Mixed News for Charters
Alexander Russo | October 26, 2012
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There’s a big City Hall event this morning hosted by the California Charter Schools Association. There are now nearly 1,100 charters in the state, and LA added 40 new ones this year alone. (See AP story: California Sees Record Number of New Charter Schools). It’s the 20th anniversary of the charter school concept — semi-autonomous public schools with more budget and hiring flexibility than district schools. But all’s not sunshine and unicorns for the charter movement. A recent federal report surfaced Wednesday by SI&A Cabinet Report suggests that the growth and expansion of charters may not have been accompanied by adequate oversight by state officials.
LAUSD board member Steve Zimmer is pushing ahead with a watered-down version of his charter school oversight proposal.
And the current version of PSC (Public School Choice) limits the eligibility of charter schools to expand into district facilities.
Meanwhile, charter school authorizers — the local and state agencies (like LAUSD) that review, approve, and in some cases close charter schools — are meeting in Memphis. LAUSD’s charter schools head, Jose Cole-Gutierrez, was there. Democrats for Education Reform-California head Gloria Romero and California Charter Schools Association head Jed Wallace were among those scheduled to speak.
Much of the conference focuses on how to support and expand charters while at the same time improving their quality, performance, and equitability.