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Conference Registration Open:

November 6 - 8, 2014

14th Annual Conference
Marriott, Downtown Columbia

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Alliance Welcomes 10 New Public Charter Schools

The Alliance is excited to announce the opening of 10 new public charter schools.  We welcome the students, teachers, families, leaders, and board members of each of these exciting new educational opportunities.

School Name/Business Name Grades Physical City Webpage
Carolina Voyager Charter School K-8 Charleston www.carolinavoyagercharterschool.org
DP Cooper Charter School PreK-8 Salters www.wcsd.k12.sc.us
Garden City Preparatory Academy for Boys 6-12 Orangeburg www.gc-prep.org
Gray Collegiate Academy 9-12 West Columbia www.graymilitaryacademy.org
High Point Academy Spartanburg K-12 Spartanburg www.thehighpointdifference.com
Lowcountry Montessori School 1-12 Beaufort www.lowcountrymontessori.com
Midlands STEM Institute K-12 Ridgeway www.midlandsstem.org
Quest Leadership Academy K4-8 Greenville www.questleadershipacademy.org/
Riverwalk Academy K-12 Rock Hill www.riverwalkacademy.com/
SC Science Academy 6-12 Columbia www.scscienceacademy.org



Archived News:


The FCC modernized the current E-Rate program to expand robust Wi-Fi networks in the nation's schools and libraries. Reforms to expand Wi-Fi to 10 million more students, thousands of libraries nationwide next year. Read More


• Bill H3853 has been signed by the Governor. View Bill.  H3853 - Bill with Implementation Notes

• The budget is on its way to the Governor for vetoes. We do not expect any major changes at this point. For your FY2015 budgets, there are many scenarios at play due to the changes.

• View Appropriations Bill as passed by the General Assembly.

Budget Highlights:

New per pupil weights are in place. For the current fiscal year, the pupil classification weightings are:
  • K-12 pupils or base students including homebound students: 1.00.
  • Students served in licensed residential treatment facilities (RTFs) for children and adolescents as defined under Section 44-7-130 of the 1976 Code shall receive a weighting of 2.10.
  • Weights for students with disabilities as prescribed in Section 59-20-40(1)(c) Special Programs
  • Pre-career and Career Technology: 1.29
  • Additional weights for personalized instruction:
    • Gifted and Talented: 0.15
    • Academic Assistance: 0.15
    • Limited English Proficiency: 0.20
    • Pupils in Poverty: 0.20

Transition funds are in place for schools losing funds based on the new weights (except for a prorated amount for the school in Georgetown). SCDE will be providing guidance on computing these amounts in the coming weeks. It is our understanding that these funds will not be issued until after the 135 day counts are in and computed.

Funding for South Carolina Public Charter School District (SCPCSD) students will be base plus funds allocated in 1A.69. Pupils enrolled in virtual charter schools by the SCPCSD or institutions of higher education shall receive $1,900 per weighted pupil and pupils enrolled in brick and mortar charter schools sponsored by the SCPCSD or institutions of higher education shall receive $3,600 per weighted pupil.

There will be new technology and reading coach funds - guidance provided by SCDE in coming weeks.

Summary of 2014 Charter Law changes

SCDE updates and finance newsletter

There are significant changes to the Charter School Act. Highlights include:

  • Tax exemption for property taxes with for-profit landlord
  • New closure language - including new language on implementing generally accepted accounting principles
  • Identification of Alternative Ed Campuses
  • New school development requirements

The Alliance will host a series of webinars and provide further technical assistance on all of these changes. These topics will also be discussed at the Leaders Meeting on July 31st.


Executive Director of the Public Charter School Alliance, Mary Carmichael, recently wrote about how charter schools are changing the lives of students in South Carolina. "All South Carolina children - regardless of race, income or zip code - should have access to a high quality education. Providing our children with an excellent education will not only help them achieve their independence and dreams, but also drive our state's economy and future." Read more


Based on data released December 3, 2013, from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), this Alliance for Excellent Education report reveals that the United States struggles to produce top performers in reading, math, and science at the rates of its international peers. These students, who the report calls the "deepest learners," demonstrate the deep understanding of content and the ability to apply knowledge to solve problems, think critically, and communicate effectively. By combining existing research with the latest PISA data, The Deepest Learners offers four recommendations based on practices in high-performing countries that can inform policymakers as states move forward to implement college and career-ready standards.


Public charter school leaders from across the state recently met with Governor Nikki Haley in Columbia. They discussed the specific needs of public charter schools and their students, along with how to expand high quality charter schools and provide more parental choice.


Pictured here in the Governor’s office from left to right are: Karen Wicks of Royal Live Oaks Academy of the Arts and Science, Jasper County; Allison Reaves of Connections Academy, Statewide Virtual Charter School; Mary Carmichael, Director of Public Charter School Alliance of South Carolina; Shawn Johnson of Charleston Development Academy Public Charter School, Charleston County; Governor Nikki Haley, Victoria Dixon-Mokeba of Carolina School for Inquiry, Richland 1 County; Mike Messner of Carolina Voyager Charter School, Charleston County; Kristin Bohan of Coastal Montessori Charter School, Georgetown; Allison Thomas of Riverview Charter School, Beaufort; Mike Sinclair of Brashier Middle College, Greenville; and Courtney Francher of Palmetto Academy of Learning and Success, Horry County.

Charter schools are public schools allowed the freedom to be more innovative

while being held accountable for improving student achievement.


Strong public charter school legislation creates high quality performance-based

 public charter schools and results in students excelling academically.


Keep up with the legislative session by following the Alliance on Twitter: @SCCharterSchool

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