3/23/12 Charter News Round-Up

March 23, 2012

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Charter Bills In The Legislature

The Legislative session continues to move along, and this week, the Assembly Education Committee passed a bill that would give county offices of education the authority to loan money to charter schools, giving them options to weather tough budgetary times. Read more about AB 1576 in the Cabinet Report. The same publication also featured other charter bills that will be heard in the upcoming weeks. Read about that here.

L.A. Charter Demands Better Facilities Under Prop 39

Also moving along is the Proposition 39 cycle for this year, in which charters across the state request reasonably equivalent facilities to their districts. Many, however, are receiving offers that are non-compliant. This is a situation that charters must go through every year, and brings with it unanswered questions and uncertainty. Read the article in La OpiniĆ³n (Spanish), which details the plight of one school, and the importance of securing facilities that are equitable and fair to all students.

Speaking of facilities, Bullis Charter and the Los Altos School District are still negotiating for equitable facilities following a CA Supreme Court Decision a few months ago. Read the latest in the Los Altos Town Crier.

Higher Standards For Charter Schools

One of CCSA's top priorities is academic accountability, and to that end, we released our second annual "Portrait of the Movement" report last month, following our public call for non-renewal of 10 underperforming charters. This week, Education Week featured a blog post detailing some of the findings of the report and calling for increased higher standards for charters.

Debunking Charter Myths

Education Week also wrote an article on a recent report that debunks the myth that charters cost traditional public schools money. Click here to read that post. Information like this may come in handy as new charters in California continue to face challenges in the petition process. For instance, the Santa Cruz Sentinel featured an Editorial that highlights this debate. See what they say here. One charter teacher is also working on debunking charter myths, this time through a Letter to the Editor in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

The Good News

To wrap up this week, we wanted to spotlight some positive charter school stories in the media. Granada Hills Charter High School, for instance, won the California Academic Decathlon for the second year in a row. Read the stories in the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News.

Speaking of awards, a third grade student in Rocklin Academy won a local math competition. Read about this math wizard in the Placer Herald.

Also this week, the Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson traveled to Southern California to announce the nomination of Environmental Charter High School for the federal Green Ribbon Award, which will recognize schools across the nation that are using and teaching their students green technology. See the article in the San Jose Mercury News.

Also in the southern part of the state, the North County Times wrote on the work and impact Trade Tech High is having on students by mixing academics with real-life work experience.

In addition, Palo Alto Online also wrote on the significant impact a local innovator is having in education. Rocketship's John Danner talks about the innovation at his schools, and his desire to close the achievement gap. Read more here.

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