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A charter school initiative was submitted by the League of Education Voters, Stand for Children, DFER (Democrats for Education Reform) and Republican State Senator Steve Litzow yesterday and will require 250,000 signatures by July 8, 2012 to be on the ballot in November.
Charter Schools Initiative Introduced Today, First Analysis
A charter school initiative introduced today will be on the November ballot, if supporters are able to gather 250,000 signatures by July 6th. I did a quick read through today, to see how it compared to the very problematic bill introduced in the last legislative session.
Some initial thoughts:
While this past session’s bill limited the establishment of charter schools outside of “at risk” communities, this initiative explicitly doesn’t:
“Authorizers shall give preference to applications for charter schools that are designed to enroll and serve at-risk student populations; provided, however, that nothing in this act shall be construed as intended to limit the establishment of charter schools to those that serve a substantial portion of at-risk students or to in any manner restrict, limit, or discourage the establishment of charter schools that enroll and serve other pupil populations under a nonexclusive, nondiscriminatory admissions policy.”
In other words, while the initiative is worded as though charters are intended to serve at risk kids, there’s nothing stopping wealthier communities from establishing them.
Like the last bill, this initiative creates a right of first refusal for charters, for any surplus school building. This creates a problem for districts to balance enrollment in under-enrolled neighborhoods (making it more likely neighborhood schools will close.)
Issues also carried over from the last bill:
Changes from the last bill:
This was a quick first impression, I’m sure other issues will come to light as others read the initiative.
For a brief description of charter schools, check out Charter School Myths.
For additional information regarding the Parent Trigger, see:
For additional information on DFER, check out: