Three California charter school reform bills would change how schools are run

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California is trying to close failing charter schools

Three charter school bills making their way through the state legislature would significantly change the way charter schools are run.

The promise of charter school advocates has been to create better-managed, publicly funded campuses that outperform traditional public schools.

A large portion of the state’s 823 charters have fallen short.

State Sen. Joe Simitian says he and Assemblywoman Julia Brownley want poor performing charters to close their doors.

"We’re also concerned about the fact that charter schools, frankly, while they have the flexibility of fewer rules and less need to abide by various state regulations, sometimes operate with less transparency," Simitian says. "And I think what we’re hoping for here is that the same conflict of interest rules and the same open government rules that apply to other local schools, local school districts, would apply to charter schools."

Another bill would ensure charters don’t enroll only high performers at the expense of students struggling to learn English and kids with learning disabilities.

The California Charter Schools Association supports the three charter reform bills.

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