At the beginning of each legislative cycle, we release our policy agenda that highlights bills we are sponsoring, support or oppose. Whether it is advocating for state budget equity, access to facilities or academic accountability, CCSA is committed to fostering an education system where every child has access to a high-quality education that meets their needs.
CCSA has become increasingly concerned about the persistent achievement gap among African American students, consistently the state’s lowest performing subgroup not already receiving a targeted state or federal supplement. Research confirms that the African American achievement gap persists irrespective of income level. Despite the lack of dedicated resources, charter schools have been successful at posting significant gains in closing the achievement gap. Last year, CCSA sponsored AB 2635 (Weber) and led a broad coalition of organizations and individuals to advocate for sufficient resources to serve our most vulnerable students. The budget contained $300 million in one-time funding for the Low Performing Students Block Grant, but ongoing and targeted resources are still needed system-wide and across all public schools for California to make substantial progress in closing this chronic and persistent achievement gap.
Both federal and state laws prioritize placements of students with disabilities in the least restrictive setting possible and decades of research have demonstrated that students with disabilities fare better in general education classes. CA charter schools have had great success and have far exceeded state and national averages of students served in inclusive settings. However, despite some recent efforts, CA overall still lags behind the national average of students served in inclusive settings. The state currently provides supplemental special education support for high cost students placed in restrictive settings such as nonpublic schools. However, CA has no such mechanism to support the inclusion of students with high needs, and extraordinary costs.
California’s schools rank at or near the bottom on education funding when compared to other states. Research shows that nearly $25 billion in additional funding would be needed to provide adequate per pupil funding for California’s schools. All schools need adequate and equitable funding to ensure each student has a chance at success.
Ask your legislators to support AB 39 to ensure that all public schools have the resources necessary to successfully serve all students.
Barriers to quality facilities and rising facility costs remain a major challenge for charter school students and operators, particularly for schools in urban areas where both affordable space and quality schools are often out of reach. The SB 740 Facility Grant Program has been highly successful at relieving charter schools serving low income students from excessive facility costs and improving the quality of educational facilities for low income charter school students. This program reimburses charter schools that serving majority low-income students for facilities costs. Without additional funding for the program this year, these grants will not be fully funded and these majority low-income schools will be forced to cut programs serving vulnerable students in order to pay rent.
Organizations hostile to charter schools are running a package of legislation that would fundamentally gut the charter schools act. These bills would create an effective moratorium on charter public schools by removing appeal rights, severely limiting new schools, and allowing school districts to close successful schools that are serving hundreds of thousands of students statewide for any reason. Charter schools are not the problem, we are part of the solution.
Get in touch with our Government Affairs team to share any ideas on charter legislation, ask about our policy agenda or see how you can help us advocate at the Capitol.