Lisa Gibes is 50CAN’s vice president of strategy and external relations. She lives in San Francisco, CA.

Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

News and Analysis:
Enrollment in Charter Schools Is Increasing

Although charter schools engender fierce debate — most recently over ballot measures in Georgia and Washington State — their ranks are growing rapidly, according to a new report. Between 2010-11 and 2011-12, the number of students in charter schools increased close to 13 percent, to just over two million. (New York Times) 

STEM Makes Strong Showing in Latest ‘Innovation’ Grants
Improving STEM education is a popular theme among winning applications in the most recent round of the Investing in Innovation grant competition, announced last week. (Education Week – Curriculum Matters) 

Georgia Education Department campaign to laud public education
The Georgia Department of Education has launched a campaign to laud public education in the state, which has taken a verbal pounding from frustrated parents and politicians unhappy about low standardized test scores, discipline and student retention problems. (Atlanta Journal Constitution) 

George Lucas’ Promise to Invest in Education Prompts Speculation
George Lucas’ announcement that a majority of the proceeds from the sale of his film company will be funneled into education philanthropy has sparked speculation among educators about where the new influx of money might be directed. (Education Week) 

D.C. Public Schools Closings: Chancellor Kaya Henderson Announces 20 Targeted For Closure
Twenty D.C. Public Schools have been targeted for closure before the next school year, Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Tuesday. Per the Washington City Paper’s “Loose Lips” blog, the closing schools include a list of elementary and middle schools. One high school, Spingarn High School in Ward 5, is also targeted. (Huffington Post) 

Spokane Public Schools Indicates It Will Apply For Charter School
Washington’s Initiative 1240, which allows for the creation of up to 40 charter schools over five years, has been approved by a majority of Washington voters, and Spokane Public Schools officials have indicated they will apply for one. (Huffington Post)

New York:
NYC Mayor Bloomberg announces $500M plan to repair schools, hospitals damaged by Sandy

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced a $500 million emergency plan to pay for critical repairs to public schools and hospitals damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The plan would allocate $200 million for the Department of Education and $300 million for the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation to repair extensive damage. The repairs would include structural restorations, new boilers, new electrical systems and roof repairs. (Washington Post) 

Rhode Island:
RI education board to discuss reinstating commissioner on leave after brain surgery

Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist appears ready to return to her job leading the R.I. Department of Education at the end of the month after an absence of five months. In July, doctors discovered a brain tumor and operated in September. (Providence Journal) 


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