Last week AB 1316 was placed on the inactive file by the author on the Assembly Floor. Being placed on the inactive file means the measure will not move forward this year. The bill faced a Friday legislative deadline, the house of origin deadline. By June 4th all Assembly bills needed to be voted out of the Assembly and all Senate bills needed to be voted out of the Senate.
AB 1316 was an anti-charter school measure carried by Assembly member Patrick O’Donnell, the Chair of the Assembly’s Education Committee. In addition to numerous anti-charter school provisions, the measure would have also changed independent study law in the state and imposed new auditing standards on all schools. It was opposed by every charter school organization in the state as well as hundreds of charter schools. Mr. O’Donnell claimed the measure was about accountability but he drafted the measure without input from administrators, teachers, parents or students. We have seen him do this before with prior charter school legislation and will see it again from him in the future.
As AB 1316 moved from the Assembly Appropriations Committee to the Assembly Floor the level of opposition ramped up and legislative offices were swamped with calls, emails and letters raising serious concerns about the bill. The administration also amended their education trailer bill to extend the current moratorium on non-classroom based charter schools for three more years. This was a clear sign from the administration that they did not want to see AB 1316 reach the Governor’s desk.
These factors ultimately led to Mr. O’Donnell not being able to get 41 of his colleagues to vote for his bill on the Assembly Floor.
Though the moratorium was extended, defeating AB 1316 was a major victory for education reform advocates. It follows a victory from 2020 when the charter community came together to stop AB 2990 on the Floor of the Assembly and represents what we can accomplish with our collective voices.
Since 2021 is the first year of the two-year legislative cycle Mr. O’Donnell will have the month of January 2022 to move the bill to the State Senate. Under legislative rules all measures that failed the house of origin deadline will have that opportunity to move onto the other house. We will ask you to stay vigilant and will keep you posted on new education developments in the future.