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Center for Reinventing Public Education, 4/28/17

Report: How states can promote local innovation, options, and problem-solving in public education

State policy plays a critical role in determining whether and how well local education improvement strategies can be implemented. As states rework their education policies under ESSA, state and local leaders need a way to assess their current policy environment and identify the changes needed to encourage local innovation and problem-solving. Read the overview, open up the self-assessment tool, then dig into the state policy reviews and recommendations in four key areas: systemsschoolsfamilies, and funding.

American Statesman, 5/1/17

Texas: Senate passes bill to help save charter schools money on construction

Senate Bill 1480, which would allocate an additional $3 billion of the Permanent School Fund to back charter school bonds, passed the Senate Monday, with four Republicans voting against the measure. The $30 billion Permanent School Fund, the largest education endowment in the country, guarantees bonds from traditional school districts and charter schools, allowing them to borrow money for construction at lower interest rates.

Ed Week Marketbrief, 4/21/17

K-12 schools could save billions by sharing ed-tech prices, report says

U.S. schools could save at least $3 billion a year on educational technology by sharing information about how much they pay for hardware and software, according to estimates in a new study by the nonprofit Technology for Education Consortium. Discrepancies between the highest and lowest prices districts pay for the same hardware and software product can range between 20 percent and 40 percent, the researchers found.

Arizona Central, 4/20/17

Arizona is expanding its school-voucher program. What does it mean for parents?

The Arizona Legislature has passed one of the most expansive school-voucher programs in the nation. The program gives public funds to students to use on private-school tuition, therapies and other educational services. Republican lawmakers narrowly approved the plan, which allows an estimated 30,000 students to take part in the program by 2022.

New Jersey Herald, 4/23/17

New Jersey school spending tough to compare

The Taxpayers Guide to Education Spending 2017 shows the myriad ways which school district numbers can be divided, with several categories of per pupil costs, including one labeled “actual per pupil costs.” But trying to compare district to district can be a daunting affair, even if the state does try to eliminate some variables, such as transportation costs, the amount of pension costs for local teachers paid by the district or even judgments against the school district. Click here for an interactive map of district per-pupil spending from NJ Spotlight.

Education Next, 4/11/17

Op-Ed: With new data, school finance is coming out of the dark ages

A sleeper provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act—come December 2018—will serve up a motherlode of never-before-available school-level financial data. If we seize the unprecedented opportunity this data offers, we will be better equipped to tackle some of education’s most pressing issues—like the need for greater equity and productivity—and help schools across the country do better for their students.