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Supports Senate ‘Race to The Top’ Measure Giving Parents More Control

Sacramento, Calif. – ย– Calling it an attack on charter schools, Assemblyman Ted Gaines, R-Roseville, today voted in the Assembly Education Committee against a measure that would over-regulate charter schools, take power out of parents’ hands and potentially cause California to lose out on almost ยพ of a billion dollars in federal funding.

The bill, Assembly Bill X5 8, requires that student performance be measured in the same manner as public schools and the academic performance of a charter school be equal to the performance at the public schools students would otherwise attend.

‘Charter Schools are already held to higher, more rigorous standards than public schools,’ Gaines said. ‘This bill hides under the guise that it will increase accountability and quality in our charter schools, but instead it will only impose more stringent standards on charters, making them more difficult to operate and open. Our first priority should be giving parents a choice when it comes to selecting a school for their child and replicating innovative and successful charter schools statewide.’

Assembly Bill X5 8 was passed by a vote of 10-6 Monday during the Education Committee’s debate on legislation to make California more competitive for ‘Race to the Top,’ a $4 billion federal program announced by President Barack Obama earlier this year to encourage innovation in our public schools.

Gaines did support Senate Bill X5 1 Wednesday, a reform plan that empowers parents, improves low-performing schools and gives every child a first rate education.  This plan is supported by charter schools, school reform advocates and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

‘Our state could earn up to $700 million in one-time funds if it passes much-needed changes in state law,’ Gaines said. ‘Unfortunatley,  it seems special interest politics as usual are getting in the way of doing what’s best for our kids.’

The Assembly version of the bill puts California’s Race to the Top competitiveness at risk and is favored by teachers’ union bosses and other special interests.

‘I will continue fighting for the principles California needs, including giving parents more choices to select their child’s school, allowing parents the right to demand reform if their child’s school is failing and giving charter schools the flexibility they need to succeed,’ Gaines said. ‘To win the race for education funds, we must empower parents, local teachers and charter schools.’

Assemblyman Ted Gaines represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes portions of Placer, El Dorado, Sacramento and Alpine Counties.

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