Four bills could wrap charter schools in red tape

charter school futureSince their introduction in California 23 years ago, charter schools have grown like kudzu. According to the California Charter Schools Association, the state now boasts 1,184 charter schools, teaching an estimated 547,800 students.

Charters are public schools that generally work outside the statewide schools system, cutting out much of the red tape. The picture shows the future Accelerated Charter Elementary School at 3914 S. Main Street in Los Angeles.

Now a group of legislators closely linked to the public-employee unions is seeking to put new limits on charters. A key goal is to force all the charters to be run as nonprofits, taking away a key reform model.

Reported the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:

“The public is paying for them,” Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina, said afterward. “The accountability ought to be there and the protection for the employees ought to be there.”

Four Democrats, flanked by representatives of the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers and the California Labor Federation, announced four new pieces of legislation the legislators said will ensure the charter schools fulfill their stated mission.

Hernandez introduced Assembly Bill 787, which would not allow charter schools to be run for profit. Instead, it allows a charter school to operate as, or be operated by, a nonprofit public benefit corporation. …

Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Compton, introduced Assembly Bill 709, which explicitly states that charter school board meetings are covered by California’s open meeting law, the Ralph M. Brown Act. …

State Sen. Mark Len, D-San Francisco … introduced Senate Bill 322, which would make it explicit that charter schools are to comply with a number of other laws covering public schools. …

State Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Montebello, introduced Senate Bill 329, which tweaks the language of existing law regarding accounting in public school districts.

Red tape

Charter-school defenders claim all the new red tape would defeat the purpose of charter schools, which are highly popular with students and parents. In a statement, the CCSA responded to the flurry of new bills:

The proposed legislation highlighted today by the California Teachers Association (CTA) intentionally misrepresents the realities of charter schools in order to stem the success of our growing movement of charter schools in California. Fortunately, the success of charter schools speaks for itself, and is well documented by independent research. Parents, the broader public and responsible policy makers all understand that charter schools are public schools and that charter schools are performing very well with students, providing life changing opportunities to the students who need them the most. That is why there are more than 91,000 students on waiting lists for California charter schools.

This proposed legislation attempts to spread misperceptions about charter public schools. And we believe current laws address concerns raised and these proposals are unnecessary.

The truth is that all charters schools are public schools just like traditional district schools. They are tuition-free and open to any student who wishes to attend. Charter public schools give parents and students a choice in their education. They are diverse and reflect the communities they serve. Charter public schools are held accountable by their authorizer (usually the local school district) and by the families they serve.

Test scores

A key for the CCSA is test scores:

Perhaps most importantly though, and missing from the overarching discussion, is that charter public schools are getting strong academic results with the students they serve, and in many cases are performing better in comparison to traditional district schools, and remarkably so with the neediest students. As recently as last week, Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), the nation’s foremost independent analyst of charter school effectiveness, released a comprehensive Urban Charter Schools Report and offers unprecedented insight into the effectiveness of charter public schools. Similar to the findings from the report, Charter School Performance in California that CREDO also released, we are once again encouraged that independent research confirms California’s charter schools are performing well, especially with historically underserved students, and are improving over time (see also: Charter School Performance in Los Angeles). These strong academic results are clearly a driving force for the parents who are making their voices heard in their desire to send their kids to charter schools.

Gov. Brown

If these bills pass, a key hurdle will be getting a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown, long a charter supporter. While mayor of Oakland, he even started two charters, the Oakland Military Institute and Oakland School for the Arts.

Just after he was elected in 2010, a spokesman said, “The governor is very proud of the two schools he founded in Oakland more than a decade ago. These schools have served  thousands of Bay Area students — many the first in their family to go on to college — and he remains committed to their success.”

14 comments

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  1. Donkey
    Donkey 29 March, 2015, 17:18

    The RAGWUS feeders that inhabit the school cabal have but one vision for the system they steer, more money for the teacher cabal, with no accountability for any output.
    Like every RAGWUS bureaucracy the teachers want more for less. The police, ff’s, and general feeders care nothing about the so called service they provide for the most part. It is the pay, pension, and benefits they constantly are looking to enhance no matter the consequence to the private sector taxpayer. The feeders show many traits portrayed by most sociopaths!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
    • NTHEOC
      NTHEOC 29 March, 2015, 20:27

      As we come upon April 19th, let us not forget what the Anti Gov’t types are capable of!!!
      On April 19, 1995, a truck-bomb explosion outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, left 168 people dead and hundreds more injured.

      Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 29 March, 2015, 21:48

        Another commit from the most ignorant RAGWUS feeder in the state, Ntheoc!! I must say that TCS is also in your class! 🙂
        Just so you understand my half backed feeder friend, you are not the government. You inhabit a bureaucracy that feeds off the taxpayers and in order to do so you lie, cheat, and steal using your RAGWUS union as a Trojan Horse.
        I find it very amusing that a generational RAGWUS feeder like you is calling a Vet “anti-government”. No, people like me are anti-RAGWUS feeder, and are looking to get an honest return on the taxes we pay. As long as creeps like you are working in the RAGWUS the ship will be adrift! 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • ulysses Uhaul
          ulysses Uhaul 30 March, 2015, 09:43

          Nethenderal

          Donked is a crusty ole man….go light on him…..his deep seated childhood memories…..must be really really bad….something like a GED cop told him to stay on the curb…the instruction traumatized him indelibly…. So so sad…a wasted life!

          Reply this comment
          • Donkey
            Donkey 3 April, 2015, 10:53

            From the school yard playbook Ahaul, “It takes one to know one.”
            Go read some of your tripe, you never even speak to the topic clown. 🙂

  2. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 29 March, 2015, 22:04

    There are many “vets” who are teachers,ff’s and police. Yet you call them RAGWUS feeders, thieves, and many other names! So step down off your high pedestal Donk! I obviously hit a nerve with you by my comment.

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 1 April, 2015, 14:38

      Ntheoc, your mind is not provided with the intellect to see the big picture of the RAGWUS.
      What you are writing is that “the Donk” is capable of blowing up a building and killing innocent people, which is not plausible. You have posted a lie.
      On the other hand I am calling out the RAGWUS and its members for stealing from the taxpayers with a corrupt system they themselves, and the feeders that came before have created. I am writing the truth. You are just name calling with your hyperbole antics.
      Justify the fact that you are receiving four to five times the pay as the average household in your city. Justify that feeders are getting eight to twenty times what Social Security pays your neighbor. Only a narcissistic sociopath could justify such a devious scam.

      🙂

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 1 April, 2015, 18:29

        Did I mention you anywhere in my comment Donk? I was just stating a FACT about a historic bombing by an anti Gov’t wacko. Btw, you are the biggest of name callers on this sight! And in reality your feelings about my job really do fall on deaf ears! Go enjoy your life or get a life Donk.

        Reply this comment
        • Donkey
          Donkey 3 April, 2015, 07:16

          Logic and reason reside nowhere in your little vacant cavity Ntheoc. You replied to my commit you fool, thus calling me a terrorist by default you weasel.
          Thanks, but my life is perfect as is, It is the lives of the younger generations that is being affected by you RAGWUS feeders and your never ending greed for more from their tax dollars. 🙂

          Reply this comment
          • Ulysses Uhaul
            Ulysses Uhaul 3 April, 2015, 09:08

            You’re sick. That mercury laddened fish got ya…..name calling so juvee!

  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 9 April, 2015, 16:34

    Donkey Bro

    I. Never read the articles just the depressing headliners. You’re manipilated by CWD propagandists…..fair and balanced posters bring you daily levity and joy countering this evil world…..

    Happy happy….happy

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 10 April, 2015, 13:01

      I fight a never ending battle against the evil RAGWUS Ahaul, but at my leisure.
      The only “propaganda” filling the air comes from the government unions and the feeders that work for the RAGWUS. 🙂

      Reply this comment

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John Seiler

John Seiler

John Seiler has been writing about California for 25 years. That includes 22 years as an editorial writer for the Orange County Register and two years for CalWatchDog.com, where he is managing editor. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Hillsdale College. He was a Russian linguist in U.S. Army military intelligence from 1978 to 1982. He was an editor and writer for Phillips Publishing Company from 1983 to 1986. He has written for Policy Review, Chronicles, LewRockwell.com, Flash Report and numerous other publications. His email: [email protected]

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