Polling proves that Americans want the kind of public schools that anchor our democracy: fully funded community schools where children from all walks of life learn together, learn to appreciate each other and solve problems collaboratively. Americans also demonstrate a preference for democratically elected local school boards governed by our neighbors who listen to us.

California requires public school boards to govern with transparency, to be fiscally responsible, to accept all students from all backgrounds including gifted and top achieving students as well as students with learning disabilities and students growing up in poverty and to provide appropriate curriculum and enrichment for this entire continuum of educational needs.

Contrast these responsibilities with California charter (choice) school policy. While charter schools receive public education dollars, the California Charter School Association (CCSA is funded by an entourage of billionaires) has driven policy (frequently with campaign cash) which exempts independent (and for-profit) charters from oversight of curriculum, finances, student admissions and student due process, and has resulted in a kind of “wild west” with serious corruption scandals emerging weekly.

CCSA driven policy allows for chartering to take place at the county, state and even district-to-district levels, such that the local citizens have no choice but to accept the new charter school authorized outside the district (see “Spending Blind” from In the Public Interest).

Three pieces of California legislation restore accountability and oversight to the charter landscape. AB1360 requires that charter schools provide fair access to all students. Also, AB1360 requires charters to comply with state and federal due process including fair notice and fair hearing.

AB1478 requires charter boards to comply with laws promoting transparency and accountability to parents/public regarding all expenditures of money and prohibits charter board members and their families from financially benefiting from their schools. SB808 requires charter schools be approved only by the local school board of the schools jurisdiction.

You can promote AB1360, AB1478, and SB808 with your friends, family and with your California legislators. Make all California charter schools transparent and accountable.