California’s charter school industry opposes closing loopholes that have allowed fraud and waste

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California’s charter school industry opposes closing loopholes that have allowed fraud and waste. As we documented earlier this year, California is overpaying an estimated $600 million every year for privately operated online charter schools that are failing students. (This is a widespread problem, so be on the lookout in your state.)

Fortunately, a proposed bill would close legal loopholes that are misdirecting these public dollars away from students in brick-and-mortar, neighborhood public schools. The charter school industry opposes the bill, wrongfully claiming it would lead to school closures.

We’re asking California residents to urge legislators to support this important legislation to protect funding for students, families, and communities. In the Public Interest

Charter school tax fight goes to Florida Supreme Court. A battle over whether charter schools are entitled to a cut of tax dollars that Palm Beach County voters approved in 2018 for more-traditional public schools has gone to the Florida Supreme Court. Florida Politics

A form of preemption. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a new charter school bill last week enabling groups looking to form new charter schools to bypass local school boards and turn directly to the state government for approval. Des Moines Register

Progress in Oklahoma? The Oklahoma House voted 81-17 on Monday on new safeguards and greater transparency requirements for charter schools managed by outside vendors. The bill’s fate now rests with the Senate. KPVI

Koch influence in higher ed. According to a new report, Charles Koch—CEO of Koch Industries—has overseen over $458 million in grants to over 550 universities and higher ed adjacent nonprofits since 2005.

“Unlike other philanthropists backing higher education, Koch gives to schools with the explicit goal of creating intellectual fodder for his network of political interest groups, and recruiting and training students to integrate into that network.” UnKoch My Campus

How we’re fighting back

Community schools on the big stage. Director of the Coalition of Community Schools Jose Munoz testified before Congress last week in support of the community school strategy: “Community Schools are an evidence-based strategy proven to be effective serving students and familiess, but also achieving the outcomes we all want to see. They are efficient, being good stewards of individual, private, and public resources from the school level to the community level.” YouTube (starting at 1:53:00)

New campaign in Chicago. The Chicago Teachers Union has announced the launch of a “charter school division-wide contract campaign on June 11, after school. We’re kicking off the campaign with a rally at Christopher House, 5235 W. Belden, to demand that private charter school employers put the public money they receive into the classrooms, instead of their boardrooms.” Chicago Teachers Union

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Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages.