California Teachers Association

California Governor Newsom signs legislation into law

Educators, school personnel, parents, labor partners and community groups who have been advocating for kids, not profits, by ensuring transparency and accountability in charter schools are thanking Governor Gavin Newsom Tuesday for his signing into law SB 126 by Senator Connie Leyva and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell.

This bill ensures all corporate charter schools are held to the same transparency and accountability standards as neighborhood public schools.

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“On behalf of California’s students, we thank governor Newsom and the legislature for ensuring there is transparency and accountability in all California charter schools. Fixing these laws will put us on the right path to making sure all schools are held to the same standards for the sake of our students,” said California Teachers Association President Eric Heins.

There are other issues with the law that continue to make it difficult for students in and out of charter schools, but four new proposals would help fix the flawed laws governing charter schools. Assemblymembers Patrick O’Donnell, Kevin McCarty, Christy Smith and Rob Bonta and introduced AB 1505, AB 1506, AB 1507 and AB 1508.

AB 1505 by Assemblymember O’Donnell ensures all matters related to charter schools’ authorization, renewal and other key decisions be made by the local governing board-those who actually know and manage the school district. AB 1506 by Assemblymember McCarty establishes a cap on growth of charter schools.

The removal of the cap that was included in the original charter school law has led to destabilizing school districts and the law has not kept pace with the growth of unregulated corporate charter schools and the groups behind them. AB 1507 by Assemblymember Smith closes a loophole in current law which allows a charter school to operate outside of its authorizing district. AB 1508 by Assemblymember Bonta would allow authorizers to consider facilities, fiscal and academic impact on the district when considering new charter school petitions.

Additional lawmakers are considering legislation to impose a moratorium on charter school growth similarly to what the NAACP recently called for and also agreed upon between the Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles in its strike resolution agreement earlier in February.

“We look forward to working with the authors, legislators and the governor to fix these laws for the sake of our students,” said Heins. “Our students are counting on all of us to provide them with the resources and public education they need and deserve.”

California New Laws Series 2019

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