Sacramento, CA - Today the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) joined Governor Gavin Newsom at the signing ceremony of Senate Bill (SB) 126 by Senator Connie Leyva (D- Chino), legislation that comes as a result of nearly ten years of the charter school community's efforts to end - once and for all - the debate about whether California's charter schools follow open meetings, public records, and conflict of interest laws.
"For nearly a decade, CCSA has worked to secure a balanced and comprehensive resolution to this longstanding debate. Governor Newsom's leadership made all the difference here," said Myrna Castrejón, President and CEO, CCSA. "We are grateful for Governor Newsom's guidance and we know that he will continue to bring the same skills and commitment to uniting all stakeholders behind a bold vision that embraces accountability and transparency for all public schools."
SB 126 is a balanced, fair application of the Ralph M. Brown Act, California Public Records Act, Political Reform Act, and Government Code 1090 to California's charter schools. At the same time, SB 126 preserves the core autonomy and flexibility that allows our schools to innovate for students as granted under the Charter Schools Act. This legislation makes permanent the transparency and governance practices already followed by the majority of charter schools throughout the state.
"Charter School of Morgan Hill (CSMH), like most all California charter schools, has been following the provisions outlined in SB 126 for a long time," said Paige Cisewski, Executive Director, CSMH. "Our team, alongside our charter school champions across the state, believe in transparency and following open meeting, conflict-of-interest and disclosure laws. At CSMH we already adhere to the Brown Act, the Public Records Act and the Political Reform Act, just like district schools. We are grateful to Governor Newsom for signing this legislation so that the misperception that charter schools are for-profit centers and unaccountable to the families they serve can end for good."
In 2018, CCSA partnered on Assembly Bill (AB) 276 by Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), legislation that sought to implement charter school transparency and governance practices already followed by the majority of California's charter schools. AB 276 represented a compromise solution with the California Teachers Association (CTA), the California School Boards Association (CSBA), and the Senate Education Committee, however, the deal was not finalized in the last legislative session. CCSA sponsored additional efforts around transparency and accountability - SB 806 in 2017 and SB 1216 in 2018.
About California's Charter Schools
California's charter schools are public schools built to put the needs of students first. Public, free, and open to all, charter schools are a valuable part of our public education system. They offer a different approach -- one that is as unique as the kids they serve, one that puts kids above bureaucracy, and one that gives passionate teachers the flexibility to create dynamic lesson plans tailored to kids' individual needs. As a result, charter schools send more kids to college and are preparing more kids for the jobs of tomorrow.