California Educator

June/July 2019

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Legislative Update Fixes for charter school ills C T A S U P P O R T S a number of bills that address problems caused by privately managed charter schools' uncontrolled growth, authorization process and opera- tions, all of which hurt public schools and students. For the bills' latest status, go to As of press time: • Assembly Bill 1505 (O'Donnell, D-Long Beach, et al.) would give districts sole authority to approve or deny charters within their communities, and let districts consider charters' financial impact. • Assembly Bill 1507 (Smith, D-Santa Clarita) would close the loophole allowing charters to operate outside their autho- rizing districts. Both bills have passed the Assembly and will likely be voted on in the Senate in mid-July. • Assembly Bill 1506 (McCarty, D-Sacramento) would cap the number of charters in the state based on the current number in 2020. • Senate Bill 756 (Durazo, D-Los Angeles) would establish a two-year moratorium on new charter schools. Both of these have been made two-year bills. This allows addi- tional time to address problems with current law, eliminate the potential for ongoing harm and negative impact to students in both charters and neighborhood public schools, and assess the recommendations from Gov. Gavin Newsom's charter school task force. 2019-20 State Budget A T P R E S S T I M E , the state Budget Conference Committee was working out a final plan based on three proposed budgets from the governor, Senate and Assembly. Gov. Newsom's revised bud- get includes $81.1 billion for K-12 and community colleges out of a proposed $147 billion total state general fund. The deadline for the Legislature to pass the budget is June 15. For the latest, see Assembly Member Christy Smith Assembly Member Patrick O'Donnell Charter Task Force Supports Greater Local Control, Accountability I N A R E P O R T sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom in early June, the statewide task force on charter schools calls for greater local control and accountability for charters. This is in line with legislation backed by CTA (see column at right). The California Charter School Policy Task Force, headed by state Superintendent of Public Instruc- tion Tony Thurmond, unanimously recommends that school districts be given more discretion to approve or deny new charter schools. The task force reached four recommendations by "unanimity and consensus": • Provide additional discretion when considering a new charter school authorization and amend the role of the Department of Edu- cation in oversight. • Extend the timeline to approve or deny a new charter school petition an additional 30 days. • Create a statewide entity to develop standards, used by authorizers, for providing oversight to charters; and create a statewide entity to pro- vide training for authorizers. • Include students transferring to charter schools in the Education Code provision for a one-year "hold harmless" to account for net loss of average daily attendance. Other proposals were discussed and many were supported by a majority of the task force, whose 11 members include representatives of charter organizations, CTA and other labor unions, and organizations representing county offices of edu- cation, school administrators and school districts. For the full report, go to 40 Advocacy

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