California Educator

March 2016

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C H A R T E R S C H O O L M E A S U R E S F O C U S O N T R A N S PA R E N C Y CTA members are urging state lawmakers to approve tw o c o-sp on s ored m ea sure s th at togeth er w oul d increase accountability, transparency and accessibility at the state's public charter schools. Both measures, which were introduced during the 2015 legislative year, were pending action in the Legis- lature as the Educator went to press. AB 709, by Assembly Member Mike Gipson (D-Car- son), would require charter school governing boards to comply with accountability and transparency require- ments that apply to other public schools. ese include compliance with the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, the Political Reform Act, and Government Code section 1090. e bill is awaiting action in the state Senate. AB 709 would also require the companies that man- age charter schools to inform parents how they spend taxpayer money and reveal information about their annual budgets and contracts. e measure would bar charter school board members and their immediate families from benefiting financially from their schools. The second measure, SB 322 by Sen . Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), is targeted at maintaining student access to the state's public charter schools. It would bar charter schools from establishing admission requirements and preferences that are not permit- ted at traditional public schools. is is particularly important to make sure all students have access to these schools, regardless of their economic status, country and language of origin, disability status, or race. e bill is pending in the Assembly. Among other things, the bill would prohibit schools from requiring parental volunteer hours as an admission or continued enrollment mandate. Specifically, the measure is intended to ensure that chart er school s have nondi scriminator y admission, suspension, and expulsion policies that guarantee students their due process rights — and to eliminate any practices that have the effect, either intentionally or unintentionally, of barring admission or facilitating elimination of certain children and families. C H A P T E R P R E S I D E N T S C A N H AV E M A J O R I M PAC T O N S TAT E B U D G E T Hundreds of CTA local chapter leaders will be converg- ing on the Capitol on Tuesday, May 24, for the Presidents' Lobby Day. On that date, chapter leaders will gain valuable information about the state budget and have a chance to meet with their legislators to discuss the needs of stu- dents, teachers and public schools. The event comes at a crucial time in legislative deliberations aimed at finalizing the state's 2016-17 spending plan. It follows by about a week the deadline for the gover- nor to release his updated estimates of state revenues and his proposals for using the funds. e release of the "May Revision" marks the beginning of the most intense efforts in the state Capitol to finish up a budget bill in time to send it to the governor by the June 15 constitu- tional deadline. Under state law, the governor has until June 30 to sign the spending measure sent to him by lawmakers. Legislative Update By LEN FELDMAN On Presidents' Lobby Day several years ago, CTA leaders (including then-Vice President Eric Heins) meet with Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), at right. 30

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