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May 25, 2012

Several California Districts In Financial Distress

This week, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, announced that a record number of school districts are facing fiscal insolvency as a result of years of budget cuts. Currently, 12 districts are not able to pay their bills, with 176 others that may be in the same situation next year. The Superintendent said the situation is unprecedented, and could impact millions of students, even if the Governor's Tax Initiative passes in November. For more about what this means, read the articles in the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, and Cabinet Report.

And speaking of the precarious budget situation the state faces, Gov. Brown signed a law this week that will delay billions of dollars of payments owed to schools. Read more on this, and how it will further impact schools, in the Cabinet Report.

Charter School Facilities

Identifying and securing facilities continues to be a challenge for many charter schools in California. However, some proposals surfaced this week in the media that highlight innovation. The Silicon Valley Business Journal, for instance, featured a story about the San Jose City Council approving an MOU to build a facility for a new charter school to be operated under Rocketship Education. For more, check out the story here. Further down in Los Angeles, the district split the Jordan campus between a Green Dot charter and a Partnership school. The experiment to turn around the previously failing school is being closely watched. Read the Los Angeles Times Column.

New And Expanding Schools

As this school year quickly wraps up, plans for new and expanding charter schools in the fall are already making headlines across the state. The Willits area, for instance, will open its fourth charter school, and plans to establish facilities and enrollment are already underway. Read about that in the Willits News.

In Pasadena, the Celerity charters are proposing a new charter school that will serve at-risk middle school students, and boost academic performance. More details are in the San Jose Mercury News. And in Chula Vista, the Learning Community Charter will be expanding to begin adding high school grades. The U-T San Diego has that story.

The Good News

Can you believe it's almost graduation time already? Many families are gearing up for that once in a lifetime experience. This week, the California Virtual Academies in San Gabriel Valley had almost 200 students receive their diploma. CA Virtual Academies is an independent study charter with hundreds of students across the state. Check out this feature in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

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