Editorial: Help California school districts by letting them raise their own tax revenue (LA Times)


January 17, 2013 – Gov. Jerry Brown wants to help inner-city schools at the expense of suburbanites. But there must be a better way to assist the disadvantaged than to trigger class warfare. And there is. It is to give school districts a better opportunity to raise their own tax revenue. That could involve reducing the voter threshold needed for levying parcel taxes from two-thirds to 55%. This idea currently is kicking around the Legislature. But so far it hasn’t been linked to Brown’s new school-funding proposal. Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, is proposing legislation that would allow school districts to raise parcel taxes for day-to-day operations by a 55% vote.

Link to Full Article: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-schools-20130117,0,7549216.column



Hard-hit PA school districts push back against charter schools (Pittsburgh Tribune)


January 17, 2013 – Western Pennsylvania school districts that are losing students and money to charter schools are fighting back. The Penn Hills school board this week approved spending $3,500 a month for two years of advertising on TV and the Internet. Woodland Hills will pay $13.9 million — nearly 17 percent of its annual budget — to charter schools this year to educate more than 1,150 children who live in the district, the most students among 49 suburban districts the Tribune-Review surveyed. About 22 percent of eligible students there go to charter schools. Penn Hills is sending 787 students to charter schools at a cost of $8.1 million.

Link to Full Article: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/3253758-74/charter-schools-districts#axzz2IILXSL8T

Link to PA Charter School Enrollment Data: http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=BrvKuRlKXnSyv$2WjTHJ6JM5tm0Zxrvol3sywaAHBAm_3vJewNlKptRCOH1dl7lVE0$uXvBjavsllACLNr6VhLEUIm2tympBeeq1Fwi7sIigrCfKm_F3DhYfWov3omce$8CAqP1xDAFoSAgEcS6kSQ–&CONTENTTYPE=application/pdf&CONTENTDISPOSITION=ptr-gx-charter-011713.pdf

With more money to spend, California Gov. Brown launches K-12 funding reform (EdSource)

January 11, 2013 – Gov. Jerry Brown proposed an unfamiliar budget for public education in the state this week – one with actual increases. His 2013-14 spending plan for K-12 schools includes a revision of his plan to reform the state’s convoluted, inequitable school finance system that  lawmakers and a coalition of education groups rejected last year. Passing it would be a priority, Brown said. Brown wants to increase overall spending for K-12 and community colleges in the 2013-14 fiscal year by 5 percent: $2.7 billion, which translates to $337 per student. Total spending would rise to $56.2 billion next year.

Link to Full Article: http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/with-more-money-to-spend-brown-launches-k-12-funding-refor/25317#.UPIt83dkgQo

Source: Proposed 2013-14 California state budget

Gov. Perry praises Texas school funding as ‘phenomenal’ (Star Telegram)

January 9, 2013 – Firing back at harsh criticism of Republicans for approving billions of dollars in public school funding cuts, Gov. Rick Perry defended state spending on education Wednesday and referred to “phenomenal” growth over the past decade. Education advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers have assailed the Republican-led Legislature for cutting more than $5 billion from education during the 2011 session, when the state faced a budget shortfall left by the recession. Lawmakers are being urged to restore the funding after projections showed that the state will have better-than-expected revenue — $101.4 billion — to fund services over the next two years.

Link to Full Article: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/01/09/4536439/perry-praises-texas-school-funding.html


Michigan AG wants Detroit school board ouster today (Detroit News)

January 10, 2013 – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is continuing his quest to unseat seven members of the Detroit Board of Education and plans to persuade a judge to order their removal today. Schuette sued the board members in August — the same day Public Act 4 was suspended — accusing them of illegally holding office because they were elected by district, not at-large, as state law requires when a district has under 100,000 full-time students. Attorney George Washington, who represents the seven board members elected by district in November 2011, said the district’s student population fell below 100,000 in 2008.

Link to Full Article: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130110/SCHOOLS/301100369/1409/


Hite’s Philadelphia schools blueprint praised and poked (Philly Inquirer)

January 8, 2013 – People think William R. Hite Jr.’s new blueprint for the Philadelphia School District (Ba1 – 717883NC2) is “focused” and “diligent.” They say it’s “thorough” and the “serious and good work” of a “thoughtful practitioner.” But on Monday, it was also judged by some local education watchers as “disappointing,” “same old same old,” and “lacking in specifics.” Under the broad goals of boosting academics and restoring fiscal stability, the plan calls for dozens of action items – from professionalizing the teaching force and focusing on early literacy to improving the graduation rate and providing better services to special-education students.

Link to Full Article: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/city/20130108_Hite_s_Philadelphia_schools_blueprint_praised_and_poked.html


State monitor is installed to supervise spending in Elmwood Park school district (North Jersey . com)

January 7, 2013 – A funding crisis in Elmwood Park Public Schools (Enhanced: Aa3 / 290096BE5) that the superintendent mostly attributes to the rampant growth of special education costs will now become a challenge for a newly appointed state monitor who can veto the school board. The gravity of the state’s decision to appoint a full-time agent in the district, prompted by two consecutive yearly budget deficits, was underscored Monday night when Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf appeared at a special board meeting to personally introduce the monitor and detail the extent to which he can control the purse strings.

Link to Full Article: http://www.northjersey.com/elmwoodpark/State_monitor_is_installed_to_supervise_spending_in_Elmwood_Park_school_district.html