(SACRAMENTO) – Senator George Runner's (R- Antelope Valley) charter school accountability measure was signed into law late yesterday afternoon. This legislation provides fiscal oversight of charter schools to ensure that public resources are being used appropriately, yet will not intrude upon the programmatic flexibility that is essential to their 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. With these freedoms, there must be accountability, in order to ensure appropriate use of our tax dollars," said Senator Runner.
The new law will encourage the fiscal health of charter schools by clarifying that county superintendents of education have the authority to review their fiscal management practices, thereby increasing oversight to avoid mismanagement. SB 430 will also clarify that charter schools may contract with the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) to assist in cases of fiscal mismanagement.
"This legislation will provide better parameters of accountability to protect the taxpayers' investment in charter schools. It will also ensure more stability for the thousands of students that are 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 become effective January 1, 2006.