California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) unveiled a new attitude to go along with their new logo and branding message; California Teachers Association’s leadership in assuring local control and accountability over charter school approval is not appreciated.
During a recent rally in Sacramento, Myrna Castrejón, president and CEO of the California Charter Schools Association told the crowd; “Let me be clear, we can’t be united if the CTA keeps taking bills out to kill us.”
The comment comes after CTA sponsored four bills to ensure local school districts have the controlling authority to approve new charters within their boundaries. The legislation also prevents third-party charter authorizations that allow schools to be created in adjacent districts that never approved their charters.
Each initiative creates greater transparency and ensures local communities can first weigh, then make determinations about approving charters without their decisions being overturned by regional or other municipal authorities.
By trusting the will of local stakeholders, the civic responsibility for deciding if a charter school fits the needs of a school district, is both a local and final determination.
CCSA bristles at the accountability this might bring, though it is what public schools face each day. They argue for the unbridled expansion of franchise schools no matter the will of the local community. That was not the intended purpose under the original charter bill.
Charters were first created to expand student opportunities unbound by some ed. code restraints. Due to the lack of accountability at the onset, however, many have been outside the will of local authorities.
Those local school boards now argue they drain resources while leaving California’s special needs and other students behind as “too expensive.” This erodes the local school student population- a major problem because Average Daily Attendance is the measure for school funding.
CCSA has substantial work ahead. Its leadership must find a way to operate with transparency in this new world of accountability; one in which they have yet no practical experience.