Tag Archives: good news

Still Upset about D.C. Voucher Kids, At Least Arizona Got Some Good News

So I just started cooling down a bit from yesterday (I assure you, no Legos were thrown … at least not directly at anybody). Then I watched this Fox News clip about the U.S. Senate trying to take away vouchers from people like Mercedes Campbell (H/T Edspresso): That Glenn Beck guy? I can tell he feels like I do. Jeanne Allen explains what’s at stake so eloquently. And then I’m just left feeling bad for Mercedes and the 1,700 other kids in Washington, D.C., whose scholarships are at stake. Are you outraged yet, too? After taking a couple deep breaths, I had to go around and look for some good news, and found this: “Appeals Court Rules School Choice Program is Constitutional”. At least the 1,947 kids benefiting from Arizona’s corporate tax credit program have won a victory. And I don’t have to consider throwing Legos at any judges. That could probably get me in trouble, anyway.

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Private Schools Facing Real Challenges from Economic Downturn, Too

Times are tough out there. I don’t have a lot of perspective yet, but there’s no doubt the economy is hurting. And that means not only are real people hurting, but – as the Wall Street Journal reports – so are private schools: Trinity Episcopal School survived Hurricane Ike last fall. But then another storm hit — the economy. The Galveston, Texas, school, where tuition is between $5,000 and $8,000 a year, has seen its enrollment drop 12%, says David Dearman, the head of the school. Many parents of its students were among the 3,000 workers laid off by the area’s largest employer, the University of Texas Medical Branch. At the end of 2008, the school’s endowment was $800,000, down about 20% from July. The school has ramped up donation efforts through its Web site, and held car washes and bake sales. It stopped using substitute teachers — other staff members now step in when a teacher is out sick. “Our school will survive, but it will take years to recover,” Mr. Dearman says. Trinity Episcopal School is one of many kindergarten-through-12th-grade private schools caught in the middle of an economic tempest: anemic endowments, dwindling donations, financially strapped parents slashing […]

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Colorado Judges Rule in Favor of Funding Fairness for Charter Schools

Okay, the year is almost over. And you won’t see me writing anything here between now and 2009. So I thought it a good idea to close out 2008 with a post that has some good news. In yesterday’s Rocky Mountain News, Berny Morson reported on a Colorado court decision that almost got completely overlooked. But it definitely is good news: School districts must apply the same funding rules to charter schools as they do other schools, the Colorado Court of Appeals has held in a Fort Collins case. At issue is a provision inserted by the Poudre R-1 school board in the contract that governs the Ridgeview Classical Schools, a charter school. The provision allowed the district to reduce financial support to Ridgeview when students transfer out. [link added] Basic and simple fairness, right? Students should benefit from the same funding rules whether they are in a traditional public school or a public charter school. Either it’s a good idea to take funds away from a school when a student transfers after the fall attendance count, or it’s not. It shouldn’t be a good idea for charters and a bad idea for others, or vice versa.

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Colorado Teachers Unions May Not Get Day off to Campaign, Have Other Perks

Over at the catchy Flypaper blog, education guru Mike Petrilli talks about his local Maryland teachers union’s get-out-the-vote strategy for Election Day: Montgomery County schools are not only closed today (purportedly to protect students from intruders, as most schools are used as polling places) but were also closed yesterday. Which means that MCEA’s 12,000 members could spend a long weekend campaigning for Democratic candidates (most likely, across the Potomac in Virginia), and then volunteer at polling places today, all without taking a single hour off of work. That’s pretty smart politically, but what’s the justification for students to miss two days of school in the middle of the fall semester? A good question. I am pleased to report that there seems to be no evidence of this sort of thing going on along Colorado’s Front Range. A quick search of the eight largest school districts in the Denver metro area – Jefferson County, Denver, Douglas County, Cherry Creek, Aurora, Adams 12, Boulder Valley, and Littleton – show they are all in regular session today on Election Day (as well as yesterday). That’s good news, though I’m already wondering if I should be careful about giving out unsolicited ideas here. While […]

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