California Legislative Update: Anti-Charter School Legislation Moves Closer to Becoming Law
Here is the latest California legislative update:
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed both AB 1505 by Assemblyman O’Donnell and AB 1507 by Assemblywoman Smith out of committee. Both measures would place severe restrictions on charter schools in California.
AB 1505 would change how charter schools are authorized and renewed, while also preventing the State Board of Education from authorizing or overseeing any charter schools. Additionally, the measure would slowly take away the teacher credentialing flexibility that charter schools have and allow an authorizer to consider the charter school’s ‘fiscal impact’ when considering whether to allow the charter to open.
The most egregious portion of the bill places a moratorium on non-classroom based schools for two years. This will be the most punitive charter school measure ever enacted into law in California. Leadership in both houses of the legislature and the Governor have signed off on it and the California Charter Schools Association has taken a neutral position. This means the legislation will fly through the legislature and make it to the Governor’s desk before session adjourns for the year on September 13th. The Charter Schools Association’s neutral position is a signal to moderate Democrats that they can vote for the bill and a serious blow to charter school advocacy in the state.
AB 1507 is also almost assured to make it onto the Governor’s desk as he has already endorsed it. This bill would basically remove all charter school out-of-district or county resource centers, testing sites, and meeting places from the state. A charter school would only be allowed to have resource centers within the boundaries of their authorizer’s district. In effect, the measure limits a charter school’s ability to have meaningful independent study programs.
As with AB 1505, the Charter Schools Association has actually worked with the author of this legislation and is attempting to move to a neutral position. Both of these bills will have a huge impact on every charter school in the state and represent the education reform movement losing a lot of ground in California.
Based on the November election results, this is not a big surprise but it is disheartening to see the Charter Schools Association capitulating to education reform opponents across the board. The measures should pass the legislature by September 13th and then the Governor will have a month to act on each of them.
Since the company’s inception in 2007, Charter School Capital has been committed to the success of charter schools. We help schools access, leverage, and sustain the resources charter schools need to thrive, allowing them to focus on what matters most – educating students. Our depth of experience working with charter school leaders and our knowledge of how to address charter school financial and operational needs have allowed us to provide over $1.8 billion in support of 600 charter schools that have educated over 1,027,000 students across the country. For more information on how we can support your charter school, contact us. We’d love to work with you!