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Statement on California State Board of Education’s closure of Celerity charter schools

OAKLAND—In the Public Interest Executive Director Donald Cohen issued the following statement on the California State Board of Education’s unanimous decision last week to close two Los Angeles charter schools managed by the Celerity Educational Group:

“Celerity’s troubles highlight that the real victims of California’s runaway charter school industry are students. Every charter school that closes on a whim disrupts learning and leaves families scrambling to find a new school.”

“It might be tempting to blame charter school scandals on a few bad apples, but the problems are deeper than that. State education policy currently allows the private groups that operate charter schools to build new schools wherever they want and spend tax dollars with little accountability and oversight.”

“With the most charter schools in the nation and dwindling education resources, California needs reforms that allow parents, teachers, and local school boards to determine what’s best for students.”

In April 2017, In the Public Interest released a report revealing that a substantial portion of the more than $2.5 billion in tax dollars or taxpayer subsidized financing spent on California charter school facilities in the past 15 years has been misspent on: schools that underperformed nearby traditional public schools; schools built in districts that already had enough classroom space; schools that were found to have discriminatory enrollment policies; and in the worst cases, schools that engaged in unethical or corrupt practices.

Contact: Jeremy Mohler, Communications, jmohler@inthepublicinterest.org, 301-752-8413

In the Public Interest is a nonprofit research and policy center advocating for the democratic control of public goods and services.