About seven years after Inga Cotton created the San Antonio Charter Moms blog, she noticed that the most-visited web page on the site was a listing of all the city’s charter schools.  “It’s just an alphabetical list of the schools of choice in San Antonio,” Cotton said. “The next step was wondering, ‘How do we make that page more useful for parents?'”  Cotton decided the best way to help parents find a charter school that fit their student would be to develop a phone app, San Antonio Charter Schools, with useful information on each school. view article arw

The warning signs appeared soon after Denise Kawamoto accepted a job at Today’s Fresh Start Charter School in South Los Angeles. Though she was fresh out of college, she was pretty sure it wasn’t normal for the school to churn so quickly through teachers or to mount surveillance cameras in each classroom. Old computers were lying around, but the campus had no internet access. Pay was low and supplies scarce — she wasn’t given books for her students. She struggled to reconcile the school’s conditions with what little she knew about its wealthy founders, Clark and Jeanette Parker of Beverly Hills. view article arw

The Onion reports on an exciting and innovative concept in the world of charter schools: a school without students! “One year into its founding as the purported “bold next step in education reform,” administrators on Monday sang the praises of Forest Gates Academy, a progressive new charter school that practices an innovative philosophy of not admitting any students. “We’ve done something here at Forest Gates that is truly special, combining modern, cutting-edge pedagogical methods with a refreshingly non-pupil-centric approach,” said academy president Diane Blanchard, who claimed that the experimental school boasts state-of-the-art facilities, a diverse and challenging syllabus, absolutely zero students, a world-class library, and the highest faculty-student ratio in the nation. “ view article arw

A blistering new report from the Network for Public Education (NPE) documents how the federal government, through the U.S. Department of Education, wastes hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on grants awarded to charter schools that never open or quickly close. The Department of Education is also funding charter schools that blatantly discriminate in their discipline, curricular, and enrollment practices.The Washington Post broke the news here this morning view article arw

The San Antonio ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new initiative Monday night that the superintendent said will help keep some schools alive. The board approved partnerships with four non-profit organizations that will transform 18 SAISD schools into in-district charter schools. The non-profit organizations will create a governing board that will oversee the principal and staff, curriculum, and other school procedures. The district said the goals of the charters are designed to provide expertise and the non-profit leaders will be in place to preserve the charter model. view article arw

Only 2.6 percent of K-12 students living within Cy-Fair ISD’s boundaries attend charter schools, but Population and Survey Analysts demographers project that number could increase as more charter school systems expand to the area. While less than 10 charter schools exist within the district’s boundaries, local students attend at least 43 charter schools, including Harmony Public Schools, International Leadership of Texas and KIPP Houston Public Schools. YES Prep Northwest opened in August, and at least two more charter schools plan to open in Cy-Fair by 2020. view article arw

President Trump’s first federal budget proposal seeks a $168 million increase for charter schools, which is a 50 percent funding increase from the current level set by the previous Obama administration. For Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, charters are one tool in the school choice tool box that they say will be front and center of their education reform agenda. view article arw

Craig Harris, a senior reporter for azcentral.com, examines BASIS Phoenix South Primary, a new charter school, and tries to find out how taxpayer dollars are being spent at the successful chain of charter schools. Tom Tingle/azcentral.com - It's midmorning and children in Room 101 at Basis Phoenix South Primary are sprawled on the floor and seated at desks with their faces buried in readers. view article arw