At left, Myrna Castrejon, senior vp of government affairs for the California Charter School Asociation, which supports the bill, along with the Service Employees international Union (SEIU). Castrejon told CBS news in Sacramento, “We simply acknowledge that when you’re trying to change the entire culture of a school, that doesn’t just include the teachers or the parents,” said Myrna Castrejon, above, senior vice president of government affairs for [CCSA].
The bill, authored by Assemblymember Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), changes the nature of the 50% mix currently required for petitions for a new charter school. As described by the California Charter School Association (CCSA):
- Current law requires the signatures of parents or teachers when submitting a charter school petition, either for a new charter school or the conversion of an existing school, as a way of demonstrating support for the school.
- This bill requires that, if you're submitting teacher (certificated) signatures, you instead submit signatures of at least one-half of the total (certificated and classified) employees you estimate will be employed at the charter school during its first year (or one-half of the employees already employed, if it's a conversion).
...Brown vetoed an identical bill in 2011. In his veto message, the Democratic governor wrote that while support staff plays a vital role in school operations, “this bill would unnecessarily complicate an already difficult charter school petition process.”
... opponents, including ...the Sacramento-based Charter Schools Development Center, say provisions in the bill are confusing....
Eric Premack, executive director of the Charter Schools Development Center, said it’s unclear who would be eligible to offer their backing as a support staffer for creating a new charter school, as opposed to converting a public school. “It sort of assumes that you have an entity that’s already employing people, when in fact you don’t,” Premack said.
Matt Stauffer, Bradford’s spokesman, said support employees at working at other district schools would be surveyed about their interest in working at the proposed charter and could sign the petition.