Governor Calls for In-Depth Review of Charter Schools’ Impacts

Gov. Gavin Newsom has asked State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to convene a panel of experts to study the impact of charter schools on school districts’ finances. The panel, whose members have yet to be chosen, will report back to the governor on July 1.

This is the first serious look at the fiscal impact of charter school growth in more than 25 years, according to EdSource. With the panel’s formation, the likelihood that California will reform some of the laws that govern charter schools has increased dramatically.

Greater scrutiny of charter schools was one of the stipulations of the agreement between the Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers of Los Angeles that ended the L.A. teachers strike last month. LAUSD passed a resolution calling for a “comprehensive study” of charter schools’ fiscal impacts on the district, as well as an 8 to 10-month moratorium on new charter approvals. Newsom has not said whether he would support the latter.

The union that represents L.A.’s 30,000 educators praised Newsom’s latest move but warned that it still wants to see an “an immediate cap on charter schools.” Other struggling districts — including Oakland Unified, which is on the verge of its own strike — have said the same.