California Charter Schools: A Preliminary Glance at the AB 1505 Compromise

“A lot of hard work has gone into this, and all that matters to me is the result,” Newsom told reporters Tuesday. “If we can pull something off, it’s a significant thing and it’s not easy. A lot of people have strong opinions on both sides.” Governor Gavin Newsom

August 28, 2019. The time that the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) took it upon themselves to throw charter school parents, students and advocates under the bus and agree to compromises to satisfy the California Teachers Association (CTA). Here’s what we know about the backroom deal reached by the Governor, CTA, CCSA and the author of the pernicious anti-charter school bill, AB 1505.  Warning: We are still getting clarification on some of the issues. 

  • Public schools will get the increased authority to reject petitions for new charter school campuses
  • Stricter credentialing requirements for charter school teachers
  • A two-year moratorium on new virtual (online) charter schools
  • Two-year probation for low performing schools
  • Up to seven-year renewal for high performing schools
  • Some kind of accountability based on graduation and suspension rates
  • Eliminates the state board’s role as authorizing agents and allows the state board to make appeal determinations only 

Some are calling this the “modernization” of the charter school bill originally entered into the Education Code 25 years ago. The problem is that traditional public schools also need modernizing. I suspect that the idea behind CCSA caving in and appeasing CTA is proving that charter schools have the ability to prove their worth and aren’t concerned about increased accountability. The problem is that charter schools only account for 10 percent of the state’s 6.2 million kids enrolled in schools. Only 10%! Meanwhile, we still have the matter of the failing traditional schools that has yet to be acknowledged by the legislature or the governor!  

In California, traditional public schools still have the highest failure rate in the history of public education in California, with only 49% student proficiency in English Language Arts and 30% in Math!  

The new AB 1505 bill manufactured by CTA et al. must be passed by September 12 to go the Governor for his signature. Still no sign of fixing our failing schools!

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