Julian Vasquez Heilig reports that Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to ban for-profit charters. This is very good news. In 2015, he vetoed such a bill.
Now, here’s hoping that the Legislature can pass (and the governor will sign) a bill requiring accountability and transparency in all charters, including a ban on nepotism and conflicts of interest.
The momentum for this legislation was reignited by great reporting on K12 Inc. by reporter Jesse Calefati of the San Jose Mercury News in 2016. Give credit where it is due. Be thankful for freedom of the press!
There was some debate whether Jerry Brown would sign the legislation. The following is a statement from CFT President Joshua Pechthalt on California Governor Jerry Brown signing AB 406:
AB 406 was sponsored by the California Federation of Teachers and authored by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (AD-7) and co-authored by Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (AD-15).
“The education of our children should not be a profit making industry. Assembly Bill 406 is a landmark piece of legislation that will stop the practice of for-profit corporations from taking scarce resources away from our students for corporate profits. AB 406 is a critical step forward to ensure that all charter schools are accountable to our students, parents, and communities. There is still much work to be done to ensure that all charter schools in California are held to the same financial transparency and accountability laws as our traditional public schools.”
As California goes, so goes the nation…
An ally in California says this is not as big a deal as it seems. She writes:
“I just can’t understand all of the excitement about this given that there really aren’t any for profit charters left in CA anyway. This bill was approved by the Callifornia Charter Schools Association who were already celebrating and promoting that there are no for profit charters in CA. For profit charters have never really been an issue in CA, we have barely had any in the past. Of course, the vast majority of online charters contract to k12 and we all know they are a huge profit machine.”