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California Charter School Initiatives Update

Branché Jones

February 23, 2016


California State Capitol BuildingSeveral initiatives have been filed with the Secretary of State that could affect charter schools. A few weeks ago we gave you a school bond update; there is a school bond that will be on the ballot in November and also there were legislative efforts to place a school bond on the June ballot. The legislative and administrative effort to place a school bond on the June ballot collapsed without either party able to reach agreement on the size of the bond and what would be included in the bond. That leaves only the November school bond measure which totals $9 Billion and includes $500 Million for charter schools. That measure has continued to gain support from the business community, local school districts and elected officials. However, in a major blow the Governor has come out opposed to that bond measure. With the California Teachers Association the Governor has an interest in extending the taxes that were passed in Proposition 30 which is on the November ballot and having other propositions on the ballot will only complicate those efforts. It remains to be seen how this will play out during the year but it will be a lively discussion.
Another measure affecting charter schools has received a summary and title and is out for circulation. If passed it would eliminate all charter schools throughout the state on July 1, 2017 and revert all charter school property and resources purchased with public funds to the local school district. Additionally, all charter schools would either be shut down or revert to traditional public schools. The measure has received a title and summary from the Attorney General and now the proponents have 180 to gather the 365,880 signatures needed to place it on the ballot. We will keep you updated on the signature gathering process as it moves forward. The title of the initiative is the Elimination of Charter Schools Initiative.
To see either initiative in its entirety go to the Attorney General’s website at hit the initiative tab on the right hand side and search for either school bonds or charter schools. Then look for the title of the initiative.

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