April 19, 2019 1:14 pm

Tell the Charter Task Force: We Need Big Reforms Now

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That is the number of charters in California that have gone belly up.

There are 601 defunct charter schools and about 1500 active charters in California. That is not a good rate of success.  Send your email now and tell the charter task force we need reform.

To send your email to the Task Force Chair, State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, simply click here.

What do we need in charter law?  Sunshine and sensibility.

1. Only districts should be able to authorize charter schools. Multiple authorizers have caused too many operators who are ill-equipped to open charters in the state.  Even operators who are under investigation, like EPIC online schools, have been allowed to open charters “on appeal” to the county or state board.

2. No district should have the ability to open a charter in another district. This practice has allowed public school districts short of cash to use other districts as a piggy bank.

3. End storefront and online charters. Such schools profit from our most vulnerable students. If an online school is needed, it should be run as a California public school, with close monitoring of attendance and criteria for entrance.

4. We need full sunshine, accountability and transparency. Charters do not need the ability to commit fraud in order to innovate. They should follow the same rules regarding accountability and transparency as public schools.

5. Establish a moratorium on new charters until full reform is enacted. We cannot allow unchecked expansion to continue. Nor can we allow constant churn. Such churn is unfair for both taxpayers and students.