While the charter lobbyists (who call themselves “families”) managed to knock out two bills to harness their unrestricted expansion, two others remain alive, thanks in part to the vigorous efforts of the California NAACP, whose education leader is charter expert Julian Vasquez Heilig. 

The two that remain viable are AB 1505 and 1507, which establish local control and oversight of charters.

AB 1505 – The bill gives local school districts sole authority to approve new charter schools and to consider how new schools would impact the district’s budget in the approval process. Since new charter schools typically attract students – and their per pupil funding – away from traditional public schools, many expect that this measure would make it much more difficult for new charter schools to be approved. AB 1505 passed May 22 and will now go to the state Senate.

AB 1507 – This bill closes a loophole in state law that has let some districts boost their budgets by approving charter schools outside their boundaries. AB 1507 would require all charter schools approved by a district to be located within it. It passed on May 13 in the state Assembly and is also now headed to the Senate.

If these two bills pass, charters will be authorized only by the district in which they are located. Rural districts in need of cash will not be able to cannibalize urban districts hundreds of miles away by authorizing a charter that they can’t oversee.