Charter schools could get more money to build

House lawmakers voted Tuesday to revise the 1996 charter school laws. The bill, which requires one more House vote before moving to the Senate, creates a revolving loan program of federal and state grants to help build charter school facilities, allows charter schools’ enrollment to be “boys only” or “girls only,” increases charter school students’ access to sports and other extracurricular activities at nearby public schools and alters the state’s charter school board. The bill does not alter funding for charter schools which are public schools, free of many state regulations to help encourage innovation. South Carolina currently has about 11,000 charter school students.

4/28/2010,, South Carolina

Race to the Top request in doubt

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said Thursday the state won’t apply for $250 million in federal Race to the Top funds if the Indiana State Teachers Association doesn’t sign on to major reforms – and fast.

4/10/2010, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Indiana

S.C. to enter 2nd Race to the Top

“We have decided officially, formally and finally to reapply for the Race to the Top for the second round,” state Superintendent of Education Dr. Jim Rex told reporters during a conference call Friday afternoon. “We ended up being ranked No. 6 by the scorers and, unfortunately, we did not receive any money. … We were ranked so highly, we thought even at that early stage we would reapply.”

4/10/2010,, South Carolina

Charter schools need help

Most South Carolinians would be surprised to hear that there is an area of public education in which we are a national leader. That is because most are not familiar with the S.C. Public Charter School District.   We are one of only two states that have taken the innovative step of forming a statewide school district that is empowered to authorize and oversee public charter schools.

3/19/2010, Sun News, South Carolina

Equity for charter schools

Judge Roger Young deemed valid a state law that says the Charleston County School District may not deny a charter school anything that is available to a public school. There is debate about it, but the law appears to require the district to assist charter schools with building space and transportation.

1/29/2010, Charleston Post and Courier, South Carolina

School District to participate in state “race to the top” program

Chesterfield County School District will participate in the state’s plan to implement education reforms initiated by the Obama administration.

1/14/2010, Cheraw Chronicle, South Carolina