyber-charter school industry, only further shackles home owners and school districts to property tax purgatory.   Read more at: http://cumberlink.com/news/opinion/editorial/our-view-charter-school-bill-would-burden-taxpayers/article_70e7375e-5a0a-11e3-9f69-0019bb2963f4.html More »

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Councilman Green among top picks to lead SRC

Nov30

City Councilman Bill Green and former Convention Center head Al Mezzaroba are Gov. Corbett’s top choices to lead the School Reform Commission, multiple sources say.   Read more at: http://articles.philly.com/2013-11-30/news/44577180_1_councilman-green-district-finances-charters More »

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LETTER: Our family thankful for online charter school

Nov28

This is the time of year when we sit around the table with our families and give thanks. One thing on my list is having the opportunity to choose the right education for my family.   Read more at: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/11/letter_our_family_thankful_for.html#incart_river More »

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Pittsburgh schools board votes against selling Burgwin

Nov26

In a new business item, the Pittsburgh Public Schools board voted against selling the closed Burgwin School for $475,000 to the Hazelwood Initiative for use as a Propel charter school. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2013/11/26/Pittsburgh-schools-board-votes-against-selling-Burgwin/stories/201311260167 More »

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Pittsburgh schools board votes to sell Moningside, votes against sale of Columbus

Nov26

Pittsburgh Public Schools board tonight voted against selling Columbus on the North Side for use as a charter school but in favor of selling Morningside for purchase by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2013/11/26/Pittsburgh-schools-board-votes-to-sell-Moningside-votes-against-sale-of-Columbus/stories/201311260166 More »

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Washington Update

Nov25

Budget Update The House and Senate budget conference committee charged with reaching an agreement on the FY2014 budget framework, including an alternative to the sequester by December 13, continues to negotiate. Regardless of whether the budget conference committee is able to reach a deal, Congress will have to pass a continuing resolution (CR) by January […] More »

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Charter Schools In Philadelphia: Educating Without A Blueprint

Nov22

Shayna Terrell is in a good mood: It’s report card night at the Simon Gratz Mastery Charter high school in North Philadelphia, and parents are showing up in good numbers. Terrell, Mastery’s outreach coordinator, welcomes parents. Her goal on this night is to get 40 percent of Gratz parents to come to the school, meet […] More »

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November 19: Charter Schools with Sen. Lloyd Smucker

Nov20

Lawmakers believe that fifteen years of charter school experience in Pennsylvania puts them in a good position to update the law.  Sen. Smucker says his plan addresses accountability, payments to charters, enrollment caps, and the entities who authorize charters.   School districts, who often complain about the so-called “pension double-dip,” will be interested in the senator’s […] More »

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Differing opinions on how to improve schools

Nov19

The numbers don’t lie, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said: Most Philadelphia School District students aren’t in “good” schools, if “good” is defined as half of all students reading and doing math at grade level. Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131119_Differing_opinions_on_how_to_improve_Philly_schools.html More »

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Despite suspension of school code, state still paying charters for disputed students

Nov18

Back in August, the School Reform Commission suspended the state school code, using special powers it was granted by legislators when the state took over the District. Among the provisions suspended was one that prevented school districts from setting enrollment caps for charter schools.   Continue reading at: http://thenotebook.org/blog/136645/src-suspension-school-code-does-it-matter More »

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Charter school resubmits, eyes former hotel

Nov18

Organizers of the New Castle Arts Academy charter school have resubmitted their application to the New Castle Area School District.   Continue reading at: http://www.ncnewsonline.com/local/x1267062269/Charter-school-resubmits-eyes-former-hotel More »

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Allentown School District bombarded with applications for new charter schools

Nov16

Two new Allentown charter schools have been proposed, at a time when district officials are already concerned about the thousands of students and millions of tuition dollars they are losing to existing cyber and charter schools.   Read more at: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/allentown/index.ssf/2013/11/allentown_school_district_bomb.html#incart_river More »

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Tidioute charter school celebrates nat’l award

Nov16

Friday was a time to celebrate in Tidioute. Members of the community and several local dignitaries joined the staff and students at Tidioute Community Charter School in celebrating the school’s national Blue Ribbon Award during an afternoon assembly.   Read more at: http://www.timesobserver.com/page/content.detail/id/567775/Tidioute-charter-school-celebrates-nat-l-award.html?nav=5006 More »

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3 charter schools apply to open in city next fall

Nov15

In a district already expecting to spend $54.9 million on charter schools in 2014, Pittsburgh Public Schools has received applications from three new charter schools for next fall and a request to expand an existing one. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2013/11/16/3-charter-schools-planned-for-city/stories/201311160118 More »

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Homewood group plans charter school

Nov15

A Homewood nonprofit wants to open an arts, science and technology charter school that would lease classroom space in the Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum and use community support systems to help prepare students for college, an official said. Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5071302-74/schools-charter-pittsburgh#axzz2khpsucfg More »

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‘No Excuses’ Kids Go to College

Nov14

The C in linguistics proved to Rebecca Mercado that college was going to be different. “It was the first time I had ever received a grade lower than a B, and it was upsetting,” admits Mercado, a biochemistry and cell biology major at the University of California, San Diego.   Continue reading at: http://educationnext.org/no-excuses-kids-go-to-college/ More »

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School-deal terms

Nov13

Mayor Nutter strongly believes that for a sustainable revenue future, the School District-managed and charter schools, as well as districts statewide, need a new education funding formula based on the number of students and their characteristics, including students who speak English as a second language and students growing up in poverty (“Not the best deal […] More »

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Lawmakers need to pass charter school reform bill now: Ashley DeMauro

Nov13

As the Pennsylvania General Assembly takes a hard look at our public charter school system, it’s important to take a step back and remember what this is all about: ensuring our students have schools that prepare them to be successful in life.   Continue Reading: http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/11/lawmakers_need_to_pass_charter_school_reform_bill_now_ashely_demauro.html#incart_river More »

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Schools That Separate the Child From the Trauma

Nov13

Recently, I reported on the damaging effects that prolonged stress can have on young children who lack adequate protection from adults. Over the past 15 years, researchers have learned that highly stressful — and potentially traumatic — childhood experiences are more prevalent than previously understood.   Continue reading at: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/separating-the-child-from-the-trauma/?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0 More »

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York City School District plans to start cyber program

Nov12

The York City School District plans to offer a cyber program for students, starting in January, through an agreement with the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13.   Continue reading at: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_24502326/york-city-school-district-plans-start-cyber-program# More »

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LETTER: Proposed cyber school law would not save tax dollars

Nov08

You’re right funding isn’t fair when it comes to Pennsylvania’s public cyber schools — except you have it backward in your Oct. 16 editorial “Charter reform bill a step in the right direction.”   Continue reading at: http://www.yorkdispatch.com/letters/ci_24481981/letter-proposed-cyber-school-law-would-not-save More »

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District names top academic official

Nov08

THE SCHOOL DISTRICT has tapped a former Brooklyn charter-school principal to be its new chief academic support officer, the district confirmed last night. Continue reading at: http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20131108_District_names_top_academic_official.html More »

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Nov08

  Editor: The Nov. 7 editorial regarding Senate Bill 1085 contains several misunderstandings of the proposed legislation and of how the funding process for charter schools actually works. SB 1085 does not eliminate districts’ ability to negotiate charter school enrollment caps. Rather, it prohibits districts from unilaterally imposing caps, which is already illegal under both […] More »

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DN Editorial: Chartered bust

Nov07

WHEN authorized by the state Legislature in 1997, charter schools were seen to be high-performing alternatives within the public-education system that would operate with public money but without the bureaucracy of the larger systems. Charters were intended to be a booster shot of megavitamins to bolster the existing public school system, to strengthen the education […] More »

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U.S. Education Department Announces First-of-Its Kind Resolution of Virtual Charter School Civil Rights Investigation

Nov06

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that its Office for Civil Rights has entered into an agreement with Virtual Community School of Ohio to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act for students with disabilities at the school. This first-of-its-kind resolution promises equal […] More »

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The Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice

Nov06

The Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice is a $25,000 prize awarded annually to public school teachers who demonstrate exceptionally effective teaching with students from high-poverty communities. Offered by TNTP, a nonprofit organization working to ensure that all students get excellent teachers, the prize is given to up to five teachers each year. In addition […] More »

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New Hope asks to remain open during appeal

Nov05

New Hope Academy Charter School sent the state Charter Appeal Board a request Monday to remain open during its appeal or until the end of June, whichever is later.   Continue reading at: http://www.ydr.com/local/ci_24460105/new-hope-asks-remain-open-during-appeal More »

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DEP offers environmental education grants for 2014

Nov05

The Department of Environmental Protection invites schools, colleges and universities, county conservation districts, nonprofit organizations, municipalities and businesses to apply for environmental education grants to develop programs and projects.   Continue reading at: http://www.tnonline.com/2013/nov/05/dep-offers-environmental-education-grants-2014 More »

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Pa. charter reform bill advances, draws criticism

Nov05

A bill to overhaul Pennsylvania’s charter school law would gut local control of the alternative schools by eliminating enrollment caps and giving universities the power to authorize new charters, opponents said Monday. The criticism from the Education Law Center comes after a state Senate committee recently voted to advance the legislation, which supporters say will […] More »

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6th Annual New Jersey Charter Schools Conference

Nov04

The 2014 New Jersey Charter Schools Conference will be held April 7-8, 2014, at Bally’s Atlantic City The New Jersey Charter Schools Association is pleased to invite members and supporters of the charter school community to the annual conference to be held at Bally’s Atlantic City on April 7 & 8, 2014. http://njcharters.org/conference/     More »

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Don’t cut charters; you will harm kids

Nov03

  Editor, the Record:   An Oct. 21 letter writer is correct: State legislators should fix some “obvious and easily remedied inequities” in school funding. However, far from cyber school overfunding, the obvious inequity is penalizing parents and students for choosing the best education for their own needs.   Continue reading at: http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131103/NEWS04/311030335/-1/NEWS04 More »

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Crooks give charters a bad name

Nov03

Joan Chalker, a former top aide in a suburban Philadelphia charter school, pleaded guilty last month to three counts of obstruction of justice. Chalker provides yet another example of unethical people who look at charters as cash cows. These taxpayer-supported schools are set up supposedly to educate kids, but too many folks use them to […] More »

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Scranton’s new cyber school has nearly 50 students

Nov02

Anthony VanDusky’s day usually starts at 6 a.m. He eats breakfast, takes a shower and goes downstairs to start his lessons – at his dining room table.   Continue reading at: http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-s-new-cyber-school-has-nearly-50-students-1.1579080 More »

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