New Year's Week Roundup of School Choice News
As the holidays wrap up this week, catch up with the latest school choice and charter school news from around the country, including the announcement of New York City's new chancellor, North Carolina teachers' attitudes about vouchers, and the implications of pre-K vouchers in Indiana.
• New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has tapped Carmen Fariña as the city's new school chancellor. Although de Blasio has suggested he may begin charging rent to charter schools that share space with regular public schools, Fariña has so far avoided taking a stance on charter schools, according to an article in the New York Post, telling reporters during classroom visits on Thursday to "stay tuned."
• A survey by the University of North Carolina Wilmington found that 87 percent of K-12 teachers in North Carolina said they felt the newly passed "opportunity scholarships"—vouchers that will give eligible students up to $4,200 for private school tuition—will have a negative impact on public schools in the state. The survey, which gauged educators' attitudes toward recent legislative changes, included responses from over 600 teachers and administrators in 40 school districts around the state.
• There are two stories up on edweek.org this week that focus on charter schools in the Golden State. My colleague Sarah Sparks has written a profile of a charter school in California that seeks to serve home-schooled children in the Los Angeles area. And this story details a growing trend in California—regular public schools converting to charter status specifically to gain easier access to funding.
• After Indiana Gov. Mike Pence vowed to expand the state's voucher program to pre-K students, StateImpact Indiana investigated about how many families would likely participate in the program. They found that usually around half of eligible families—or about 20,000 in this case—would cash in on the program. Another article from StateImpact found that even if the program is approved, there are large swaths of the state where high-quality pre-K programs aren't available.
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