We request an immediate moratorium on certifying new charter schools in California, as they are draining funds from public schools and destabilizing school districts.
Charter schools not only discriminate against students with disabilities, especially those with severe disabilities, but also obtain disproportionate public funding for these students. Lacking robust conflict of interest rules, charter boards funnel public funds into private hands, directly harming communities already devastated by poverty and racism.
Yet local school districts have little authority to safeguard their fiscal health. A broken appeals system consistently overrules local school boards and fuels new charter growth and renewals.
Therefore, we ask our state legislators to immediately enact a moratorium on new charters until, at minimum, the 5 following fundamental changes are made to the 1992 Charter Schools Act:
1. Add adverse fiscal impact as a basis on which districts may reject charter applications.
2. Give locally elected school boards the sole authority to approve and renew charter school petitions.
3. Require charter schools to enroll students with disabilities (especially those with severe disabilities), English Language Learners, and Newcomers, in equal proportion to the enrollment of these groups of students in the district in which the charter operates.
4. Apply to charter school board members the same prohibition of conflicts of interest as apply to public school boards. *
5. Require charter schools to be more accountable and transparent and not force school districts to have to cede control of their facilities to charter schools.
* 1 down, 4 to go! This was signed into law on 3/5/19 with the passage of SB 126.
Educators for Democratic Schools is an organization of educators and their allies located in Oakland, California, who are committed to preserving and growing public education for all and fighting its privatization/charterization. For questions, email [email protected].