Roundup: Charter Expansion Plan Ignites Divisions In LA

Group Led By Billionaire Proposes Overhaul Of LA Public Schools NPR: A memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times reveals a controversial plan to put half of the city’s public school kids in charter schools. Renee Montagne talks with Times education reporter Howard Blume. See also LA TimesKPCC LA.

Brown signs $500m teacher training bill SI&A Cabinet Reoprt: Brown signed legislation Tuesday authorizing the distribution of $490 million in teacher training money to school districts based on their number of full-time equivalent certificated staff.

Shavar Jeffries and the color of education ‘reform’ Washington Post: Shavar Jeffries is the new president of Democrats for Education Reform, making him a prominent African American leader in a movement that’s been criticized for being too white and elitist.

Chicago’s brand of teacher organizing goes viral Catalyst Chicago: As in Chicago in 2012, the Seattle teachers union connected with community concerns about standardized testing to argue against attaching tests to teacher evaluations. The new contract takes student test scores out of teacher evaluation altogether. “There’s a mood shifting out there among teachers and parents about what’s going on in the schools, and who has a say over it,” said Knapp.

Colo. Supreme Court Upholds Lawmakers’ Cuts to School Funding State EdWatch: The Dwyer v. Colorado ruling is the state Supreme Court’s second major decision regarding K-12 finance in the past two years.

Fairfax County schools could face a $72 million budget shortfall Washington Post: Fairfax County school officials have been sounding the alarm about a potentially significant budget shortfall that could lead to major cuts next school year, with the most recent estimates forecasting the deficit at the state’s largest school system at $71.6 million.

Despite Supreme Court ruling, charters may get some tax money Seattle Times: As the state Supreme Court considers motions asking it to reconsider a ruling that prohibits charters from receiving public money, the schools may continue to get it.

Rezoning Plan for Two Brooklyn Schools Riles Up Parents WSJ: Parents from both schools say the proposal was thrust on them suddenly this month without their input. Department officials say urgency mounted when 50 children expecting to attend P.S. 8’s kindergarten this fall had to be put on a waitlist. See also NYT: Race and Class Collide in a Plan for Two Brooklyn Schools.

Possible merger of contrasting schools one step closer WBEZ Chicago: Because the move would be considered a “school consolidation” under the law, CPS will have to make an official announcement by December 1 and hold three more public hearings before making a decision.  Gad said she thinks if the merger is approved, parents will leave Ogden.

Alexander Russo

Alexander Russo is a freelance education writer who has created several long-running blogs such as the national news site This Week In Education, District 299 (about Chicago schools), and LA School Report. He can be reached on Twitter at @alexanderrusso, on Facebook, or directly at alexanderrusso@gmail.com.