Charter schools are publicly funded schools that are operated by nongovernmental boards or organiza- tions, which can be nonprofit or for-profit, and are in a short-term contract with the state or state designated authorizer. The state or designated authorizer sets performance and operating standards, which must be periodically evaluated.

Currently, 44 states have authorized charter schools. Of those that have charter schools, 24 states have explicitly defined or permitted cybercharter schools. Cybercharter schools provide either all or the majority of their instruction online.

The New York legislature passed a bill enacting the Excelsior Scholarship on April 7th. The program, designed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, provides tuition-free college at New York public universities to families making up to $125,000 a year. Although other states offer free community college, New York is the first state to fully subsidize tuition at both two and four-year universities.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, or WIOA, provides for comprehensive realignment of the nation’s workforce development programs. The federal government provides significant funding to states for workforce system programs covered by WIOA. For program year 2016 the federal government appropriated more than $6.9 billion to states for the Core WIOA Program and approximately $3.4 billion in federal formula funding for partner programs, for total funding of $10.5 billion. Federal funding is also provided through competitive grants.

This morning the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to chief state school officers on matters concerning the implementation of The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The letter specifically addresses the implementation timeline, school improvement requirements for the 2017-2018 school year, and stakeholder consultation requirements that apply to consolidated state plans.

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With the passage of a new law, Illinois has made it easier for educators with an out-of-state license to teach in the state.

The Trump administration announced a preliminary 2018 budget proposal that included elimination of the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Funds from this program are allocated to states and national grantees in states to employ low-income senior citizens. SCSEP funds 43,600 positions nationwide at a cost of $9,698 per position.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, also known as WIOA, received bipartisan congressional support and was signed into law in July 2014. WIOA is the first major reform of the public workforce system since the Workforce Investment Act, or WIA, of 1998. The program has an ambitious goal to coordinate up to 19 different federal programs administered by four different federal departments.

The North Carolina Senate unanimously passed SB-8 on March 15th which eases occupational licensure burdens on veterans by allowing military members and their spouses to practice their profession with a license from another state while transitioning to the requirements of North Carolina. The bill, sponsored by Senators Andy Wells, Harry Brown, and Louis Pate, is a positive step towards helping military families working jobs that may require a license.

This month, Kentucky became the 44th state to authorize charter schools, which are publicly funded schools that are operated by non-governmental entities. Will there be a 45th state to join the ranks of those with a charter school law any time soon? Possibly.

The Supreme Court held unanimously in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District that public school districts must offer students with disabilities an individual education plan (IEP) “reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.”

The Court rejected the Tenth Circuit’s holding that an IEP must merely confer “some educational benefit” that is “more than de minimis.”

This ruling came down while Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judge Gorsuch was the author of a 2008 opinion which was the basis for the Tenth Circuit’s opinion in Endrew F.

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