California Governor Calls for Expert Panel on Charter Schools' Financial Impact
By Guest Blogger Sasha Jones
Following the Los Angeles teachers' strikes, California Governor Gavin Newsom has asked state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to convene an expert panel on the effects of charter schools on the finances of traditional public schools.
Newsom asked that a report be due by July 1. A spokesperson for Thurmond said that the state department of education is in the process of deciding what the panel will look like and who will be involved.
"As Governor Newsom stated in his first budget proposal, rising charter school enrollments in some urban districts are having real impacts on those districts' ability to provide essential support and services for their students," Newsom's spokesman Brian Ferguson said in a statement reported by the Los Angeles Times.
In addition to striking for higher wages and smaller class sizes, United Teachers Los Angeles called for the end of the growth of charter schools. The strike resulted in a tentative agreement that led the district to increase salaries, hire more staff, reduce assessments, and "protect district neighborhood schools from charter co-locations."
Co-located charter schools are those that share a building or campus with a traditional school. Still, the contract did not define what protections the district will put in place against charter co-locations, and whether additional protections will be established against other charter schools.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second-largest district in the nation, serving 640,000 students. Approximately one in five students in the district attends a charter school.