Crackdown won't include a moratorium on charter schools

illustration of a schoolhouse

Charter school backers have expected a push for more regulation since the November elections, when statewide candidates backed by California’s teachers unions generally drubbed those favoring the growth of the mostly nonunion, privately-run public schools.

Four bills this session would inhibit charter growth; of those, two have passed their house of origin. AB 1507 would prohibit school districts from authorizing charter schools outside of their geographic boundaries, and AB 1505 would make local school districts the sole authorizers of charters.

But more sweeping restrictions lost steam as the May 31 deadline approached for floor votes. AB 1506, to cap the number of charter schools statewide, was quietly sidelined May 30 when the Assembly adjourned without considering it. And a two-year moratorium on new California charters stalled May 29 in the state Senate when it was put into the inactive file.

Senate Bill 756 by Democratic Sen. Maria Elena Durazo of Los Angeles had originally called for a five-year charter moratorium if the Legislature didn’t pass regulations outlined in three other bills by 2020.

The proposed new rules are being lobbied intensely. Meanwhile, a forthcoming report by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is expected to recommend its own charter regulations.

—Ricardo Cano