Maine Governor Vetoes Virtual School Moratorium
Augusta, Maine – A bill to put the brakes on the creation of virtual charter schools in Maine was approved by the Senate on Thursday and quickly vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage. The bill aimed to stop the creation of virtual schools while the Department of Education develops its own online offerings, an initiative which was ordered by Gov. Paul LePage in 2012. LePage’s executive order called for the department to develop a plan and present it to the Legislature.
Fla. could increase private school vouchers
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida program that helps low-income children attend private schools, many of them religious, could undergo a substantial expansion under a bill that moved ahead Thursday in the state Legislature. A House panel voted to advance the legislation, but not before triggering a partisan debate on public vs. private education and standardized testing. The bill would expand the nearly $300 million school voucher program in several ways, including removing some eligibility restrictions, increasing the money available and offering partial scholarships to families who earn more than $60,000 a year.
Common Core bill appears dead in Wisconsin Senate
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bill that would give the Legislature power to write and approve Wisconsin’s academic standards is unlikely to pass in its current form, the leader of the state Senate said Thursday as hundreds of teachers, school administrators and business leaders converged on the Capitol to oppose it. And the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, which held a hearing on the measure, told The Associated Press that at least five Republican senators told him they opposed the measure that would likely lead to the undoing of the Common Core standards adopted in 2010.
Kansas High Court to Rule in School Funding Suit
Topeka, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas Supreme Court is expected to release a much-anticipated ruling that will determine whether the state’s $3 billion annual expenditure for education is enough. The ruling being released Friday could also determine whether Gov. Sam Brownback’s recent tax cuts can be sustained. Parents and four school districts sued Kansas in 2010, saying lawmakers reneged on promises to provide a certain funding level for public education.
‘Innovative Schools’ plan to Baton Rouge board
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent Bernard Taylor told the school board he hopes to solicit proposals to create new schools in order to head off growing competition from charter schools. Taylor said he’s concerned that charters schools are eating up an increasing share of his funding, potentially at the expense of day-to-day operations, and he needs to develop a viable, affordable alternative.
Split NC education board OKs new testing levels
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A split North Carolina State Board of Education has agreed to change how students will be labeled based on standardized test scores in a move which means more students will be considered proficient in skills and courses. Thursday’s decision expands the number of achievement levels from four to five starting with this year’s tests. The change affects students for all end-of-grade and end-of-course tests.