The California legislature ended for the year and California charter school supporters witnessed mixed reports. The legislature sent two anti-charter school bills to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature or veto. They also killed two anti-charter school bills. The Governor will now have until the end of September to sign or veto the measures. Bills sent to the Governor: AB 709 by Assemblyman Mike Gipson would impose the Brown Act, Public Records Act, the Political Reform Act, and Government Code 1090 on California charter schools. The bill is sponsored by the California Teacher’s Association and opposed by nearly everyone in the education reform community. It passed the legislature on a party line vote and is on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature or veto. The Governor has vetoed similar legislation several times during the last six years. SB 739 by Senator Fran Pavley would prohibit a school district in negative certification from authorizing a California charter school outside of its boundaries. This bill is the result of a disagreement over the authorization of charter schools between districts in and near the Santa Clarita Valley. Charter school supporters oppose SB 739 because of its precedent-setting language. Like AB 709, it is on the Governor’s desk. He has vetoed similar legislation in the past. Bills that died in the legislature: AB 1084 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla would have prevented a California charter school from being operated by or as a for-profit corporation. This bill split the charter school community, with many charter school entities joining the California School Employees Association in opposing the bill and the California Charter Schools Association supporting it. The bill’s opponents were able to kill the bill on the Senate floor, arguing that passage could have negative impacts on both students and schools, while pointing to Governor Brown’s veto of a similar bill just last year. SB 322 by Senator Leno would have imposed suspension and expulsion requirements on charter schools and prevented them from using preferences for enrollment. Facing heavy opposition from charter proponents, the bill died on the Assembly Floor.
To view any of these measures go to www.leginfo.ca.gov and place in the bill number.
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