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Daily Headlines for January 5, 2011

Do Home Schoolers Deserve a Tax Break?
New York Times, NY, January 4, 2011
The new Republicans in Congress have vowed to challenge the federal role in American public education, and said they will seek to turn more power over to the states on many fronts. But one of their priorities is a new federal rule: to give parents in every state tax credits if their children are home-schooled.

FROM THE STATES

California

Charter Schools in L.A. Unified to Get More Special Education Money
Los Angeles Times, CA, January 5, 2011
Local charter schools will receive more money to educate disabled students and more freedom from the Los Angeles Unified School District in the process, under an agreement approved Tuesday by the Board of Education.

Florida

Pasco Schools Get First Chunk of Race to the Top Funding Without Union Support
St. Petersburg Times, FL, January 5, 2011
Department spokesman Tom Butler said districts could get a partial payout from the grant with only their superintendent’s signature. The hope, he said, was that as districts begin to put pieces in place, union officials would see the effort is not so invasive and they might join.

Expo Shows You’re Not Stuck With The School You’re Assigned
Tampa Tribune, FL, January 5, 2011
January is Florida School Choice Month, and state education leaders are celebrating by hosting an expo for parents to learn more about their options – not just in Hillsborough County , but statewide.

Indiana

Education Reform Agenda Will Take Center Stage At Legislature
Indianapolis Star, IN, January 5, 2011
It was a Kodak moment: Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett and Indiana State Teachers Association President Nate Schnellenberger putting aside their differences to embrace the importance of mentoring children. That truce likely won’t be repeated in the coming weeks.

Massachusetts

Ed Reform and Race to the Top Offer Chance for Improvement
Boston Globe, MA, January 5, 2011
AT THIS time last year, the Legislature handed Governor Patrick powerful tools to convince federal funders that the state could lead the way in education reform. A few months later, Massachusetts emerged from a competitive field with a $250 million Race to the Top education grant.

Nevada

Parental Involvement: An Education ‘Trigger’ For Change
Las Vegas Review-Journal, NV, January 5, 2011
Legislators in seven states — Florida , Georgia , Indiana , Michigan , New Jersey , North Dakota and Utah — are drafting legislation based on a school reform proposed by the Chicago-based Heartland Institute.

New Jersey

Christie Seeks to Relax Rules on Who Can Lead Schools
New York Times, NY, January 5, 2011
Gov. Chris Christie is pressing for regulations that would allow some New Jersey school districts to hire superintendents without traditional academic backgrounds or experience, in an effort to change confining state rules like those that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had to surmount to win approval for Cathleen P. Black, his choice for New York City schools chancellor.

North Carolina

N.C. Tea Party Targets Education Reform
The Lincoln Tribune, NC, January 4, 2011
Charter school advocates have picked up a significant ally in their fight to reform the state’s laws governing charter schools in the upcoming legislative session.

Wisconsin

Beloit Part of Voucher Plan?
Beloit Daily News, WI, January 4, 2011
The new Wisconsin governor is considering sweeping reforms in Madison, one of which could directly impact Beloit schools. Gov. Scott Walker and the incoming Republican legislature assumed power in the state Monday and wasted no time in introducing the possibility of expanding the state’s school voucher program.

VIRTUAL EDUCATION

Brooke Butler First Graduate of Virtual Sight
Battle Creek Enquirer, MI, January 5, 2011
Virtual learning allows students who struggle in traditional classrooms to complete schoolwork online and earn a Berrien Springs diploma. About 75 students from around West Michigan are enrolled at The Virtual Sight, said Bob Kubiak, site director.

Turlock School Board Approves ‘eCademy’
Modesto Bee, CA, January 4, 2011
School board members moved ahead Tuesday night with a proposal that aimed at bringing life back to a shuttered campus and drawing back 100 or so students lost to other districts every year.

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