SACRAMENTO, CA – Responding to a package of divisive bills aimed at killing charter public schools, charter school families from across California stood up, fought back and told their legislators to put kids before politics at yesterday’s Assembly Education Committee.
“… the vast majority of those who showed up at the hearing opposed efforts that would constrain charter schools. They criticized the bills as efforts to shut charter doors and stymie innovation in education. So many showed up to support charter schools that people spilled out into Capitol halls, waiting in crowded corners overheated by the hundreds of people wearing yellow shirts that read ‘#DefendGreatSchools.’”
Despite the fact that nearly 500 families packed the California State Capitol to oppose AB 1505, 1506 and 1507 – all sponsored by the powerful political machine, the California Teachers Association (CTA) – legislators still passed the package after 5 hours of testimony, dismissing the concerns of families who had made the trip to fight for their children’s education.
CalMatters Reporter Ricardo Cano points out the reason why in his story:
“That the legislative panel passed Assembly Bills 1505, 1506 and 1507 on Wednesday wasn’t surprising—the authors of the trio of bills sponsored by the California Teachers Association made up two-thirds of the panel, which is chaired by a longtime public school teacher and former member of the CTA’s policymaking assembly.”
In other words, the fix was in.
Intentionally or not, Assemblymembers Patrick O’Donnell, Kevin McCarty, Rob Bonta, Ash Kalra, and Christy Smith have authored bills that will rip public school options and opportunities away from parents and kids who need them most. But California’s charter school families have made it clear that they will not let this happen without a fight.
Earlier in the day, African American Faith Leaders and charter school families held a press conference in front of Assemblyman Kevin McCarty’s district office urging him to put kids before politics. Bay Area charter school parent Lety Gómez expressed what so many charter school families know to be true:
“This is NOT about charter public schools versus traditional public schools…the debate about high-quality school options in specific communities is a civil rights issue! When bills are written that will systematically negatively impact communities of colors, it’s racism and classism at its core. We need to work together for ALL students.”
Click here to learn more about how AB 1505, 1506 and 1507 will negatively impact charter public schools in California.
About California's Charter Schools Association
The vision of CCSA is to build great public schools of joy and rigor that prepare all California students for success in college, career, community, and life. The mission of CCSA is to meet parent, educator, and community need for great public school options by supporting and advocating for high quality non-profit charter schools and sharing their success throughout California’s public schools.