California lawmakers OK overhaul of charter school approvals

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Lawmakers have sent Gov. Gavin Newsom legislation that overhauls the way California approves charter schools.

The measure approved by the Assembly on a 56-16 vote Tuesday would no longer let the state authorize charter schools, leaving that responsibility to school districts and county governments.

Democratic Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell says the bill will give local districts greater flexibility in considering how the schools affect their community.

Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron objected that it protects failing public schools.

The legislation also would require that all charter school teachers be credentialed. It gives existing teachers five years to do so.

California has about 1,300 charter schools that enroll about 10% of the state’s K-12 population. They are publicly funded, but operate by different rules than traditional schools.