August 5, 2011:
California Must Return Teacher Database Funding
Following Governor Jerry Brown's veto of the proposed CalTIDES system in last month's budget, the state now must return $6 million in federal grant funds. The system would have tracked teacher information, such as courses taught and credentials obtained, but Brown has consistently shown concern for that. Officials had hoped to convince the federal government to modify the use of the funds, and allow the state to direct them elsewhere. For more on this, read the articles in the Los Angeles Times and the Sacramento Bee.
California State Assembly Republicans Question Legality of Proposition 98 Funding
Even though the State Legislature is still on summer recess, lawmakers are never disconnected from state affairs. This week, Assembly Republicans sent a letter to California's Attorney General Kamala Harris asking her to weigh in a legal opinion on key provisions approved in the state budget that they claim shortchanged Proposition 98 funding. The Sacramento Bee has more on what this means.
St. HOPE Plans for New Middle School
One of Sacramento's top charter schools is hoping to expand and open a middle school in the area next year. St. HOPE currently operates three charter schools. Officials, along with supporters, made their case this week during the school board meeting. For more on what happened, read the story in the Sacramento Bee.
Positive Impact of Charter Schools
As the new school year quickly approaches--for some, it is already under way--the debate over the quality of education and the need for meaningful reform continues to make waves. Charter schools, both in California and across the nation, offer choices that empower parents and students, and give educators the freedom to truly focus on teaching. This week, the president and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Peter Groff penned an op-ed in the Huffington Post that discusses the benefits and positive impact of charters. Meanwhile, the Contra Costa Times published an editorial on the benefits behind the efforts to convert a local school into an independent charter.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Times posted an op-ed by a teacher from Animo Pat Brown Charter that focuses on the challenges teachers have in the classroom, and the myths of ever having "good teachers" without adequate resources. To read it, click here.
Back to School
And speaking of the new school year, there's no better way to wrap the week up than by highlighting some of the positive charter school stories across the state. This week, the Stockton Record featured an article on local charter schools changing perceptions of homeschooling and independent study. The story is here. Meanwhile, the Lodi-News Sentinel gave kudos to their local community for distributing backpacks and supplies for needy students, including those attending an area charter school. The Kingsburg Recorder visited a new charter school offering a summer immersion program for English Language Learners in an effort to prepare them for the challenges of the upcoming school year. That story is here. Finally, the growth of new charter schools in Tulare County was discussed in the Visalia Times-Delta.