December 9, 2011:
Sacramento City Unified Drops Plan To Swap Sac Charter High School Campus
Sacramento Charter High School, part of the St. HOPE network of charter schools, has faced significant facilities issues over the past few months, as the district had announced plans to swap campuses with another local school. Students and families organized to ensure their voices were heard, as they disapproved having their campus moved to a new location. This week, the Sac City Unified School Board dropped the swap plan, and will be looking at other facilities solutions. See how the students took control of the issue in stories featured in the Sacramento Bee, KCRA, Univision and Fox 40.
Number of Charter School Students Surges Nationwide
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools announced this week that the number of charter school students in the country has passed the two million mark. That's quite a milestone, especially because the majority of those students are in California charter schools. The Alliance used the numbers to show continued growth, and will be advocating for removal of caps and other obstacles across the U.S. To read about that, see the article in the Associated Press. For more on the impact California is having on the charter movement, read the piece in EdSource Extra.
Charter School Growth
Speaking of growth, we saw several stories that embody the growth in the charter movement in California. For instance, a story in the Merced Sun-Star details how charters are bringing new opportunities and choice to students and families. In addition, NBC in Los Angeles interviewed a charter leader that recently got the green light to open a new hybrid charter in the area. And in the San Miguel area, charter petitioners are looking to open a new charter next year. Read that story in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
Clayton Valley Conversion Charter Appeal Heard This Week
After being denied by the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, petitioners looking to convert Clayton Valley High to a charter school presented their petition to the county office of education. Parents and supporters packed the board room to talk about the benefits of the conversion. The board isn't expected to make a final decision until next month. To read what's happening, see the article in the San Jose Mercury News and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Governor Brown Announces Initiative To Increase School Funding
As the end of the year quickly approaches, so does the new Legislative year. And with that, Governor Brown is expected to present his budget plan for the next fiscal year. However, with revenues coming in at lower rates than anticipated, and a budget hole to fill, midyear cuts are expected to be announced before the end of the month. The Governor is already taking steps to ensure that schools receive additional funding next year, and announced this week plans to include an initiative in next year's ballot that will raise income and sales taxes to fund education. See the stories in the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times.
The Good News
We always like to wrap up this blog with some positive stories of charter schools featured in the media. This week, for instance, the San Diego Union Tribune published a story highlighting the success of some of High Tech High's top teachers, as they were honored for their use of technology and innovation in the classroom. In addition, students from the Academy of Academic Excellence in Apple Valley who have an interest in law and courts are being recognized for getting to the finals of a competition on mock trials. That story can be found in the San Bernardino Sun.
One particular article that caught our eye featured in the San Jose Mercury News regarding the new Mayor of East Palo Alto, who is not only in her 20's, but is a charter school after-school program director. Read about that here.