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Charter school reforms gain traction in Sacramento

Dan Morain
Charter school advocates and teachers unions mass at the Capitol on April 10, 2019, as state lawmakers consider dramatic curbs on charter schools.

There’s been a lot of talk about charter schools lately. Public school districts are in financial crisis. And they’re blaming the competition: publicly-funded charters.

It’s not a new story. Charters — which are privately managed but publicly funded — have been around in California since the legislature opened that door in 1992. Enrollment has doubled over the past decade. Critics — teachers unions in particular — have been fighting to slow that growth and more tightly regulate charters for a long time, without much luck. But now we’re at a tipping point. Because the politics around this whole issue shifted with last year’s election and the recent teachers’ strikes. 

For more information on proposed legislation, click on the links below:

AB 1505 would change the authorization process for charter schools to give local school boards sole control. Would also allow the board to take into consideration whether approval of the charter would have a negative financial, academic, or facilities impact on neighborhood public schools or the school district.

AB 1506would cap charter schools at the total number authorized and operating as of January 1, 2020.

AB 1507 would prohibit a traditional public school district from authorizing a charter school outside its boundaries.

SB 756 calls for a five-year moratorium on charter school approvals unless a host of other legislative changes are approved.

Legislation that’s already been signed into law:

SB 126 requires charter schools to comply with state open meeting and public record access laws.