It is being reported that Governor Gavin Newsom has intervened in the matter of Assembly Bill (AB) 1505. As you may recall, AB 1505 (Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach) is the bill that would slow charter school growth. The bill is scheduled to be voted on in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday (July 10, 2019) and has undergone some amendments made by the Governor and his staff. The author received the amendments and made the changes to “keep his bill alive” and put it up for a vote in the Senate Education Committee chaired by Senator Connie Leyva.
One of the more concerning features of the bill for charter school advocates was the proposed change to the appeal process. In the original bill, charter schools would have been prohibited from appealing a district denial at the County Office of Education (COE) level unless there were “procedural violations” of the charter law. The amendment version allows for the ability of charter schools to continue to appeal to the COE with the caveat that the petition cannot be changed when submitted for appeal. The change also limits appeals at the state level.
Other changes include using the multi-colored dashboard rating system to prioritize charter school reauthorizations and denials. In some cases, higher performing schools could be eligible for 7 year authorizations.
All of these changes show that the Governor is listening to all sides and is making an effort to bridge some differences, calm charter school proponents and de-escalate the extreme tension between the opposing groups. The governor seems also to be implementing some of the ideas and suggestions from the task force he created on charter schools after the LAUSD teacher strike.
However, with all of these changes being made and the attempt by the Governor to intervene, the bill is still not acceptable and must be defeated. There is a change that could literally shut down charter schools that have a waitlist, which as a parent to a student who is waitlisted on a traditional school list, I find completely hypocritical! In the case of a charter school, the language is that these schools that cannot accept all students should close! Check it. My son is waitlisted at Middle College High School in San Bernardino, California!
AB 1505 will be voted on today (Wednesday).
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