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Assembly Passes Bill Giving Local School Districts Power To Deny Funds to Home Schoolers

Labor union sponsored bills dominating and winning passage in Senate and Assembly

By Katy Grimes, May 24, 2019 7:54 am

Teacher’s unions and local school districts have been pushing hard at the Capitol to target, limit and even eradicate charter schools, claiming that charters are draining resources from traditional public school districts.

Traditional public school districts are laboring under crippling finances, and are lashing out at the successful charters and homeschooling programs.

There have been huge rallies of parents protesting, and teachers unions supporting the bills. And now, with the passage of Assembly Bill 1505 in the Assembly Tuesday, unions plan to do the same with homeschooling.

AB 1505 says new charter schools can only be created with the approval of the local public school district. Additionally and ironically, the bill “requires consideration of a charter school’s financial stability during renewal; and, eliminates the requirement that academics be the highest priority during renewal and revocation,” issues never considered with regular public schools.

Opponents say charter schools are taking away from the public school system. But advocates argue that charter schools would not exist is parents were satisfied with the public school system.

The total package of  charter school bills includes Assembly Bills 1505 by Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach), 1506 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and 1507 by Assemblywoman Christy Smith (D- Santa Clarita), and are all sponsored by the California Teachers Association.

The bills would cap the number of charter schools in the state, and limit the ability of charter-school organizers to appeal anti-charter decisions by often union-controlled local school boards to county and state boards of education.

“The CTA bills being pushed by the union’s allies in the Legislature would destroy the charter-school sector in California,” said Izumi, Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute.”  Izumi says the answer is easy: “School districts can keep students from leaving the regular public schools by simply doing a better job of educating them. It’s within their control.”

However, every homeschooling parent I’ve interviewed says they would never send their kids back to California’s public schools, regardless of the outcome of these bills.

“As one of the elected leaders of the Los Angeles Unified School District—California’s largest district and one certainly struggling to meet its financial obligations and the needs of families—I welcome the state’s help in tackling public education’s complex challenges,” wrote Nick Melvoin in the Orange County Register: A charter school moratorium won’t help California schools.

“But I don’t see a surplus of high-quality public school options as one of those challenges. I see our teachers struggling to innovate due to rigid regulations. I see our schools vying for the basic resources they’re lacking due to inadequate state funding. And I see our most vulnerable students paying the price.”

Melovin states the obvious: “Rather than focusing on a decades-old political fight between charter and district schools, the Legislature should get to work on reforms that would help traditional school districts. This would naturally mitigate the growth of new schools because parents are satisfied, not because we’re placing an arbitrary cap on options for poor families.”

As Janell Smiley wrote in February in Charter Schools Are Not the Enemy, “families are bailing out of the public system, one that is a lumbering, crippled old giant, perhaps still lovable and worth saving, but steadily falling apart from a multitude of ailments. It’s akin to putting tiny band-aids on bloody gaping wounds, while simultaneously blaming its decline on anything other than the obvious. It is old, outdated, mismanaged, and in need of major surgery – not tiny band-aids. Charter schools are NOT part of the disease killing the giant.”

Next: Who voted for and against these bills?

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14 thoughts on “Assembly Passes Bill Giving Local School Districts Power To Deny Funds to Home Schoolers

  1. This article is mixed up and confusing. Public charter schools are government/state-run and tax-funded schools. Homeschooling is privately funded parent-led education – it is not charter school and it is not public school. Public charter schools might involve more parental involvement than public brick and mortar schools. Public charter schools might involve more schoolwork done at home. However, public charter schools are not homeschooling. Homeschool parents pay their taxes to public brick and mortar schools and public charter schools and pay again to do their own homeschooling. They pay for their own and keep their liberty and freedom from government control and like it this way. See http://www.nheri.org/homeschooling-research-studies-and-scholarship/

    1. Many homeschooling programs are authorized/linked to school districts. Other homeschooling programs are more off-the-grid. However, if the homeschooled kids are college bound, they need to be in programs that adhere to college entrance guidelines, and most of those are linked to public school districts.

    2. Many in Ca Homeschool through charter programs. They make homeschooling accessible to many and allow kids to still take classes and learn from other teachers. They are such a rescource to many homeschooling families. This will impact my family and many others who have been forced to leave the public schools due to ridiculous laws being passed. Major government overreach is occurring in our state and it’s mainly the democrat politicians all voting against parental rights.

      1. J is absolutely correct, this is a Democrat party effort to limit parents rights.
        This has woken me up, I am in Assembly Woman Christy Smith’s district, and after seeing what she is doing I will never vote for her or any of the Democrats in my area again.
        I am sickened that she deceived us when she ran for office.

  2. A parent or guardian that chooses to homeschool their child takes financial as well as educational responsibility for their education and provides all instruction either by hiring instructors or on their own. In California, parents who homeschool their own children register as private schools. If a child is enrolled in a charter school (i.e. chartered by a local school district), they are a public or private school student and subject to all the laws that govern public and private schools, including those that fund public schools, require specific curriculum, number of days, hours of instruction, etc. It would be difficult to deny funding for homeschoolers when they do not get any nor do most want assistance from the public education system because of the requirements that come with funding. For example, public education money cannot be used to teach religion, something many homeschool parents do. Perhaps the state should focus on improving the for-profit charter schools that are not meeting state standards instead of demonizing homeschooling families who do not accept any state funding but still pay taxes to support public schools and accept responsibility for educating their children. Parents or legislators who would like to learn more about homeschooling in CA can find information here: https://a2zhomeschooling.com/laws/united_states/california_home_school_laws/

    1. Mary, the way it works is a parent can use the resources to sign up for certain classes or get certain approved curriculum. Parents cannot use resources for anything religious based. It wouldn’t ever get approved. So what are you talking about? That’s been the case. If a parent wants their child to take a religious based class or use a religious based curriculum they have to do so out of pocket and those classes/ curriculum do not count towards their grade. Are you suggesting parents shouldn’t be allowed to do so with their own money if they choose just because they are under a charter in which it already doesn’t count?? Maybe we should start regulating what sports kids can and cannot join as well. It sounds like you have no idea how homeschool charters work.

  3. And….it’s beyond time to de-fang the public sector unions in the political arena….
    If they want to provide resources to their members, fine, but they should be firewalled from public policy…
    Enough is enough…. they’ve bankrupted the state…..

  4. The state shouldn’t have a damn word to say about education at all! If parents decide to Home school, or use charter schools to save their kids from indoctrination by progressives so be it. Do kids now belong to the state? I say parental rights have been striped! The state can pound sand.

  5. The article headline mentions restricting home schools.. but I saw nothing in the article about it and was unaware that home schools were even getting any stare money

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