California bill that critics say could cripple charter schools back in the spotlight
A bill that would have allowed only school districts to approve new charter petitions is very much alive despite being shelved Monday by its sponsor.
The bill known as Senate Bill 808 got a burst of support Tuesday from the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education, which voted 4-3 in favor of a resolution supporting the bill plus two others that charter advocates consider anti-charter.
The vote came after vigorous appeals from charter supporters to defeat the resolution.
SB 808 is one of three pieces of anti-charter legislation championed by the state’s largest teacher’s union, the California Teachers Association. The bill limits the ability of charter schools to open new campuses or renew existing agreements by requiring them to seek approvals to operate from local school districts only. The bill would also greatly limit the appeals process if a district turns down a charter.
Currently, to open a charter school, organizers can submit petitions to school districts for authorization, and in some cases to county offices of education or the State Board of Education. If their application is denied by the district, they can appeal to their county office of education and the State Board of Education.
Charter supporters argue that the bill will lead to the shut down of many charters since they must get renewals every five years.
Union spokeswoman Claudia Briggs reiterated that SB 808 is not dead and instead will follow a two-year timeline in the current legislative cycle.
The bill’s author, Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, tabled the bill rather than call for a vote on Wednesday when it was due to come before the Senate Education Committee. Mendoza is expected to appear Monday at the Capitol with the California Teachers Association leadership to reiterate his support for the bill. Authors of the two other bills the union is supporting will also speak.