Legislature is impeding charter school growth

This year when the California Legislature passed their budget they did not provide funding for growing schools, both traditional and charter schools. In the education budget trailer bill, SB 98, the CA Legislature held school district and charter school funding harmless at the 2019 – 2020 levels which essentially capped funding and provides no new dollars for additional students enrolled in the 2020 – 2021 school year.

This created a lot of acrimony and opposition from different sectors in the education community. Governor Newsom acknowledged the issue, in a message to the legislature, when he signed the budget trailer bill urging them to craft a targeted solution for the funding issue.

Due to this lack of funding four charter schools have filed a lawsuit against the state and numerous education reform groups are lobbying the legislature to address the issue. The legislature adjourns for the year on August 31st so the race is on to enact a fix.

The Department of Finance has released their first draft of language to provide a legislative fix. Though it might work for some traditional schools it is not an ideal fix for charter schools. Additionally, the language specifically leaves non-classroom based charter schools out of the fix. There is no policy rationale to cut off funding for students deciding to change schools during this pandemic that is gripping the nation.

Many non-classroom based charter schools experience growth throughout the year and the COVID – 19 virus has seen these numbers increase for the 2020 – 2021 school year.

I urge you to call your legislator and advocate that they fund all students in California, regardless of what public school they attend. It is an issue of equity and fairness that should not be taken lightly.

You can use this website to locate which Assembly and Senate district that you reside in: FindYourRep.Legislature.ca.gov.

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