Greg Richmond, president and chief executive of the National Association of Charter Authorizers, wrote an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times calling on the state to overhaul the selection of those that can authorize charter schools. At present, the process is a free-for-all, and almost anyone can open a charter school. Local boards are authorizers; county boards are authorizers; if both of them turn down an applicant, the applicant can appeal to the state board and overturn the local and county boards.

California is awash in charter schools. According to a recent report by the ACLU, at least 20% of them engage in illegal discrimination to keep out the students they don’t want.

California also has had a steady parade of scandals, of charter owners who line their pockets with taxpayers’ money.

Will the state clean up the sector? Will it establish accountability and transparency, both for authorizers and for the charter schools? Or will the powerful California Charter School Association fight reform legislation every step of the way, calling in the debts owed by legislators who accepted their campaign cash?