The Charter School Act of 1992 was a cornerstone piece of legislation that opened the door for innovation and opportunity for public education in California. Public school students now were offered a choice and families soon discovered options as some school Board’s embraced this legislation believing in its value. While some school Boards were welcoming, others greatly feared change, wanted to keep their districts closed to new opportunities, and feared new ideas that challenged their monopoly.
What cannot be denied by district leaders is the fact that when they have a high performing charter public school in their community, it causes districts to ask hard questions about themselves and make improvements because parents now have a choice, where one wasn’t available before.
It’s still concerning to me that after 28 years of success and impact, the general public in the Golden State still has a limited understanding about these charter public schools, who they serve, and what they accomplish for students?
As we begin 2020, let’s spread the truth to support the work happening in these innovative schools and the success being experienced by hundreds of thousands of students benefitting greatly as a result.
1. Charter schools are public schools
2. Charter schools are open to everyone
3. Charter schools do successfully serve special education students
4. Charter schools do receive taxpayer funding
5. Charter schools do require teachers to be credentialed
6. Charter school employees are fingerprinted and background checked
7. Charter schools are reviewed and renewed every 5 years by local authorizers
8. Charter schools can be closed by the authorizer
9. Charter schools are reviewed by independent auditors annually
10. Charter schools are considered public agencies
11. Charter schools are not for profit programs; this is illegal in California
12. Charter schools are managed by non-profit organizations
13. Charter schools cannot deny students wanting to enroll
14. Charter schools do not hand select students, most enter by a public lottery
15. Charter schools do participate in state testing annually
16. Charter schools are not private or religious-based schools
17. Charter schools seek to enroll students from all ethnicities
18. Charter schools do have a Board overseeing the program
19. Charter school Boards do follow the Brown Act, Government Code 1090, and the Political Reform Act.
20. Charter schools do report results to parents, the local school district, County Office of Education, and the State Department of Education
Cameron Curry is the Chief Executive Officer for The Classical Academies, an organization of award-winning, tuition-free, public charter schools serving 4600+ students in grades TK-12 in North San Diego County. Curry also serves on the board of the California Charter Schools Association and serves as commissioner for the California Department of Education Advisory Commission for Charter Schools (ACCS). For more information about The Classical Academies, visit www.classicalacademy.com