Several community groups and state leaders are speaking out about the lack of charter school accountability, and are encouraging California Governor Jerry Brown to sign a bill written by Assemblyman Mike Gipson that establishes the much needed transparency within the schools.
Charter schools have been known to collect taxpayer money and use it wastefully. According to state regulators, about $81 million have been wasted by the charter system in California alone, and some school board members have reportedly benefited financially from the donations given to the school because the money was wrongfully used.
“Although charter schools are privately owned entities, they cannot be excused from the accountability that is required from those responsible for educating our children,” said Gipson during a press conference. There is currently no rule that forces the schools to have open and public spending records.
Assembly Bill 709 is meant to create a better sense of transparency in order to prohibit the wasteful spending of our taxpayer money. Charter schools will have a more positive reputation.
Another aspect of these charter schools that will be prohibited by the bill is unlawful tuition and child endangerment. The Tri-Valley Learning Corporation is currently being investigated because parents and students have reported that the charter school has illegally charged tuition to foreign students, committed fraud, and has endangered many students on several occasions.
The transparency proposed through this bill will prevent future cases such as this one. This bill will allow our state to feel more safe about sending children to schools under the charter system. Also, our tax money will be spent in wiser ways. Any financial record of each charter school will be publicly recorded and documented.
So far, the bill has proposed many solutions to many major issues in the charter system. However, much more needs to be done about ongoing conflicts such as acceptance rates.
Many of these schools refuse to accept students with disabilities, low test scores, and English learners. “Families deserve to know how their schools are being run, and our state deserves an education system that is free from unfair advantages and double standards,” said Gipson.
Another bill should be proposed in order to fight this and create a more accepting learning environment for the students of California. Some communities are suggesting a ban on privately owned charter schools in order to prevent this discrimination.
The support behind this bill is overwhelmingly increasing. Gipson’s team looks forward to seeing this bill signed by Governor Brown. The deadline for the bill signing is Sep. 30.