It was quite a shameful display at the Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday with a handful of strong and courageous warriors for kids taking a stand against charter reform bills, but ultimately losing the battle of the first of the charter school slaughter bills of 2019 Assembly Bill 1505 (AB 1505) passed in the Assembly by a vote of 42-19, which is a slim margin since the vote count needed to pass a bill is 41. AB 1505 would limit charter school applicants ability to appeal to the county or state if they are rejected by a school district. I personally was hoping that the two prominent members in my community would vote against the bill, but they did not. Assembly members Eloise Reyes and James Ramos both ended up voting for the bill — a real disappointment to the people in their communities who rely on school choice to escape the mandate of zip code attendance for students in California.
Even more troubling is the fact that the bill is apparently not even in its final form. Several changes were promised on the floor and in a completely abnormal turn of events there were several pauses during the actual vote count. The public was not privy to the conversations that were being held while in pause, but this half-baked bill was getting verbal promises from the author in real time. I was left wondering how common this practice is. It seems to me like it is not something that is common. Equally disturbing was that the author of the bill seems to be able to violate the rules at will about bringing bills to the floor. AB 1505 was originally slated for Thursday, May 23rd, but it was abruptly moved to Wednesday no doubt because of the sea of red t-shirts (CTA teachers) who were there to support the anti-charter legislation and who have unfettered access to the assembly since they have bought and paid for most of the legislators. I have heard that in many cases they have threatened members who do not side with them on issues. This doesn’t sound like democracy, but it’s happening in Sacramento!
I was proud of the position that Wendy Carrillo of East Los Angeles took on the floor during the debate of the bill.
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