No cap: second big charter school bill stalls

illustration of a baseball cap

In yet another sign that the union-charter school debateain’t over til it’s over, Assembly Bill 1506, which called for a statewide cap on charters, quietly stalled May 30 as the chamber failed to take it up before Friday’s house-of-origin deadline. It’s the second of four big charter school bills to get into trouble this year.

Though AB 1506 was technically left on file, and not deemed “inactive,” it would require a rule waiver to be reconsidered. Authored by Democratic Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of Sacramento, it would have capped the number of charters in localities across the state, limiting charters to less than 10 percent of a local school system’s average daily attendance starting in 2020.

Statewide, nearly 11 percent of students attend public charter schools, though that concentration is considerably higher in Los Angeles, San Diego and the Bay Area, where the number of charters has grown exponentially.

The other two bills still active—AB 1505 and AB 1507—aim to overhaul the state’s charter authorization law and prohibit school districts from authorizing charters outside of their geographic boundaries. Also pending: A summer report from the Superintendent of Public Instruction that is expected to influence the debate on charter schools.

—Ricardo Cano