Senator George Runner’s (R- Antelope Valley) charter school accountability measure passed the State Assembly.This legislation will provide fiscal oversight to ensure that public resources are used appropriately. It is intended to improve existing fiscal oversight provisions in a manner that does not intrude upon the programmatic flexibility that is essential to charter schools’ success.
“Charter schools were created to be free from many bureaucratic hurdles in order to provide a creative atmosphere where students can achieve academic excellence. Accountability must go hand in hand with that freedom in order to ensure appropriate use of our tax dollars,” said Senator Runner.
Senate Bill 430 is sponsored by the Governor’s Secretary for Education Alan Bersin. Specifically, it allows charter schools to contract with the Financial Crisis Management and Assistance Team (FCMAT) to provide fiscal management assistance to help charter schools avoid fiscal crises. These are the same services that are currently offered to school districts. SB 430 also allows the county superintendent to audit or review a charter school if there is a reason to believe there is a misappropriation of funds, fraud or other illegal activities.
“This legislation will provide better parameters to protect taxpayers and ensure more stability for the nearly 200,000 students currently being served in California charter schools,” said Runner.
Public charter schools were established in 1992 and there are currently over 470 California schools. Many of the charter schools serve students that are on probation or have dropped out of high school.
SB 430 will be taken up in State Senate in the next few days for final consideration and then will move to the Governor’s office for signature.