July 1, 2011:
Legislative Deal for Charters
After years of hard work and intense negotiations, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) announced this week our support for a package of charter school-related bills in the Legislature that will increase clarity on governance law, increase academic accountability, and expand access to quality facilities.
The bills-- AB 360, AB 440 and SB 645 authored by Assemblymember Julia Brownley and Senator Joe Simitian-- signify important steps forward for charter schools and the movement in California, particularly in a year when charters have also seen unprecedented attacks in the state Legislature.
Other Charter School Bills
Speaking of the Legislature, while consensus has been reached on the issues mentioned above, there are other bills that could threaten charter schools, including imposing a hard cap on the number of charters allowed in California and bills that would impose unnecessary regulations. Read the Voice of San Diego article.
Race To The Top
The next round of Race To The Top is around the corner, and officials have said that early childhood education, including establishing standards and testing, will be part of the new criteria for states to be awarded funds. California, along with other four states, are eligible for the funding. Read the article from Education Week for more information.
California Charter School Highlights
To wrap up the week, and head into Independence Day, we'd like to highlight some of top charter school stories. NewsHour on PBS discussed the importance of science education, and the need to encourage learning, highlighting Oakland's Lighthouse Community Charter School. To read the transcript, and watch the video, click here.
Many charters are now halfway through their summer vacation, and many new ones are making their final plans to open their doors to students in the fall. Last year, charter schools in California had their most significant one-year growth in history, and we expect that trend to continue. Examiner.com profiled the diversity of schools planning to open in the Sacramento area.
In addition, Aspire schools made the news this week, with Aspire River Oaks in Lodi being recognized for increasing academic achievement and closing the achievement gap. The story can be found in the Lodi News-Sentinel. Aspire also announced that students who have completed the Aspire Teacher Residency Program will be placed in Sacramento-area schools this coming school year. For more on this story, click here. For more on the Aspire Teacher Residency Program, read "Developing Better Teachers by Training Them Like Medical School Residents" from GOOD Education.