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CA Primaries & Funding for Charter Schools in California

Branché Jones

June 19, 2012


California Charter School Legislation
Tuesday, June 5th was Election Day, and the results may have an impact on funding for charter schools in California . This election was the first time California saw its new top-two primary voting system go into effect. Under the new system, the two candidates who receive the most votes, regardless of political affiliation, advance from the primary to the general election (as opposed to the top-two vote getters from differing political parties). Voters enacted the new system with the hope that more moderate candidates would be elected to the California State Legislature, and our state politics would become less polarizing. This new system also allows moderate groups an opportunity to be more successful when attempting to elect legislative candidates. Redistricting that was done a decade ago had led to various unions and business groups in zones that supported the Democratic and Republican candidates respectively, meaning there were few, if any, moderates who were being elected from either party to the state legislature.
With this in mind, the education reform community in California fared relatively well on election-day in the two legislative races in which they supported specific candidates. In the 57th Assembly District, Democrat Ian Calderon defeated Democrat Rudy Bermudez, enacting a general matchup with a Republican in November that Calderon is projected to win. He has been outspoken about the need to reform our current education system in California, and was heavily funded by a host of education groups throughout the state. In the 46th Assembly District, Democrat Brian Johnson, a Teach For America alumnus and former charter school executive director, is currently on pace to join another Democratic candidate in the November general election. Johnson holds a slim 82 vote lead over the Republican candidate in the race, who finished a close third in the balloting. This is sure to trigger a recount, but if Johnson can hold on, it will mean yet another victory for education reform groups. Like Calderon, Johnson was heavily backed. If both Calderon and Johnson are victorious come November, it could mean a much-needed increase in funding for California charter schools. To find out more about charter school financing options, visit our website.

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