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UPDATE: SCV Sen. Pavley's charter bill passes Senate

Posted: May 28, 2014 12:19 p.m.
Updated: May 28, 2014 5:49 p.m.

A bill from state Sen. Fran Pavley aimed at blocking charter schools from locating outside the boundaries of the districts that charter them was approved Wednesday by the state Senate.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1263, passed the state Senate by a vote of 21-12.

“This bill closes a loophole that has been used by a school district to authorize numerous charter schools outside its boundaries, in contradiction to the intent of the law,” Pavley said in a statement.

“Abuse of this loophole hurts legitimate charter schools, and it hurts school districts that are trying to authorize charters within their boundaries and obey the law.”

Current provisions in state law allow for charter schools to locate outside the boundaries of their chartering district if they meet certain criteria.

A post on the website for the California Charter Schools Association says the bill, if approved, would hamper charter schools that cannot find a location within the chartering district’s boundaries.

“By completely removing this exception, SB 1263 will eliminate critical flexibility that charter schools currently utilize to overcome facilities challenges,” the post says.

State Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, who represents portions of the Santa Clarita Valley, voted against the bill.
The lies not in the current law, but in failure to enforce the current law, he said.

“Why reinvent the wheel?” Knight asked. “The law is there, the law would work and somebody should just be there to stop you from breaking the law.”

Santa Clarita Valley school superintendents enlisted Pavley’s support to eliminate the charter school loophole.

“The Senate recognizes that the issues we have raised are real and need attention,” wrote Newhall School District Superintendent Marc Winger in an email.

“We are open to amended language that contains strong enforcement language and perhaps even penalties for violation, as long as the language is ironclad.

“We have seen gross violation of the charter school statute that must be addressed, and after today’s vote I think the Legislature is ready to act,” he wrote Wednesday.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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