Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell introduced an anti-charter school bill scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Education Committee next Wednesday, April 28th. The bill would have a devastating impact on charter schools and create new mandates on school districts.

(To view the bill go to leginfo.legislature.ca.gov and put in the bill number AB 1316.)

In short, the bill does the following:
  • Creates new auditing and accounting standards to create parity between school districts and charter schools. Requires training for auditors and creates an Office of Inspector General in the Department of Education, among other things.
  • Creates a new funding determination process for non-classroom-based charter schools that would reduce the amount of funding they receive from the state.
  • Rewrites Independent Study law in California to require more teacher and student contact, a minimum school day, and metrics for ending Independent Study agreements.
  • Change vendor contracts by requiring vendor personnel to hold an appropriate credential, enforce competitive bidding and prohibit agreements from being calculated as a percentage of charter school revenue.
  • Prohibits the use of multi-year track systems.
  • Limits the ability of small school districts to authorize additional charter schools.
  • Increases oversight fees that charter schools pay their authorizer.

Again, these statutory changes would be devastating to charter schools, and the financial impact would be incredibly harmful. We ask everyone to call or email the members of the Assembly Education Committee and state their opposition to these changes. Below is the contact information for those members.

Assembly Education Committee:

Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (Chair)
Phone number: (916) 319-2070
Email address: assemblymember.odonnell@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (Vice Chair)
Phone number: (916) 319-2006
Email address: assemblymember.kiley@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblyman Steve Bennett
Phone number:(916) 319-2037
Email address: assemblymember.bennett@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblywoman Megan Dahle
Phone number: (916) 319-2001
Email address: assemblymember.dahle@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblyman Alex Lee
Phone number: (916) 319-2025
Email address: assemblymember.lee@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty
Phone number: (916) 319-2007
Email address: assemblymember.mccarty@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva
Phone number: (916) 319-2065


Update: AB 1316 Moves Out of Committee

On Wednesday, AB 1316 by Assemblyman O’Donnell was voted out of the Assembly Education Committee on a party line vote, 5-2.  As we have described before the measure has a number of anti-charter school provisions that were developed without input from parents, students, administrators and teachers.  AB 1316 also creates several new mandates on school districts and creates an Office of Inspector General in the California Department of Education.

The measure next goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for a fiscal analysis and vote.  The author is pushing this as a good governance measure that is needed to ensure that non-classroom based schools are good stewards of public dollars but it goes well beyond that.  It would have a devastating impact on many schools and their programs and is an attempt to force more students back into in person instruction.  Coming off a year where the state forced almost all public schools students into a distance learning model it is ironic that there is legislation attempting to curb that model of education.

We will keep you updated as the bill continues through the process.

You can view AB 1316 here.

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Branché Jones

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