The California State Legislature adjourned on August 31st, giving Governor Jerry Brown until September 30th to sign or veto legislation passed during the 2016 session. Governor Brown waited until September 30th to make his final decision on many of the bills before him, including two bills that would have had serious impacts on California charter schools.
By vetoing these bills, Governor Brown once again demonstrated his support of charter schools, and the unique role they play in the California education system.
AB 709 by Assemblyman Mike Gipson would have applied the Brown Act, Public Records Act, the Political Reform Act, and Government Code 1090 to charter schools.
In an effort to force the Governor to sign this bill, the California Teachers Association launched a website and ran radio ads in support of the bill.
In his veto message, Governor Brown noted that he had vetoes similar legislation in 2014. He also stated that AB 709 went too far in dictating how charter school boards operate.
SB 739 by Senator Fran Pavley would have prohibited school districts with negative certification status from approving an out-of-district charter school petition. In August, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee ordered an audit of three schools and their out-of-district authorizers. Those audits will be complete in early 2017.
In his veto message for SB 739, the Governor stated that California should wait until these audits are completed before determining if action is necessary on this issue.
Once again, the charter school community owes the Governor a huge round of applause!
Two other bills that would have negatively impacted charter schools were defeated in the legislature, and did not reach the Governor’s desk. AB 1084 would have prohibited charter schools from operating as, or be managed by, for-profit entities. SB 322 would have prohibited charter school admissions preferences, and would have applied suspension and expulsion laws to charter schools.
To view the language in any of these bills, or to view the Governor’s veto messages, visit the California State Legislative Information website and search for the bill number.