Despite years of evidence, hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars spent with little or no accountability for them and an ACLU report “Unequal Access” found that over 20 percent of California’s charter schools deny access to students with disabilities, Governor Brown spared for-profit charters from accountability by vetoing AB 709.
The veto survived despite substantial evidence of longstanding abuses such as English learners, or students with lower grades and test scores dissuaded from enrolling in charters. The NAACP recently called for a ban on privately managed charters. State regulators have found more than $81 million in fraudulent and wasteful spending at charter schools in California, while another report shows that an expansion of privately-run charter schools would cost the Los Angeles Unified School District more than $500 million this year alone.
California Teachers Association President Eric Heins was disappointed in Brown’s decision;
“It is unfortunate that given all the reports showing fraud, waste, mismanagement and unequal access to students, Governor Brown would veto such important legislation that simply required the same standards of accountability and transparency that apply to all neighborhood public schools. With so much evidence documenting the waste, fraud and abuse by privately-managed charter schools, which have cost taxpayers millions at the expense of our students, we hoped the Governor would have signed such an important bill. The impact is far too widespread. Educators, parents and civil rights groups will continue to support and push legislation to ensure accountability of all charter schools, transparency of taxpayer dollars and equal access for all students.”
The simple issues of transparency and accountability in AB 709 are below:
This bill would require charter schools to comply with the open
meeting and public disclosure requirements under the Ralph M.
Brown Act (Brown Act), Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act
(Bagley-Keene Act), the California Public Records Act (CPRA),
and the conflict of interest disclosure requirements under the
Political Reform Act (PRA).