California charter schools may face more restrictions

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Charter schools in California may face more restrictions. A task force has come up with recommendations that would allow local school districts to have more control over charter schools.

Early last March, California's governor said it was time to take a closer look at the impact charter schools have on traditional public schools. Nearly four months later, a task force appointment by Gavin Newsom handed him a 10-page report with recommendations.

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Among them was a call to extend the timeline to approve or deny a charter school petition from 60 to 90 days.

And here's a big one -- compensate districts when students transfer to charter schools.

"That's a great idea," expressed Ismael Armendariz of the Oakland Education Association.

It was all smiles from the teachers union because, if a school loses students to a charter school this year, the state would still give the district tuition payments based on number of students from the previous year.

"It gives the district time to adjust and it also helps us deal with declining enrollment," explained Armendariz.

The report says the state should develop new standards for overseeing charter schools and should remove the California State Board of Education from the approval process.

"If a district doesn't see the need to have another school, the district has no recourse to say no we can't have that charter school here because they can just go to the county or state and the state will appeal it," said John Sasaki, spokesperson for the Oakland Unified School District.

The state approves 75 percent of all appeals, shutting out any type of local control.

Nedar Bey is a charter school advocate who says they were created out of the need for better schools in Oakland.

"America is built on competition. This is free market society, this is about competition. The question is why are they leaving the public school and going to the charter schools?" asked Bey.

The governor was likely support new rules based on these recommendations.
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