CTA Legislation Prohibiting Discriminatory Admissions Practices in California’s Charter Schools Closer to Becoming Law

Contacts: Claudia Briggs at 916-325-1550 or Mike Myslinski at 650-552-5324

See more: www.KidsNotProfits.com 

BURLINGAME – With the bulk of the opposition now moving to a support position on AB 1360 by Assembly Member Rob Bonta, California is one step closer to significant changes to state law that will improve equity and student access at charter schools.

“This bill is a big first step in bringing accountability and transparency standards to charter schools,” said California Teachers Association President Eric Heins. “We appreciate the support of our coalition partners and the work of Assembly Member Rob Bonta to ensure that all students will have equal access to all schools by prohibiting charter schools from engaging in unconstitutional discriminatory admissions practices or exploitive suspension and expulsion policies. It’s time to end the practice of cherry-picking students that goes on at way too many corporate charter schools.”

Under amendments reached with Assembly Member Bonta today and agreed to by the California Charter Schools Association, charter schools will not be allowed to set any admissions preferences that would limit the enrollment of students with disabilities, English learners, low-income children or students of color. Any admissions preference would have to adhere to the California constitution and federal law, and must be approved by the charter school at a public hearing. Charter schools would be prohibited from requiring parental volunteer hours as criteria for admission. And all students will have due process when facing disciplinary action such as suspension or expulsion.

“As educators, we encourage and welcome parental involvement in our public schools, but eliminating mandated volunteer hours will make it easier for working families,” said Heins. “By establishing uniform guidelines for student suspension and expulsions in charter schools, students and parents will have the right to know why a child has been ‘disenrolled’ and can even ask for a hearing.”

An ACLU report, “Unequal Access,” found widespread discriminatory admission practices at California’s charter schools deny access to students with disabilities, English learners, or students who have lower grades and test scores. The NAACP recently called for a ban on privately managed charters.

CTA encourages lawmakers to support AB 1360 as amended. Recent stories of self-dealing have resulted in waste, fraud and abuse happening in many charter schools when public education should be about Kids Not Profits. That’s why we continue to support AB 1478 and SB 808 to ensure charter schools are held to the same standards as neighborhood public schools and to ensure charter school petitions are approved by local school boards.


The 325,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with
the 3 million-member National Education Association.