For-Profit Charter Schools (SIGNED)

WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO 

AB 406 would ban for-profit companies from running charter schools in California. Carried by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, a Sacramento Democrat, the bill also seeks to prevent non-profit charter schools from relying heavily on for-profit companies to manage their operations.

WHO SUPPORTS IT 

Labor unions piled on in support of the bill, echoing McCarty’s argument that public tax dollars should not be used to enrich corporate executives. After opposing earlier versions, the California Charter Schools Association switched its position to support, saying the minority of charter schools that are for-profit shouldn’t be allowed to tarnish the image of the broader charter school movement.

WHO’S OPPOSED

The product of a hard-fought compromise between charter school advocates and teacher unions, AB 406 faces no major opposition. But it must now go before a governor who has already vetoed a ban on for-profit charters schools once, in 2015.

WHY IT MATTERS

Charter schools operated by for-profit companies enroll thousands of California children. A 2016 investigation by the Attorney General’s office found that the state’s largest provider of online public K-12 education, California Virtual Academies, had inflated attendance numbers and misled parents about student performance. While the schools were technically non-profits, they were run by K12 Inc, a for-profit, national charter school operator.

GOVERNOR’S CALL

Signed by Governor Brown on September 7, 2018.

—Felicia Mello