Hold Charter Schools Accountable


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California
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Written by
Educators for Democratic Schools
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We request an immediate moratorium on certifying new charter schools in California, as they are draining funds from public schools and destabilizing school districts.

Charter schools not only discriminate against students with disabilities, especially those with severe disabilities, but also obtain disproportionate public funding for these students. Lacking robust conflict of interest rules, charter boards funnel public funds into private hands, directly harming communities already devastated by poverty and racism.

Yet local school districts have little authority to safeguard their fiscal health. A broken appeals system consistently overrules local school boards and fuels new charter growth and renewals.
Therefore, we ask our state legislators to immediately enact a moratorium on new charters until, at minimum, the 5 following fundamental changes are made to the 1992 Charter Schools Act:

1. Add adverse fiscal impact as a basis on which districts may reject charter applications.

2. Give locally elected school boards the sole authority to approve and renew charter school petitions.

3. Require charter schools to enroll students with disabilities (especially those with severe disabilities), English Language Learners, and Newcomers, in equal proportion to the enrollment of these groups of students in the district in which the charter operates.

4. Apply to charter school board members the same prohibition of conflicts of interest as apply to public school boards. *

5. Require charter schools to be more accountable and transparent and not force school districts to have to cede control of their facilities to charter schools.

* 1 down, 4 to go! This was signed into law on 3/5/19 with the passage of SB 126.

Educators for Democratic Schools is an organization of educators and their allies located in Oakland, California, who are committed to preserving and growing public education for all and fighting its privatization/charterization. For questions, email [email protected].

Frances M. Beal

Decades ago many of us warned that charter schools were an insidious attempt to transfer funds from public education to a "privatized" scheme. The warning has now become reality, backed up by the facts.

Rebeca Allen

A charter school has taken 5 of our classes at our school. They have taken our RSP, Speech, Art , Music,OT and one general education classroom. Now, we have music classes in our library or science class. Our OT, RSP and Speech classes are having to share a classroom. The general education class was moved into a older smaller class. How is this benefiting our public school students . The charter school trying to take more from our students! Our students have already lost classrooms, play areas and work areas. This charter school was given other locations to take over that had space for them and not take from our children, but they have refused!! They want our school and they don't care if it hurts our public school students!!!! STOP THEM NOW!!!

Thomas Poppitz

Charter Schools were originally sold as a way to improve education. Instead they effectively offer massively discounted private schools to disproportionately privileged families. Time for reform.

Pamela Crawford

Raise the standards of ALL public schools to make charter schools redundant and unnecessary. California should be #1 in all public schools as it was before Prop 13.

Jack Kurzweil

Charter Schools, with rare exceptions, undermine the social good of public education as a social right.

Lianne M Morrison

As a public school educator, I know that our schools are seriously underfunded. Let's focus on improving education for all students, and for greater accountability for charter schools and their corporate backers.

Dorcas Tokes

The point is not if they should exist; the point is that they be held responsible by regulations that other public funded schools have

Nancy M Friedman

Charter schools bleed money out of school districts that is desperately needed.

Jayne Nichols

Public schools for public education.

Marilyn Harryman

This is important! Excellent schools are critical to national survival. Charter schools have gone far beyond the scope of their original intent! They must be scaled back and carefully scrutinized.
We must strengthen our public schools at every level with competent teachers, student support with counselors, psychologists, social workers, school nurses who can remove many barriers to academic success. We need to provide career development opportunities at every level! We can do this!
Marilyn Harryman

Miriam Zamora-Kantor

I signed the petition to change charter law so that local communities can have more control over their own public education and to prevent the privatization of public schools.

It is very important to sign the petition now because AB1505 is pending before the legislature right now and if your representative hears that you support this bill it may help to influence his/her vote. I ask that you consider signing the petition NOW to protect public education. Thank you :)

John Erickson

Good public education is crucial for our country's future.

Kristen Caven

It’s probably too late for an edit but I would remove the word “more” from: #5. {Require charter schools to be more accountable.)

Adrianne Aron

The public school and the public library gave me a life. When we take away from public education we take away the future for our communities. ==Adrianne Aron, Ph.D.

Jon Knowles

Enough privatization already!

Kathleen Maloney

Charter schools support inequity and do not reflect the greater community since with a commonly elected school board.

Bill Freeman

All kids deserve well funded public schools.

Mike Parker

Charters are the leading edge of the corporate controlled privatization movement.

Charles Cornwell

Sometimes adding a charter doesn't make common sense. The locally elected school board should be able to analyze the situation and decide on a charter approval.

Joseph Borau

Public education was the foundation to my career. Our public school performs better than the charter on STAR test scores yet we lose our resources to the charter based on enrollment numbers. The charter school scheme is hurting our most vulnerable population..our kids.

Tania Hughes

For the future!

Elizabeth Pauw

I support public education. It is the foundation of our democracy.

Thomas Ultican

The charter school industry appears to be a lawless set of profiteers praying on students and taxpayers.

Lee Hackett

I believe that strong public schools and a well educated community are essential for a healthy democracy.

Elizabeth Osuna-Jimenez

Because I believe public school education is important.

Anonymous

Social studies textbooks donated by the Heritage Foundation and privatization Charter School mentalities have been sucking Public Schools dry for 40 years. This must STOP if we are going to have an intelligent, educated and aware electorate!

Janice Murota

We need to educate all our children which means strengthening our public schools. Allowing private corporations to rob public schools of funds to educate their narrow constituency is counterproductive and undemocratic.

Dorothea Dorenz

Instead of working to improve our public schools, the money is funneled away to schools that only teach those without learning issues and leave public school teachers without the reseources they need to cope with oversized classrooms with children who have special needs.

Jo-Ellen Spencer

I endorsed because I have a daughter who is a Public School Principal and I know from her experiences how much damage charter schools do to public schools. Charter schools were supposed to be an experiment whose successes would be then shared with Public Schools. Instead Charter Schools became a business unto themselves. With many for-profit companies taking over Charter Schools around the country, public schools are really in danger. Public schools for all were one of the great successes of this Country. We cannot let the Charter School Industry bring our Public Schools down.

Dawn Fairbanks

Support public education! The funding is spare enough in this state, without diverting it to charter schools. Rules for charter schools are unfair and undemocratic!

Virginia Tibbetts

Charter schools are not public schools because their board is not elected and their meetings are not open to the public. Reform is needed immediately.

Marian Cruz

Our tax $$ for public schools not charter schools. Public funds for public schools only!

Steven Hixson

Charter Schools have damaged public education

Katharine Osburn

We need to educate all our students and protect publically funded schools.

Peter Najarian

Urgent

Anonymous

I have watched as Oakland schools have been closed down for local children and then "reopened" for a charter school that draws a small number of kids from all over the city. The charters are not accountable to the school district and yet draw funds from it. They don't accommodate disabilities as regular schools are required to, which overloads the non-charter schools with disabled students and has less money for students in general. The charter schools give nothing to the local district, but bleed it of resources, properties, and funding.

Theodore Lam

Because it’s important.

Karen Cusolito

Send this to LAUSD School Board member Nick Melvoin.

Landry Wildwind

I've watched as both Democrats and Republicans support charter schools at the expense of public schools since the 1980's. I've never seen so much money spent to move taxpayer funds to private entities including for profit corporations. All at the expense of equal educational opportunity, special education services and public school facilities and services. Please prove that you're not a captive of the charter school movement and support public schools.

Joe Berry

As Henry Giroux says, "Public schools are at the center of the manufactured breakdown of the fabric of everyday life. They are under attack not because they are failing, but because they are public."

Anonymous

We need to stop draining resources from public schools to support those charters that are acting like privates.

Geraldine McNenny

Every charter school undermines the fiscal health and viability of our public school system. Public schools are fundamental to our democracy. An informed citizenry is our only defense against a fascistic government. Support public schools now.

Suzanne SooHoo

Stop bleeding public schools.

Joy Osborne

No special rules for special schools. Inclusion, equity, funding for good schools in every neighborhood. No charter "pull-outs" that drain funds away and become selective pools.

Naomi Puro

Let's support our Public School system; enough with Charter Schools draining money from public education.

Pete Farruggio, PhD

Public schools accept all students and bind communities together; corporate-run charters (the vast majority) are based on a competitive, anti-democratic ethos that promotes "us vs them" thinking.
Pete Farruggio, PhD
Associate Professor, Bilingual Education (retired)

Helena Worthen

Public schools are the foundation of democracy.

Ann Schulte

Charter schools are not helpful to small and rural communities.

Anonymous

WE are losing teachers because they can't afford housing in the cities and the districts don't have the funds to solve the problems partly because of the charter school drain.

Kathleen Kirby

Public schools are the foundation of our democracy. In these troubled times a good public school education has never been more important. Thanks for your leadership on this important issue.

Betty H Merritt

Free public education with a level playing field is the key to a thriving democracy.

Mary Jane Brimhall

Public schools are our foundation.

Cristal Fiel

Charter schools are discriminatory, unaccountable, and take vital resources and funding from public schools. To not support charter school reform means that you are negatively impacting the most marginalized young people of California.

Victor Valerio

I believe that transparency is a necesary to sustain viability and purpose. I attend a community based charter school and I witnessed the benefits when it is grassroots. However I also have seen the consequences when itprocit oriented and shady dealings that had occurred for the financial gain of a few and disadvantages of the many marginalized communities. This is why I endorsed this effort.

Paul Allen

Charter schools are unaccountable and sucking scare dollars from the public schools. A moratorium is needed to slow the destruction of public schools while the laws are improved to require accountability of charter schools. Charter schools need to play by the same rules as public schools and should not be given access to public school sites. Charter schools should not be allowed to gain ownership of public property for "non-profit" administrators' financial gain.

Adam Vurek

All these amendments are just plain common sense. Level playing field means better school experiences for kids and educators alike.

Daniel Deninger

Our public schools should be fully funded. Parents and students should not be stressed that their schools cannot offer the education needed to prepare their future.

Deborah Rogers

We need to keep education in the public domain! If we move towards privatizing education, families lose equitable access, and the community loses its ability to retain control over how our young people are educated!

Joel Velasquez

We need a state wide moratorium now. Please take a minute to sign.

MJ Baumann

These changes are long over due and will help public schools all over CA!

Omar Osorio

Public education is a common good that needs to be protected and it needs to stay out of the hands of the few, namely the rich, for it isn't a commodity, it isn't a business opportunity. Public education is a right!

Mindy Pfeiffer

It is critical that we support public education and public schools. Charter schools drain money from public schools. Charter schools can pick and choose which students they want, and they never want special need students, children with learning disabilities, or children with behavior issues. Charter schools don't have to use credentialed teachers, as long as one person on campus holds a credential, they also do not let their teachers join a union, and they have a very high turn over rate.

Jackie Detamore

The expansion of charter schools is depleting our public school system and preventing it from having adequate funding to help all children thrive.

Anonymous

Time for some equity, transparency, and full disclosure in our public school system.
Charter schools currently do not have the same legal accountability as to how the school impacts traditional schools (Last year OUSD lost $57.3 million in a funding drain) and as to how local, state, and federal school funds are spent. Charter schools typically do not have teachers’ unions. This lack of oversight and accountability has attracted money and influence from wealthy individuals/corporate heads (Bloomberg of NYC, the Fishers of Gap, Hastings of Netflix, Eli Broad, the Waltons of WalMart, etc) outside of Oakland. More public schools are being closed and replaced by privately run charter schools. GO Public Schools was used as a conduit for hundreds of thousands of dollars pouring into state and local races such as the recent District 4 local school board election. The charter school billionaire backers' also attempted to unseat Tony Thurmond with the pro-charter candidate Marshall Tuck.
In recent legislation AB 1840, our state legislators, Nancy Skinner, Rob Bonta and Tony Thurmond fought to get OUSD some fiscal relief, but with strict financial oversight and accounting controls in place.
Please do your own research and be informed and assertive. Follow the money. Generate open conversation. Challenge the status quo. Education and our children's futures are not for sale. Schools should not be Big Business.

Anonymous

Oakland deserves the best public schools. This will take real financial support.

Margaret Roberts

I was on the fence because, selfishly, I saw some interesting charter programs available for my son, but I am so glad to have enrolled him in an OUSD run public school and have had an absolutely wonderful experience. The enticements of charters cloak some of their less functional and truly undemocratic aspects, which families aren’t privy to. There lies the true problem: the public is privy to very little about the internal workings of charters, and that lack of oversight and transparency creates the pernicious double standard that is working against the overall success of our public school system. I am a product of a highly successful public school system, myself, and I know our cynicism about public ed in California is something we MUST overcome, by dedicating full resources and applying innovation to a great public education for ALL students. Proud of my choice. Ready to keep fighting.

Bernard Gershenson

Charter schools receive a disproportionately large share of the education budget.

Risa Wallach

Equality

Phoebe Williams

I support strong public schools.

Marianne Burg

I support our public schools and teachers.

Amrit Kohli

Charter Schools are *not* public schools, and they should not enjoy the protections and privileges of public schools. Charter Schools are resegregating our nation. Charter Schools must be put in check, and a full moratorium on building new Charter Schools must be enacted.

Zack Pitt-Smith

The unchecked privatization of our public utility known as school needs to be stopped! Please join me in signing this letter to our elected officials.

Keith Steffen

Stop cannibilizing public education funding.

Jackie Roth

OUSD's true public schools lose $57 million a year in funding due to charter schools.

Dan Siegel

Charter Schools are turning public education into a profit center for bankers and other investors. Funding for charters undermines public education, in part because funding for charter school students is substantially greater than education funding for children who remain in the public schools.

Lili Horn

Charters create and exacerbate inequalities in funding, student populations, and teachers’ rights, and they are not accountable at the public level. Oversight must increase with moratoriums on any new charters. And then charters need to be phased out to allow for fully funded public education for ALL students, teachers and staff.

Kelly Bennett

End corporate control of everything.

Melody Covay

Teachers the most important people in your children's life besides family. Support public education for all stop Charter schools that take public funding. This hurts the the poorer and children with disabilities the most.

Lisa McNally

Charter schools take too much money away from public schools. Our nations foundation was built on the public school system.

Sue Miller

I am very concerned about the lack of accountability and State oversight of charter schools in California. I also believe strongly in supporting teachers and supporting public education in California and nationwide.

Michael Penner

Yes, there should be a statewide moratorium on charter schools. As a formerly charter school teacher for over 17 years, I admittedly have mixed feelings regarding charter schools in general and the literal explosion of them since the charter school legislation in the early 90's. While some charters are administered responsibility and serve a worthwhile purpose, too many are poorly run and uproot students and their families when they abruptly close. Throwing scarce tax dollars at poorly run public schools doesn't solve the problem either (emphasize on scarce). With those notable exceptions, the vast majority of public education is grossly underfunded (but are run remarkably well). Greatly increase public school funding and hold all administrators more accountable. Money and accountability won't solve all of public school problems. Regaining the admiration and trust that's been lost over decades of decreased attention to our solemn oath as caretakers of our youth should be the main priority.

Anonymous

I am NOT anti-charter BUT I do 💯 believe in these charter accountability metrics and that we should immediately enact a moratorium on new charters, especially in Oakland.

Mildred Chazin

Charter schools have no place in a public school system.

Fay Chazin-Seidelman

Charter schools were originally conceived of to allow for experimentation in educational reform. But they have often become a drain on public school districts, some are for profit( which is problematic), some are only inclusive of specific populations of children and exclude others. Charters should not replace public schools!!!

David J. Weinstein

From MA, first state to inshrine and insure public ed.

Alice Kawazoe

Charter schools steal money from our public schools. Save public schools, support teachers, require open enrollment at charters and more accountability.

Wladimir Wlassowsky

We need to support our PUBLIC schools and teachers, and level the playing field with charter schools to stop the leakage of $$$!

Gillian Bowley

I'm an Oakland public school teacher and public school parent advocating for this change!

Anonymous

Charter schools do not try to meet the needs of all children and restrict the right of teachers to have a union to act on behalf of their needs and the needs of their students.

Anonymous

We've come too far to back down now. Might as well keep going cause we really dont have anything more to lose.

Lisa Steindel-Byrne

Charter schools reject/don't serve children with severe social needs, drain millions from public schools, and are permitted to engage in business practices that are conflicts of interest. They are allowed to function without transparency, don't allow employees to unionize, and they can hire employees who don't have appropriate credentials/ qualifications. Why are we as the public supporting this drain on public schools? Oakland Unified School District spends $57 million every year just supporting Charter Schools alone, money that should be going back to the public schools to improve resources there!

Michael Reagan

My family has taught in Oakland public schools my entire life, and now they are spending their retirement years having to fight so public school teachers and students can get a fair shake - so public dollars don't go to private companies to run schools that have next to zero accountability to the public that funds it. It ain't right

Carol Cross

Charter schools have been undermining our public schools and hence, our democracy, for years now. It's time to put a stop to them!!

Ana Turetsky

Because it’s the only sane thing to do.

Sandy Fiderio

I support a strong public school system so that all children can receive a good secular education without discrimination. Taxpayer money should not be diverted to other for profit, private, charter, voucher endeavors at the expense of our public schools ability to educate and care for our school children.

Barbara Knipple Bilbao

As a public school educator in Los Angeles who has seen the devistating impact on our schools, families, and communities I ask you to support this endeavor. Ms Burke, you represent an area of LA that has been severely impacted by charter schools; it seems no truly public school in Westchester doesn’t have a charter school on its campus. This needs to stop.

Tami Grayevsky

For kids and teachers to get better schools.

Zoe Sharp

Teacher in Mountain View supports this!

Janet Dock

Having been a public school teacher I have seen the charter schools choose the students they want for their (the schools) success. Thus special needs, bilingual, poorly educated, etc., need not apply.

Peggy Pena

As a teacher in Los Angeles in a school who has suffered for five years of a charter colocation, I can say firsthand that they are having a negative impact on neighborhoods and communities of LA. We have been fiscally impacted, leading to less services and resources.

Anonymous

I endorsed this petition because Public Education is a fundamental right that deserves way more support and resources to ensure that every student can recieve the best education possible.

Cathrine Veikos

I support public education as the foundation of a civil society.

Ngoc Lien

Because I support public schools and I believe we need the funding more than charter schools.

Christie Blakley

Charter schools have weakened the public school system in Oakland, CA. They exacerbated existing inequalities, and result in a concentration of high needs students in under-resourced schools.

Anthony Morse

Free, standardized public education constitutes both the building material and glue for our civic society. We cannot stand by while public education is hijacked by for-profit organizations who operate without oversight and sap resources from one of the most important functions of local life.

Tina Monaco

Please support public schools and sign this petition.

Anonymous

I am a Spanish bilingual speech pathologist and have assessed children attending Oakland charters and sat at IEPs where parents have been told their child was “not the right fit” and might do better at their public school. Then we get dinged for having too many kids in Special Ed!

Eddie Bridgett Jr

Support the teachers for the people

Lana Hurteau

If our schools were properly funded, we would not need charter schools. ALL children deserve smaller class sizes. ALL teachers deserve to make enough money to afford to live near their workplace. Charters siphon off high performing students and leave public schools with a disproportionate number of high need kids they can't afford to help. No more new charters and better oversight over the existing ones.

Rebecca d'Alessio

Join the effort to save our educated society! Charter schools are an important part of a grand scheme to dismantle public education.

Toussaint Haki Stewart

This issue is a matter of life and death. Displacement caused by Public School closures and the rampant pop-up charter schools is ruining the flow of equality and justice. This issue predominantly devestates black brown communities. I am Black and I am a teacher working in Oakland. My city has been traumatized by Charter Schools. This proposal is a solution that can ignite healing in my community and school. -Toussaint

Brennan Nicholas

I endorsed this document because charter schools must be held to the same standards as public schools: they must take every kid, they must figure out ways to serve the children who are the most difficult to teach, and they must not be allowed to alter test scores by sending low performing students home on days when testing occurs.

Vicki Silkiss

As a public school teacher for decades, I have seen the reduction in funding for comprehensive (non-charter) schools, stemming from allocations to the administration-heavy charter schools. These are schools which, for the most part, have not proven that their education is better than in the non-charters, but which have been allowed to proliferate without adequate oversight in spite of that.
It’s way past time to address this issue and get around to quality schooling for all students.

Lindsey Pothast

Oakland public school teacher fighting to keep our schools open.

Deborah Green

I agree with the above signers. Public schools are an institution of democracy. Charter schools have morphed into becoming a huge boondoggle, mistake, and gravy train for its investors. I think this proposition for oversight doesn’t go far enough. But at least it’s a baby step. Fund public schools.

Rebecca Recco

We have to hold Charters accountable!

Helene Moore

Support public schools first!

Anonymous

Keep public schools funded, resourced and public!

Patricia Wooden

If you care about good education, support public education.

Brianna Oller

To stop charter schools!

Jackie Shonerd

Thanks, Nancy Skinner, for co-sponsoring 2 proposed bills to reform charter law! More about AB1505 and AB1508 at these links: leginfo.legislature.ca.go...
AND leginfo.legislature.ca.go...

Bev Kreps

I forwarded to friends and family.

Raymond Wooliever

The privatization of public schools is a shame.

Teressa DiPerna

As a teacher and parent we need to find a way to end this proliferation of charter school and put more attention and resources toward our neighborhood/community truly public schools.

Aimee Green

Want quality education, not only in Oakland, but the entire state of California? Sign this petition to make charter school accountable, like public schools and to limit charter school growth. Public education is a civil right!

Jean Washburn

Charter schools are damaging public education. They aren’t just or fair to all students.

Kathy Caskey

As the grandparent of a child with special needs I observed first hand that charter schools do not have the services or staff training to meet special needs.

Janan Apaydin

Charter schools are taking money away from public schools.

Becky Jenkins

Public Schools must have top priority for funding and general support in order to improve the education of the vast majority of children who attend California's schools. After all public schools are back up to high standards, with all the staffing and equipment they need, then charter schools can be helped, not before!!

Jermesha H.

Why should we need charter schools when we have perfectly good public schools? We don't, PERIOD.

Georgina Martinez

Our public schools deserve quality education. No discrimination!

K. M. Cummings

Charter schools are the new tools for re-segregating our country. Public funds should not be used for this purpose.

Mark Greenside

Giving public money to private schools is a public subsidization, a form of welfare, that the right vehemently opposes when given to provide social services, but greedily grabs when offered as corporate income. It's hypocritcal, and worse, bad policy and morally wrong.

Peter J. Welch

I have signed a petition to request a moratorium on new charter schools in California due to their discrimination against students with disabilities and the funneling of PUBLIC funds into private hands harming communities and often promoting racism and fact-free religious education on the public dime.

Ilene Fortune

Please join me and share this petition to request an immediate moratorium on certifying new charter schools in California, as they are draining funds from public schools and destabilizing school districts.

Stephen Smilove

Charter schools weaken public schools. They take money from neighborhood public schools and from the district budget. Many charter operators are for-profit, and the local school district pays them tax revenue that should be invested in students.

Katy Scott-Smith

I demand an end to the privatization of public education. We need to take every charter school which takes public funds back from private interests, and fold them into the public education system.

Alicia Romero

As teacher and principal in public schools, I witnessed first hand how lack of funding sets students, teachers and principals up for failure. Exclusion is not democracy. Tell the truth about how money gets taken out of the hands of Public Education and handed over to Charters - no questions asked.

Kathleen S. Evans

Charters are destroying public education. Public education is the foundation of our democracy.
Our democracy is suffering enough from control by billionaires, let's protect what we can.

Blaine Cowick

End discrimination to children with disabilities!

Maria Mana

Public schools cannot continue to be jeopardized because of unaccountable charter school expansion.

Stephen Pringle

Public schools aren't Walmart or Netflix

Tina Zwiefelhofer

Charter schools use public funds, but are privately run with no public input or oversight. Taxation without representation. The charter school in out district is stealing from the many to serve a few. There is definitely disproportionate
funding. The facts cannot be denied any longer - charter schools hurt truly public schools.

Timothy Gomez

Outlaw Charter Schools, end segregation, protect our tax dollars, & follow the money.

Wendy Spander

Keep our public schools open and STOP FUNDING charter schools with NO ACCOUNTABILITY whatsoever (and non-unionized). Our kids are NOT for sale.

Caroline Haslanger

I’m signing to tell elected officials we want fair reform on state charter school policies!

Katherine Suyeyasu

Public district schools serve ALL students. Even if a charter school is public, there is a barrier to entry. Families must first know about the charter option and then must apply. Children from families without this capacity are left out. A system that is allowed to exclude our most vulnerable is a threat to justice and democracy.

Robert D. Skeels, JD

As a legal researcher and public education advocate, I've seen the damage that the privatization of our schools does to our neighborhoods. Charters discriminated against students with disabilities, English language learners, and students with disciplinary issues. It's time to put an end to the failed charter school experiment.

Roger Harris

Support the Oakland teachers strike and public education!

Candice Wright

We need to stop defunding and closing Oakland public schools. I am so angry that my tax dollars are enriching unethical billionaires. I am also angry that so many politicans and elected school officials accept so much funding from the charter school industry and do not represent the PUBLIC'S interest.

Katherine M Harris

Charter schools are undermining public education.

Kippen Gallagher

I think the lack of regulation in Charter Schools does a number of things that are deleterious to the educational process. The quality of education is not well-regulated and they have an advantage over public schools in what they provide for their students. They dilute the funding available to public education while cherry picking enrolling students to their schools. There are as many difficulties with Charter Schools as there are individual schools chartered.

Ben Bartlett, Berkeley City Councilmember 3

Let's Hold Charter Schools Accountable!

Jeanne Bernard

This is to save the soul of public education and prevent the proliferation of charter schools and the disproportionate funds being funneled to for-profit organizations. Enough is enough!

Sean Gallagher

The charter school system is privatizing and commoditizing education under the false premise of competition spurring success. It is only siphoning funds away from public school districts, leading to forced closures for lack of resources. This is a disastrous outcome for our children.

Kirk Lawson

I agree with all of what has been said/written. Charter schools draw funds away and overall create a false illusion that folk fall prey to. Charters essentially do not serve but a select, chosen population sans true accountability.

Jerry Wolfe

Keep in mind that charter schools and the out of city and state (Oakland, California) FUNDERS who pay to influence local elections are part of the cabal:
That denigrate public schools, public school teachers and staffs, teachers unions, and on the ground true educational warriors on a regular basis. If they educated “ALL” students as well as they market themselves that would be a vast improvement.
As a proud OUSD public school teacher and Principal for 30 years I stand with my public education colleagues 🗽🗽🗽

Jan Donnelly

Charter Schools "screen" who comes through their front door. "Shame on you", says Ruby Bridges/circa 1960. We must deconstruct Charter Schools, fully fund our public schools. Betsy Devos (B.Divided) MUST GO!

Samuel Martinez

I believe in public school. I was a public school teacher in Oakland for 43 years and loved almost every minute of it. My two sons are wonderful products of public school. Let's offer everyone the best education possible.
Samuel Martinez

Lauran Cherry

The Charter School Act of 1991 is overdue for review and change.

Anonymous

Charter schools harm communities by deepening inequality and depriving public school systems of resources --including community involvement-- needed to provide Quality Education for All.

Steve Bronson

It is unacceptable that a public school can relatively easily be closed while there are nearly an impossible amount of hurdles to navigate in closing a charter school. This affront to public education must be reversed.

Carolyn Oretsky

The strength of our democracy is being tested in so many ways...we know better...

John F Lamb

Our country's education head is DeVos. That is all one needs to know as her Michigan Charter schools went bust because they were just a money making scam to put money in her pocket!

Vanessa Webster

If we, as citizens, are paying for charter schools, they must be held accountable!

Barbara Kaye

Because public education that is available to all children equally is the foundation of our democracy. Charter schools undermine that concept. I object to my tax money going to charter schools!

Gail Whang

Stop draining funds from our public schools. Change the charter school law!

Karen D. Benson

Research on Charter Schools have NOT demonstrated they outperform public schools. As well, they siphon off much needed funding from public schools.
Public schools serve all children. Whereas Charter schools can pick and deny certain children entrance, and they are not required to meet same Ed Code requirements as public schools.

Marian Killian

California Charter school policy undermines public education by siphoning off resources. The lack of regulation and oversight of charters has allowed this to persist for too long. Call a moratorium on this now.

Daniel Weintraub

I endorsed because public education is our best opportunity.

Jane Nylund

For too long, charter school law in California has favored the proliferation of charter schools that are unaccountable to taxpayers, don't serve all students, and are a means toward control and privatization of one of the most important pillars of democracy.

Bernie Album

Public education is the basis for the survival of democracy in America. Diverting funds from public education is undermining our democracy.

Mark Demming

The unchecked spread of charter schools in Oakland has only undermined the ability of the OUSD to improve education for all of Oakland's students.

Natalie Blasco

If charter schools are given tax dollars meant for public schools, they need to be held to the same standards, both in terms of education and the requirement to teach all children.

Emily Stough

Charter schools funnel money away from neighborhood schools. They must be held accountable for what they do with taxpayer funds.

Lynne Brown

I believe Charter Schools sometimes become a form of publicly run "private" schools, only able to be accessed by families who are able to volunteer, maybe drive their children long distances out of their neighborhoods, or pay special fees ~ families well off financially.

Karen Yee

We should be allocating MORE $ to our public schools, not robbing them of their needed funds to support exclusionary, unaccountabe charters!!!

Anonymous

Charter schools are unconstitutional. Our tax dollars are lining the pockets of “administrators”, while taking money from our neighborhood schools. That money needs to be kept at our local schools. If people don’t want to attend their local schools, there are private schools. Charters repeatedly break the law by denying state and federal laws. They do not provide FAPE (free and appropriate public education) to all students. I know several families who have been told that their student “doesn’t fit their model.” That is ILLEGAL and they should receive no public funds. They exclude poor test scores to look better on paper. Home school charters are also shady. They allow people to use their public funds to purchase DISNEYLAND SEASON PASSES!!! This is not uncommon and so wrong. Meanwhile, our beginning teachers with credentials and masters degrees qualify for food stamps based on income. Why aren’t we addressing this corruption?

John R Harris

Tired of public money going into private pockets via management companies whose membership, salaries and board meetings are totally opaque. This morning news breaks that yet another California charter is under federal investigation. Enough is enough. It's time for change.

William Barnes

I believe the concept of charter schools can be implemented quite well in the public school setting. We have strayed from the idea of a charter school tremendously by allowing for profit charter school organizations outside of the public education system to open and operate charter schools.

Linda Halpern

I have mentored teachers in public, private, and charter schools, and although all the teachers may be good, those in the public sector have superior training in classroom management, designing and implementing curriculum and, most importantly, in caring and connection to the students they serve. To me, public education has always been fundamental to a true democracy.

Bruce Berg

Charter Schools receiving public tax dollars should be held to the same standard of accountability and transparency as all other public schools. Their financial documents should be mandated to be submitted in the same SACS format as all other public schools.

Rachel Quinn

All students need to be part of one unified system so that no students fall through the cracks. There are many examples of innovative schools and programs in California that are part of a unified school system with oversight and democratic accountability. We do not need charters to innovate-- we need transparency about what works, democratic oversight, and equitable funding to support programming.

Diana Brown

We need accountability in our charter schools!

Maggie Geddes

The legislature needs to cap the number of charter schools until the issues raised by this petition can be addressed.

Anonymous

Oakland is FORCED to close public schools and NOT ALLOWED to close any charters. That's not fair

Judi Burle

Charters are draining resources away from our public schools with a disproportionate impact on communities of color.

Anonymous

If you're not happy with public schools, improve them. Don't start more and more charter schools that don't serve their whole communities like public schools do.

Kathleen MacIntyre

Public schools are important to our community.

Debra Weintraub

I believe tax dollars should go to public schools that are willing to serve everyone in the community and are accountable to all of us too.

Maureen MacIntyre

Charter schools undermine the goals of public education.

Alejandro Estrada

I've listened to parents who have been counseled out of charter schools. In otherwords, they have been pushed out. Public schools (non charters) accept all children.

Mandra Houlson

Charter schools have not provided support or services to students with IEPs after telling parents that they would provide speech therapy at time of enrollment.

Lorraine Rosenblatt

There is enough of a budget problem for the public schools without charter schools draining the money.
Charter schools discriminate with students with disabilities. What if your child with Special Needs was denied what he/she needed so the money could go to a charter school.

Cynthia Strecker

Every dollar that goes to a charter school comes directly out of the budget of the public school system. Private schools are fine, but the public shouldn't pay for them via taxes.

Frank Adamson

Charter schools, and education privatization in general, are internationally shown to be largely ineffective for achievement (their purported goal) while creating education equity concerns. The problem of underinvestment in education is real, but the solution is not competition and marketization; the solution is investing in the public system that determines our collective future.

Chela Delgado

The growth of charters has directly harmed my school and costs Oakland $57 million/year.

Joshua Krafchin

The CSA is decades-old legislation that even supporters of charter schools agree needs to be changed. In a district on the financial brink like Oakland in which nearly 1/3rd of kids are in charters, it's clear we need immediate reform at the state level.

Jim Mordecai

Deregulated privately managed charter schools grow by replacing the enrollment of public schools thereby reducing the pubic schools funding. Eliminate the "de" in regulation of charters as well as a moratorium on their toxic growth.

Young Whan Choi

Charter schools are not playing fairly and need to be regulated in order to protect the ability of district schools to provide an education to all students including the most vulnerable.

Renee Swayne

Charter schools are literally stifling public schools with little to no accountability and only limited educational return for our public dollars.

Anthony Cody

Charter schools divert scarce resources and lack oversight. This leads to corruption and starvation of public schools.

Anonymous

Our responsibility as Californians to push for common sense policy like this!

Shelly Weintraub

Support public schools, equality and democracy. Change the charter school law.

Susan Audap

Our schoolchildren need these changes in order to thrive.

Anonymous

Charters started out as a good idea as an incubator for innovative ideas which could then be shared with the Districts. Unfortunately they have become an avenue to privatization of schools paid for by we the taxpayers. Please read and sign the petition. Thanks.

Rachel Kahn-Hut

I have signed because it does not seem reasonable to support charter schools with our taxpayer money but for us to not be able to how they are actually doing.

Denise Nelson

Charter schools drain money from the public school system, yet don't take their fair share of disabled or non-English-speaking students; and their teachers are not unionized.

Ann Berlak

Charter schools threaten the survival of public schools and of democracy. Think about it. Charter schools represent taxation without representation.

David Weintraub

I strongly believe we have to stop the destruction of public institutions including public education by those who would privatize it for profit and destroy our democracy

Ellen Salazar

Charter schools are destroying public schools. The rules for charters are different than for public schools. This is wrong and unfair and is destroying public education.

Betty Olson-Jones

Charter schools are squeezing the life out of our public schools. We MUST have changes to charter law!

Emily Filloy

Public schools are a cornerstone of democracy.

Anonymous

Charter schools have proved of questionable value while continuing to weaken public schools.

Liquid

Liquid makes democracy smarter and more accountable.


For this is what America is all about. It is the uncrossed desert and the unclimbed ridge. It is the star that is not reached and the harvest sleeping in the unplowed ground. Is our world gone? We say "Farewell." Is a new world coming? We welcome it — and we will bend it to the hopes of man.

President Lyndon B. Johnson

January 1965

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