School Choice & Charters

Calif. Shelves Bid For More Charter Sponsors

By Caroline Hendrie — May 21, 2003 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Getting more players into the game of authorizing and overseeing charter schools was this year’s top legislative priority for California’s charter school association. But a bill to make that happen has been shelved until next year because of lack of support among state legislators.

If the legislation eventually passes, California will join other states that have given chartering authority to big-city mayors, higher education institutions, and certain nonprofit organizations.

Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, a former California governor and former candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, was among those who went to bat for the multiple- authorizer measure at a May 7 hearing before the education committee of the California Assembly, the legislature’s lower house.

Mr. Brown was a strong backer of two charter schools that are up and running in Oakland, and told committee members that mayors can play major roles in lowering the barriers charter schools face in getting off the ground.

Powerful Foes

But lining up against the bill were such political heavyweights as the state’s affiliates of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, as well as the 750,000-student Los Angeles school district.

“We believe that the authority for running the K-12 schools ought to reside within the K-12 system, period,” Mike Weimer, a legislative representative for the California Federation of Teachers, said in an interview last week.

In California, the power to grant charters rests primarily with local school districts. County boards of education and the state school board can approve charters that are rejected by local officials, as well as certain proposals for multiple-site charters.

The California Network of Educational Charters, which represents about 70 percent of the state’s more than 430 charter schools, argues that expanding the number of authorizers would improve accountability in the charter sector. The group vowed to fight for the bill next year.

Faced with certain defeat in the Assembly education committee, the bill’s sponsor, Assemblywoman Patricia C. Bates, got the panel to agree on May 7 to take the measure off the table for this year. The move allows her to revive the measure in 2004.

Ms. Bates, the top-ranking Republican on the Assembly appropriations committee, said she introduced the bill as a way to expand offerings within public education.

“As a mother, I understand the need to offer parents and students a variety of educational opportunities,” she said in a statement.

But in a letter to the committee, Mr. Weimer of the California Federation of Teachers called the bill “a blatant attempt to expand the number of charter schools.” And in a separate letter objecting to the bill, the top lobbyist for the Los Angeles school district argued that it would cause “confusion at the local level for parents and educational agencies,” by blurring “the question of who would ultimately be held accountable for the education of the children.”

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School Climate & Safety Webinar
Praise for Improvement: Supporting Student Behavior through Positive Feedback and Interventions
Discover how PBIS teams and educators use evidence-based practices for student success.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Management Webinar
Build a Digitally Responsive Educational Organization for Effective Digital-Age Learning
Chart a guided pathway to digital agility and build support for your organization’s mission and vision through dialogue and collaboration.
Content provided by Bluum
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Drive Instruction With Mastery-Based Assessment
Deliver the right data at the right time—in the right format—and empower better decisions.
Content provided by Instructure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Mich. Public School Advocates Launch Effort to Stop DeVos-Backed Proposal
The former secretary of education is backing an initiative that advocates say would create an unconstitutional voucher system.
Samuel J. Robinson, mlive.com
4 min read
Student with backpack.
surasaki/iStock/Getty
School Choice & Charters The Pandemic Pushed More Families to Home School. Many Are Sticking With It
These parents have a common desire to take control of their children's education at a time when control feels elusive for so many people.
Laura Newberry, Los Angeles Times
6 min read
Karen Mozian homeschools her sixth-grade son, Elijah, age 9, at their home in Redondo Beach, California on Jan. 13, 2022. Mozian says her son wasn't getting the kind of help he needed at school. On his study breaks, he enjoys skateboarding and practicing drums.
Karen Mozian homeschools her 6th grade son, Elijah, age 9, at their home in Redondo Beach, California on Jan. 13, 2022. Mozian says her son wasn't getting the kind of help he needed at school. On his study breaks, he enjoys skateboarding and practicing drums.
Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via TNS
School Choice & Charters Bloomberg Launches $750 Million Fund to Grow Charter Schools Amid 'Broken' K-12 System
Former New York City mayor and one-time presidential hopeful Michael R. Bloomberg aims to add 150,000 charter school seats over five years.
5 min read
New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, second from left, and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, far left, meeting with senior students at the Bedford Academy High School in New York on Dec. 3, 2013. Bloomberg campaigned on gaining control of the nation's largest public school system. left his mark by championing charter schools, expanding school choice, giving schools letter grades, and replacing scores of struggling institutions with clusters of small schools.
Then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, second from left, and former Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, far left, meet with senior students at Bedford Academy High School in New York in 2013.
Bebeto Matthews/AP
School Choice & Charters Opinion The Kind of School Reform That Parents Actually Want
Parents' inclination to focus on solving specific problems rather than system change helps explain the appetite for novel school options.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty