Dear Governor Gavin Newsom, Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalikis; Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell; State Senator Pro Tem Toni Atkins; State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond; State Controller Betty Yee; State Treasurer Fiona Ma; and State Attorney General Xavier Bacerra,
We are taxpayers, parents, students, and concerned Americans, and we support the call for a statewide moratorium on approval of charter schools (SB 756) until transparency, accountability, and local control provisions not already in the current approval process are established.
While there are some charter schools that are locally approved, are transparent with their budgets including posting executive salaries, and are accountable to the public, the vast majority of charter schools have taken advantage of taxpayers through weak charter laws and lax oversight by state and county officials.
Studies show that in school districts where teacher unions recently went on strike, Oakland and Los Angeles, charters defund Oakland public schools by $57.3 million a year, and defund Los Angeles public schools by $600 million a year. It is estimated well over 100,000 community, parent, student, and teacher supporters of public education marched in support of public schools in both cities in the first quarter of 2019.
Since 2006, the California state agency Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) has audited charter schools and identified $81 million in fraud, waste, and abuse. Other school budget experts estimate $100 million lost to corruption by California charter operators in 2015 alone. (Source: http://populardemocracy.org/sites/default/files/Charter-Schools-California-Report-b.pdf)
Thank you for passing SB126 which makes the Brown Act apply to charter schools, who must now keep public records, hold open meetings, and bar operators and key staff from conflicts of interest.
However, under current law, charter schools are not required to:
- Have transparent budgets and salaries
- Ensure facilities are asbestos and lead free
- Ensure local support and adequate resources for students with disabilities
- Have locally elected board members
- File a fiscal, academic, or facilities impact report on surrounding public and charter schools in a petition for authorization
- Ensure parental oversight through School Site Councils and English Learner Advisory Committees
- Ensure teachers hold a Commission on Teacher Credentialing certificate, permit, or other document equivalent to that which a teacher in other public schools would be required to hold
- Maintain adequate cash reserves as required of public schools
Because of these loopholes, many charter operators are gaming the system and are in it to make money with little regard to children’s education. Corruption is such that the largest charter school operator in America, with schools in California, is operated by foreign nationals without taxpayer knowledge and virtually no oversight.
This has got to stop.
As taxpayers and Americans, we deserve better. Our children deserve better.
Therefore, we respectfully request that you remedy these problems through your legislative authority, and pass the strongest versions of AB 1505, AB 1506, AB 1507, and SB 756 that you can, with input from grassroots public school communities all over California.
Strong Transparency, Accountability, Local Control for Charter Schools
This petition is now closed.
End date: Nov 27, 2020
Signatures collected: 2234
Signature goal: 5000
|2,234||Lorena Zorrilla||Winnetka||Aug 20, 2019|
|2,233||Trevor Hart||Campbell||Jun 23, 2019|
|2,232||Sarahy Cruz-Perez||Anaheim||Jun 14, 2019|
|2,231||Laura Seasongood||Moorpark||Jun 02, 2019|
|2,230||Adrian Barrios||Anaheim||May 26, 2019|
|2,229||Crystal Buckley||Modesto||May 24, 2019|
|2,228||Rebecca Arnoldus||Modesto||May 24, 2019|
|2,227||Frances Maceren||Anaheim||May 23, 2019|
|2,226||Owin Rojas||Anaheim||May 23, 2019|
|2,225||Gabriel Celaya||Anaheim||May 23, 2019|
|2,224||Gina Jankovich||Buena Park||May 22, 2019|
|2,223||Edith Flores||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,222||Sergio Gutierrez||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,221||Valerie Villarreal||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,220||Linda Guzman||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,219||Gabriel Roman||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,218||Alan Guerrero||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,217||Curtis Washington||Brisbane||May 22, 2019|
|2,216||Brianna Castellanos||San Antonio||May 22, 2019|
|2,215||CristinaCpare Cabrera||chino||May 22, 2019|
|2,214||Sonia Sanchez||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,213||Rolando ACUÑA||Delano||May 22, 2019|
|2,212||Jerry Landeros||La habra||May 22, 2019|
|2,211||Julissa Espino||May 22, 2019|
|2,210||Sebastian Marty||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,209||Estella Rodarte||May 22, 2019|
|2,208||madeline telles||anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,207||samantha Acuna||Delano||May 22, 2019|
|2,206||Ali Reyes||Tustin||May 22, 2019|
|2,205||Sabrina Rodarte||Earlimart||May 22, 2019|
|2,204||Monica Orozco||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,203||Vivian Enriquez||Pico Rivera||May 22, 2019|
|2,202||Maira Avila||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,201||Irene Rodarte||Earlimart||May 22, 2019|
|2,200||Clarissa Sanchez||Sun Valley||May 22, 2019|
|2,199||Veronica Saldivar||May 22, 2019|
|2,198||Daisy Sanchez||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,197||Noelia Miranda||Buena Park||May 22, 2019|
|2,196||Magalie Tovar||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,195||Natalia Miranda||Buena Park||May 22, 2019|
|2,194||Judith Hernandez||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,193||Laura Lopez||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,192||Reyna Hernandez||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,191||Marizza Gonzalez||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,190||Susanna Garcia||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,189||Valeria Rodarte||Delano||May 22, 2019|
|2,188||Stephanie Velasco||Yorba Linda||May 22, 2019|
|2,187||Carlos Saldivar||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|
|2,186||Lizbeth Roman||ANAHEIM||May 22, 2019|
|2,185||Thao Le||Anaheim||May 22, 2019|