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February 4, 2011

Public School Choice Vote Delayed

The final decision on LAUSD's Public School Choice initiative will be delayed by several weeks. Superintendent Ramon Cortines stated this week he would not announce his recommendations on the schools under PSC until the second week in March, and that the board's final vote would not take place until after the scheduled elections. In addition, results of the community advisory vote, which are being handled by the League of Women Voters, are also being delayed. For more information, read the story in the Press Telegram and the Daily News.

Fortune Schools Approved

The Sacramento County Office of Education gave green light to the charter schools proposed by education reformer Margaret Fortune. The Board took more than eight hours to debate the issue before the approval. Fortune intends to open ten (10) charter schools in the Sacramento area to increase high-quality education choices to minority and disenfranchised students. Dropout rates and student achievement data shows that those students are being left behind. Read more of this story in the Sacramento Bee.

Charter School Growth

The growth in California charter schools reported this past school year was the most significant in the history of the charter movement, and the result of various factors, including demand. Parents in every community continue to look for better options for their children. CCSA worked with Sacramento Parent Magazine on this story regarding growth and choice.

And speaking of charter school growth, Berkeley's Daily Californian had a story this week on a local charter school set to open, and the commitment of leaders as they finalize details.

The Fight for Santa Rosa's Arts Charter School

Parents and supporters of the Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts are fighting to keep the district from splitting the campus, a move that would send several students and parents into another campus as a co-location with a district school.

Parents fear that separating the K-8 school would have adverse effects on the program, and that the district should consider replicating it rather than diluting it. There's a Town Hall meeting to talk about the issue on February 16. For more information, click here.

Financial Trouble for Districts

As the state continues to face a multi-billion dollar deficit, and the threat of cuts looms everywhere, school districts are making plans not only to deal with their already on-going financial strains, but also future ones. That's because Governor Brown's budget proposal hinges on voters extending taxes in a yet unscheduled special election. In Northern California, the Natomas Unified School District is considering cutting several services to area charter schools, including the use of sports facilities. Read more on the Sacramento Press website.

Charter School Success Stories

To end on a good note, a couple of charter school success stories caught our attention this week that truly illustrate what the charter movement is all about, and what charter schools everywhere strive to accomplish. In Los Angeles, Fox L.A. aired an interview with two former ICEF students during the charter's Alumni Day. The students, who currently attend college, spoke about their positive experience at the school. Also, the Ventura County Star printed a compelling feature story this week on the 10th anniversary of the Ventura Charter School, and how it's transformed not just the students that have attended, but the whole community.

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