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Daily Headlines for March 5, 2014

Click here for Newswire, the latest weekly report on education news and commentary you won’t find anywhere else – spiced with a dash of irreverence – from the nation’s leading voice in school reform.

NATIONAL COVERAGE

Obama’s Budget Boosts Preschool, Access To Top Teachers, But Freezes Many Education Programs
Huffington Post, March 5, 2014
President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget request increases education funding 2 percent over the previous year, cheering many education advocates, and proposes a revamped Race to the Top competition that focuses on opportunity for all students and a tobacco tax to pay for a previously-announced preschool expansion effort.

Obama Focuses on Education in 2015 Budget
Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2014
President Barack Obama unveiled his 2015 budget proposal at the Powell Elementary School in Washington on Tuesday, a location he said represented his commitment to educating the next generation of Americans.

School budget puts Idaho on right path
Editorial, Idaho Statesman, ID, March 5, 2014
During a Legislature that at times has resembled a scavenger hunt for laws that solve imaginary problems and that pad political resumes for upcoming elections, the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee has so far done its work well, and delivered an education funding package truly in the people’s long-term interest.

STATE COVERAGE

CALIFORNIA

Suit over teacher job protections will continue in L.A.
Los Angeles Times, CA, March 4, 2014
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to limit teacher job protections in California.

CONNECTICUT

New Haven charter parents want more involvement in public school reform efforts
New Haven Register, CT, March 5, 2014
The education report compiled by Mayor Toni Harp’s transition team was intended to focus on improving New Haven Public Schools, but for parents of students in the city’s public charters, the report only widens the gap between traditional public and public charter.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Getting results at a high-poverty school
Washington Post Blog, DC, March 3, 2014
Turnaround for Children, a nonprofit that aims to improve schools by addressing the effects of poverty both inside and outside the classroom, is working with five DCPS schools this year. The goal is a calmer environment where learning can take place. So far the results look promising.

FLORIDA

Choice is starving our public schools: My Word
Opinion, Orlando Sentinel, FL, March 4, 2014
The Orlando Sentinel’s excellent editorial on school choice and accountability (“Ensure school choice leads to advancement,” Saturday) points out flaws in the system.

New schools standards bring new ways to evaluate, pay teachers
Bradenton Herald, FL, March 4, 2014
A new set of education standards for the state of Florida will also bring new teacher evaluations and a new pay scale. The changes were being questioned by Manatee County educators and parents Tuesday at a community engagement forum.

Why a charter school at MacDill Air Force Base is ‘absolutely necessary’
Commentary, The Tampa Tribune, FL, March 5, 2014
As a member of the MacDill Advisory Education Council, I have been disappointed reading recent articles and editorials in other publications that are not supportive of a charter school at MacDill Air Force Base and that are based to some extent on misinformation or lack of information.

ILLINOIS

Charter school, Elgin Academy get go-ahead for leasing former school property
Courier-News, IL, March 4, 2014
“This is not an endorsement of the charter school,” Mayor David Kaptain said as council member voted 8-1 Saturday to approve a lease deal with both the proposed Elgin Math and Science Academy charter school and with Elgin Academy to use some of the property’s 12 buildings.

LOUISIANA

Education plans could create a volatile mix in legislative session
The Advocate, LA, March 4, 2014
While Common Core is expected to dominate legislative education debates, battles are shaping up on teacher tenure, educator job evaluations and an overhaul of Louisiana’s public-school leadership.

New Orleans goes all in on charter schools. Is it showing the way?
Christian Science Monitors, MA, March 2, 2014
Nine in 10 students attend charter schools in New Orleans, which sought to transform failing public schools after hurricane Katrina. No other US city has gone so far down the charter path. Here’s a look at the results so far.

MAINE

Charter school commission undecided on probe of Lewiston application
Portland Press Herald, ME, March 5, 2014
Despite a suggestion by a member of the Maine Charter School Commission that the Attorney General’s Office investigate “material falsehoods” in an application for a charter school, it’s not clear whether the commission will make such a request.

MARYLAND

Brown proposal for closing the achievement gap
Baltimore Sun Blog, MD, March 4, 2014
Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown pledged Tuesday to adopt a variety of new educational initiatives that take aim at reducing the achievement gap by extending support to struggling families.

NEW YORK

De Blasio and Cuomo Clash Over Charters
Wall Street Journal, March 5, 2014
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo headlined dueling rallies here Tuesday, clashing on the future of city charter schools and funding for the mayor’s plan to expand prekindergarten and after-school programs.

De Blasio and Builder of Charter School Empire Do Battle
New York Times, NY, March 5, 2014
She was a darling of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s administration, given free space to expand her charter schools from a single one in Harlem into a network larger than many New York State school districts.

Newburgh Prep holds first graduation
Times Herald-Record, NY, March 5, 2014
Five months after opening its doors, the mid-Hudson’s only charter school graduated its first student on Tuesday.

Over 11K charter school supporters pack Albany rally
New York Post, NY, March 5, 2014
An overflow crowd of 11,000 charter-school supporters braved Albany’s subfreezing weather Tuesday to cheer Cuomo as he blasted the state’s 200-plus failing public schools and declared that “parents deserve a choice” in charter schools.

Plans moving forward for first charter school in Niagara Falls
Buffalo News, NY, March 4, 2014
A group of parents and other community members is moving forward with a plan to open a charter school in the city.

Take that, Bill
Opinion, New York Daily News, NY, March 5, 2014
Gov. Cuomo hit it out of the park on Tuesday with a full-throated promise to “save charter schools” just days after Mayor de Blasio killed three of them, including throwing 210 children out of one of the state’s highest achieving programs.

NORTH CAROLINA

Wake County school leaders criticize the use of merit pay for teachers
News & Observer, NC, March 5, 2014
Wake County school leaders made it clear Tuesday that they don’t think merit pay works for teachers and even in some parts of the private sector.

Editorial: NC teachers revolt against trading tenure for bonuses
News & Observer, NC, March 5, 2014
There are indications that some boards of education in North Carolina may take lawmakers to school over attempts to get teachers to trade their tenure for modest bonuses. Good for them. The law that Republicans passed forcing school systems to encourage 25 percent of their teachers to give up tenure before it officially ends in 2018 is an affront to our educators.

OHIO

Core issues
Marietta Times, OH, March 4, 2014
With the opening of the The Veritas Academy in Marietta slated for the upcoming school year, parents will be given another private school option.

New website gives parents a simpler way to search their school choices
Cleveland Plain Dealer, OH, March 4, 2014
There’s now a simpler way for Cleveland parents to research what school to pick for their children.

RHODE ISLAND

NEW: RI Charter Schools See Huge Increase in Applications
GoLocal PrRov, RI, March 4, 2014
Charter public school applications for the upcoming school year far outweighed the available openings, according to state held blind lotteries held this week.

PENNSYLVANIA

Easton Area School District superintendent wants to review district’s charter school policy
Lehigh Valley Express-News, PA, March 4, 2014
Easton Area School District’s superintendent wants to review the district’s policy on charter school applications as the school board faces a decision on whether to approve a request by Strong Foundation Charter School to open next fall.

TENNESSEE

Nashville schools budget expected to be $4 million to $5 million less than August forecast
The Tennessean, TN, March 5, 2014
As officials at Metro Nashville Public Schools head into the homestretch of budget talks that began months ago, they’re now looking at a smaller number.

Nashville charter school LEAD Academy boasts 100 percent college acceptance
The Tennessean, TN, March 4, 2014
The inaugural senior class at Nashville’s first and only charter high school has pulled off a feat that might seem improbable: each member has been accepted to a four-year college.

TEXAS

Dallas ISD home-rule backers’ petition drive met with mixed reaction from voters
Dallas Morning News, TX, March 5, 2014
Supporters of an effort to make Dallas ISD a home-rule charter launched their campaign Tuesday with a petition that voters met with mixed reaction, confusion and lots of questions.

VIRGINIA

Middleburg gets county’s first charter school
Loudoun Times-Mirror, VA, March 5, 2014
Middleburg will soon be the home of the county’s first Charter School. The Loudoun County School Board voted to accept the application of the Middleburg Community Charter School at a work session and action meeting Tuesday night.

WISCONSIN

Keep promise on voucher-school accountability
Editorial, Green Bay Press-Gazette, WI, March 4, 2014
Wisconsin residents were promised, when the 2013-15 budget was passed in June, that voucher schools would be held to the same accountability standards as public schools.

Wisconsin bill that could target Common Core standards set for debate
Journal Sentinel, WI, March 4, 2014
A bill that would create a state academic standards board with the power to derail the implementation of nationally aligned reading and math goals in Wisconsin’s public schools will likely see intense debate Thursday in Madison.

ONLINE LEARNING

County OK’s First Lease Payment for Digital Learning Initiative
The Pilot, NC, March 4, 2014
The Moore County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night unanimously approved the first payment of $251,830 for the school system to lease 3,400 Chromebooks for the second phase of its digital learning initiative.

Online learning system could end school snow days
Charleston Gazette, WV, March 4, 2014
Education leaders hope the state’s implementation of Project 24, a digital learning initiative, could eliminate snow days as we know them.

Some school districts turn to e-learning to make up snow days
WRTV, IN, March 4, 2014
Of all the Indiana schools that need to make up for lost snow days, Zionsville is on the shortlist of districts that have the resources to do it on a virtual level.

Still nagging doubts about virtual schools
Editorial, Sun Journal, ME, March 5, 2014
We can only hope the Maine Charter School Commission members spoke with equal wisdom when they approved the application for the Maine Connections virtual school.

Virtual charter school eager to get started in Maine
Portland Press Herald, ME, March 5, 2014
The board hopes to start recruiting staff and students soon, and plans to open at least one local center where the faculty will work.

Virtual charter school would lack face time
Opinion, Portland Press Herald, ME, March 5, 2014
I just read the sample “Day in the Life” of a student at the just-approved Maine Connections Academy and it made me think of a kid who went by the name of Rada.