An infamous loophole for California charter schools is on the verge of being erased.
What is it?
Current law allows charter schools to be in places outside the school districts they are a part of in California. AB 1507 would stop this, and would require that charter schools physically be within their school district boundary.
The only exceptions under the bill would be for schools on California Indian Reservations and schools displaced by natural disasters and emergencies.
While Charter schools are prevalent in California, in recent years the placement of charter schools has become an issue. Local school districts who have opposed charter schools have grown unhappy with charter schools from other school districts being placed within their boundaries.
AB 1507, introduced along with several other bills concerning charter schools, would fix that.
Who Backed It?
Assemblymembers Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), and Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) backed AB 1507. All three have faced charter school encroachment in their respective Assembly districts and have backed the bill in response to constituent concerns.
Assemblywoman Smith also co-introduced AB 1507 in part to improve and bring focus back to public schools.
“I am proud to author AB 1507, which restores the right of individual districts to have oversight of schools located within their boundaries,”stated Assemblywoman Smith. “I am pleased that AB 1507 is a part of a broader package of measures creating greater transparency and accountability for our taxpayer dollars, while improving public schools for every student.”
The bill has been championed by teachers unions, school boards, and numerous education groups for its commitment to public schools. Those opposing it have included some parent groups and supporters of charter schools, who see them as a better alternative and want them in more accessible locations.
AB 1507 has seen a split between Republicans and Democrats in the Assembly and the House, with Democrats more in favor, and Republicans more against the bill.
The bill has passed the Senate and Assembly with respective votes of 25-12 and 57-17.
AB 1507 survived both houses and is currently being considered by the Governor. As Gavin Newsom has helped bring some charter school regulations up, it’s probable that he’ll sign it into law.