California School Accountability: Charter reform bills in motion | Bernie wants to rein in charter schools | and more

Here’s our pick of recent news about the ongoing effort to privatize public education in California. Not a subscriber? Sign up here.

Big week in Sacramento. Multiple charter school law reform bills are on the move this week in Sacramento. Now is the time to contact your district’s Assembly Member to voice your support for AB 1505AB 1506, and AB 1507, all of which would help protect public education from further privatization. Here is the roster of Senate Education Committee members for voicing your opinion on SB 756.

“She appears to be a carpetbagger.” Writing in Capital & Main, Larry Buhl reports on a tense situation in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, where students, teachers, parents, and community members are trying to stop a charter school from taking space at a neighborhood elementary school. “The [charter school’s] petition didn’t say where in Wilmington the school would be located, and the academic mission statement seemed very boilerplate and vague,” said a second grade teacher in nearby Wilmington, where the school had first tried to co-locate. “[Its founder] has no California teaching credential. She appears to be a carpetbagger.”

Charters parents could soon be able to file a grievance if they believe their kid was discriminated against. Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing to tighten legal language protecting students with disabilities and students with poor grades who want to attend charter schools.

Local leaders in support of AB 1505. Cipriano Vargas, Barbara Avalos, and Chardá Fontenot explain why local control is needed for charter schools. Vargas is a member of the Vista Unified School Board of Education. Avalos is a member of the National Elementary School District Board of Education. Fontenot is a member of the La Mesa-Spring Valley Board of Education.

Online charter school aims for Berkeley. “An online charter school wants to come into Berkeley. Who are they?” asks Natalie Orenstein of Berkeleyside.org. “Compass is not chartered with any of the prominent school districts in the counties where it currently operates. Instead, in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, it is among the many charters, including other virtual schools, authorized by two small, semi-rural districts, Acton-Aqua Dulce in Los Angeles County and Mountain Empire in San Diego County.”

And at the national level…Bernie wants to rein in charter schools. Citing harm to traditional, neighborhood public schools, presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has called for a ban on new for-profit charter schools and a moratorium on federal funding for all charter schools until they are made to operate with accountablity and transparency.