Charter news is back following a Thanksgiving week break—covering news items from 11/18 – 12/2. Thanks, as always, for reading and subscribing.
Focusing on the visual
While Toledo School for the Arts is primarily known for its performing arts focus, its visual arts offerings are of equally high quality as seen in this profile which highlights courses in design, painting, sculpture, photography, and more.
Rocking the robots
Want to see a super cool robot created and operated by students at Horizon Science Academy’s Columbus high school? Check out this video of the team putting it through its paces. Awesome!
Charter unionization update
This week, the administration of KIPP Columbus declined to voluntarily recognize the union that teachers and other staff members have been working to form. A statement on behalf of the administration asserted that state rather than federal unionization rules should apply in the case of charter school employees.
Religious charter schools?
Yesterday, Oklahoma’s attorney general issued an opinion saying that Oklahoma law barring charter schools from having a religious affiliation is likely unconstitutional given recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on similar issues. He went on to add that charters could also likely “be” religious, not just affiliated with a religious entity. Policymakers and advocates in Ohio and other states which bar charters from being religiously affiliated will likely be giving this opinion a close read.
Public school enrollment changes
A new report from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools examines enrollment shifts in public schools over the last three pandemic-disrupted school years. In the 25 states they examined, nearly 20 percent of families switched the type of school their child attended. 89 percent of parents whose children switched reported a positive change as a result. More than 240,000 students enrolled in charter schools in that time, a 7 percent increase, while traditional district schools lost approximately 1.5 million students, a 3.5 percent decrease. You can take a look at the full report here.
CSP taking applications
Applications are open now for the 2023 federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grants to Charter Management Organizations (CMOs). CMOs that would like to replicate or expand at one or more sites are encouraged to apply. Funds may be used to increase the enrollment of, or add one or more grades to, an existing charter school or to open one or more new charter schools or new campuses of a charter school. Applicants are strongly encouraged (but not required) to submit a notice of intent to apply by December 5, 2022. The deadline for applications is January 3, 2023. Full details and application materials can be accessed here.
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