Apr 05 2019
While we at CSDC are disappointed, we’re not surprised that 2019 has become the year for some legislators to link arms with the California Teachers Association (CTA) and introduce a series of bad bills meant to destroy charter schools in California. Anti-charter legislators and CTA knew things would change when Governor Jerry Brown left office and decided to come out swinging: like the Grinch, they packed four legislative bills with every anti-charter dream they have, and they’re dragging their bags of “goodies” through the legislative committee process right now.
The Assembly Education Committee will hear three of the four bills as a special order of business set for 1:30PM on April 10, 2019.
What Do the Bills Do?
These three bills (and a fourth that will be heard on April 24, 2019) have been amended, in some cases multiple times, and may be amended again, presenting “moving targets.” In their current versions they do the following:
While not being heard until April 24, 2019, AB 1508 adds additional reasons, including “…that a charter school would have a negative financial impact (on the) school district,” to the long list of reasons a school district may deny a charter. CSDC opposes this bill and requests that member schools send letters to their representatives on this measure, as well as to AB 1505, AB 1506, and AB 1507.
What Will CSDC Do?
After researching and analyzing the bills, CSDC has taken an “oppose” position on all four measures and we don’t believe that any can be amended to make them palatable. We believe that this year’s assault on charter schools is unprecedented and we cannot predict the outcome. While we do not believe these bills will be enacted in their current form, we do anticipate that charter opponents will attempt to use them as leverage in the larger legislative process and legislative outcomes are notoriously difficult to predict.
We’ve already written letters of opposition and sent them to the committee and to each of the authors. We’ve done this on each version of the bill. In addition, we’ve met with staff members for some of the authors and have shared our concerns. On April 10, CSDC will be in the Assembly Education Committee sharing its concerns with the committee and with the public.
What Can You Do?
We encourage all charter school leaders, parents, staff, and supporters to contact their legislators, noting opposition to all four of these bills. Unity of opposition is vitally important given the unprecedented, broad-based, and frontal nature of attacks on charter interests.
You can do that by reviewing our attached letters and then editing and customizing them to add your school name, number of students, and school city. We encourage you to add facts specific to your school’s situation. The legislature needs to hear additional voices on these subjects.
We’re here to help! Both Caitlin O’Halloran, CSDC’s School Governance and Policy Specialist (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Eric Premack, CSDC’s Executive Director and Founder (email@example.com), are education advocates with decades of experience helping others to engage in the legislative process. Please call us or email with questions or to find more about how you can help derail these bad bills.
Letters of Opposition
AB 1505 AB 1506 AB 1507 AB 1508