April 29, 2011:
State Budget and Education
The lack of resolution of the state's fiscal situation continues to cause concern, particularly when it comes to proposed cuts to education, which would especially negatively impact charter schools. The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released a poll this week detailing support for Governor Brown's proposed special election on the tax extensions, but sentiments appear to be mixed. For more, read the blogs entries from the Sacramento Bee, the L.A. Times, KQED, and Educated Guess.
Speaking of budget solutions, there's talk once again of districts considering parcel taxes to mitigate some of the looming cuts. Here's some stories from the Bay Citizen and the San Jose Mercury News.
New State Board of Education Appointment
This week, Governor Brown announced his most recent appointment to the State Board of Education. Sue Burr of Rancho Murrieta will serve as SBE's Executive Director, and advise the Governor on education policy, legislation, and budget issues. Read CCSA's President and CEO Jed Wallace's statement here, and don't miss John Fensterwald's take on the appointment on his Educated Guess Blog.
A proposal to convert Clayton Valley High School in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District to a charter school has gained momentum, as teachers and parents discussed the benefits of a conversion this week. Educators at the school are spearheading the move, and hope to succeed in order to turn around the school, and make needed changes. CCSA was part of the presentation. For more, read the story here.
Top Charter At the National Decathlon
One of California's top charter high schools spent the week on the East Coast competing in the National Decathlon Championship. Granada Hills Charter High School from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) won the state Decathlon a few months ago, beating out previous champion El Camino Real. Nine Granada Hills students spent their Spring Break preparing for the competition, which was held in Charlotte, North Carolina; the winner will be announced this Saturday. To read about the work and commitment of teachers and students at GHCHS, read the story in the Daily News.
A Trip to Turkey
This past week also, Northern California's Natomas Performing Arts Charter School students traveled to Turkey to put on a series of shows with students from a performance school in that country. The project, One Voice, has been an important part of the school for the past couple of years, in which students from both schools communicate with each other in a modern "pen-pal" fashion, and collaboratively put on a show to demonstrate their talents and cultures. Last year, students from Turkey traveled to the Natomas Charter. This year, it was the other way around. The trip was a huge success in Turkey. Here's a clip from a Turkish newspaper, as well as a link to the Natomas Performing Arts Charter School website for more information.