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California Charter Schools Association, Charter Schools Development Center, The Association of Personalized Learning School & Services and a Coalition of Over 130 Charter Public Schools and Organizations Issue Letter in Opposition of Anti-Charter Legislation, AB 1316

April 22, 2021

Coalition Letter Highlights Overly Restrictive and Damaging Laws on All California Charter Public Schools as Proposed in Legislation

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), the Charter Schools Development Center (CSDC), The Association of Personalized Learning School & Services (APLUS+), and a broad coalition of more than 130 charter public schools and organizations – altogether serving 700,000 public charter school students – have submitted a letter in vigorous opposition to AB 1316 (O’Donnell), which places overreaching and devastating constraints on all charter public schools across the state, doubles bureaucratic fees on charter public schools, and further limits the geographic scope and enrollment of NCBs that support a majority of California’s most vulnerable students.

“California’s charter public schools rose to the challenge during the pandemic and delivered high-quality education opportunities to families, helping keep students safe and on-track academically. AB 1316 will close high-quality schools and compound the damage done to millions of students, families and communities who have lost so much during this tragic pandemic. In addition, Assemblyman O’Donnell’s bill is a clear violation of the 2019 agreements SB 126, AB 1505, and AB 1507, struck between the charter public school community and the Legislature, which imposed additional mandates on charter public schools,” said CCSA President and CEO Myrna Castrejón.

“Assemblyman O’Donnell’s considerable political capital should be focused on helping hundreds of thousands of students and families during a global crisis, rather than relitigate old political fights to score cheap points and block public school opportunities for families—particularly during such an important time as students returning to in-person learning,” continued Castrejón. “His legislation will only inflict more learning loss on students and destroy local schools that have been one of the few havens of stability for students. The stakes could not be higher for Californians looking for leadership in our public schools and are hoping that the system can prove itself responsive to their needs. This is the opposite of that.”

“Our charter school community supports legislation and policy that ensures all of our schools are academically, fiscally and operationally accountable in a fair and reasonable manner. AB 1316 was introduced without any collaboration or meaningful engagement of the charter school community,” said Charter Schools Development Center Executive Director Eric Premack.

“Personalized Learning public charter schools offer a critical lifeline for students across the state who do not thrive in a traditional classroom-only setting,” said APLUS+ Founder and Director Jeff Rice. “AB 1316 ignores the important work and high value that our charter public schools offer their community and would be disastrous for tens of thousands of students who rely on our programs.”

A letter of opposition to AB 1316 was sent to the California Assembly Education Committee to be entered into public record in advance of the committee hearing on the bill. The letter was cosigned by over 130 public charter schools and organizations.

The full text of the letter may be found here.