Far-flung Charters

WHAT THE BILL WOULD DO 

AB 1507 removes a loophole that enabled the controversial practice of school districts authorizing charter schools outside of their geographic boundaries. Under the proposal by Assemblywoman Christy Smith, a Santa Clarita Democrat, a charter school would be required to locate within the boundaries of the district that authorized it.

WHO SUPPORTS IT? 

Part of a package of charter school regulations introduced early in the session, it’s supported by teachers unions, the California Parent Teacher Association, the California School Boards Association and several local school districts. 

WHO’S OPPOSED?

The Charter Schools Development Center, a charter advocacy group, and numerous local charter schools have formally registered opposition.

WHY IT MATTERS 

Though charter schools have been a contentious issue at the Legislature for several years, this issue in particular has been a source of debate in California for nearly a decade. Districts are allowed to charge fees for oversight of the charters they authorize, and state auditors found that a handful of small, financially strapped districts had exploited the law to authorize numerous charters that were sometimes hundreds of miles away from their geographic boundaries and that drew enrollment from other districts. The Legislature had twice passed versions of AB 1507 that were vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. 

GOVERNOR’S CALL  

The governor signed AB 1507 on Oct. 3, 2019, along with AB 1505, a separate charter regulation bill.