Charter School Task Force Releases Its Report

The statewide task force on charter schools has analyzed the facts on the ground and delivered a much anticipated report to Gov. Gavin Newsom, which you can read in its entirety here

EdSource has also summarized the key points of the report. It lays out eleven recommendations for dealing with the expansion of charter schools and their impacts on the public school system. Four of them were supported by all eleven members of the panel.

The four unanimous recommendations were:

1. Extend the timeline to approve or deny a new charter school petition by an additional 30 days.
2. Create a statewide entity to develop standards for charter oversight and another for training authorizers.
3. Include those transferring to charter schools in the Education Code provision for a one-year “hold harmless” to account for net loss of average daily attendance (ADA).
4. Give more discretion to school districts in the charter approval process. Considerations should include academic outcomes and offerings, a statement of need, and “saturation” — that is, how many charter schools there are in a particular district.

That last recommendation is arguably the most important. If adopted, it could prove significant for districts in Los Angeles and Oakland which have a large number of charters already. The school districts could fight the establishment of new charter schools based on oversaturation.

Among the seven recommendations that did not receive unanimous approval were the following:

1. Allow school boards to consider the financial impact of charter schools on the district for the first time — a major change.
2. Ban districts from approving charters in other districts.
3. Place a one-year moratorium on online charter schools.
4. Limit the grounds on which charter schools can appeal their denials.

Teachers unions praised the panel’s findings.

Myrna Castrejón, President of the California Charter Schools Assn., told the Los Angeles Times that some elements of the report are “concerning” and require further discussion.


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