February 20, 2020
New law defines charter schools’ place in the landscape
SACRAMENTO – (INT) – It’s the first major overhaul to California’s charter schools law since its enactment 27 years ago.

A bill signed Thursday by Governor Newsom empowers communities to consider the fiscal impact of new charter schools on existing schools in the neighborhood, increases accountability and transparency for all charter schools, and ensures that high-quality charter schools continue to thrive.

In short, public school districts will soon have more power to block proposed charter schools.

The new law will let districts consider how proposed charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run, would affect traditional schools in the district and whether they would siphon money from schools already in financial distress.

High performing charter schools will be eligible for seven-year renewals, compared with five years for middle-performing charter schools.

It will also let districts close charter schools that aren’t serving some student populations, such as students with disabilities.

The California Charter Schools Association, the state’s most prominent charter-advocacy organization, went neutral on the bill after negotiations with Newsom’s office and the California Teachers Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

“It is a historic agreement,” Myrna Castrejón, the charter schools’ president, told The Sacramento Bee. “While this modifies the rules of the road for renewals and approvals of charter schools, we do believe this agreement does put to rest the idea of whether charter schools have a place in the landscape.”
Story Date: October 9, 2019
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