Update: AB 1505 has been passed overwhelmingly by the California Assembly (27-11) and the California Senate (56-16). AB 1507 passed the Assembly with a 42-15 and the Senate floor with a 25-12-3 vote. Both bills move to the governor’s desk!

On August 28, Gov. Newsom announced an agreement has been reached on AB 1505, the critical charter school reform bill that is a key priority for CFT members. The agreement follows months of incredible organizing and weeks of intense negotiations, during which CFT leaders, members, and staff have stood with fellow educators, school workers, parents, and students to push for reform.

“While there is still much more work to do, AB 1505 represents a sea change in the laws governing charter schools in California,” says CFT President Jeff Freitas. “It is a credit to the incredible organizing that CFT members and allies have done this year.”

Of particular importance, school districts will now be able to consider the financial impact of new charter schools on their community and neighborhood schools, every classroom will have a properly credentialed teacher, and charters can be held accountable for cherry picking students.

Yet according to Freitas, while the reforms in AB 1505 are critical, CFT must continue our efforts to fully fund public education and to defend our schools against privatization, corporatization, and other ‘reforms’ that continue to threaten our communities and our students.

Freitas also stressed the need for continued vigilance to enforce the law, as some in the charter school industry will attempt to find loopholes that they can exploit.

“Thanks again to all who have worked so hard to fix our broken charter school laws,” continues Freitas. “Thousands of CFT members have organized to make this day a reality, and every effort was essential to beat back the deep pockets behind the charter school industry.”

Following the announcement of the agreement by the governor, AB 1505 passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday, August 29. AB 1505 will now go to a final vote in the Senate and a concurrence vote in the Assembly, which must take place on or before September 12.

AB 1507, another charter school reform bill by Assemblymember Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, which would close a loophole in the current law that allows a charter school to operate outside of its authorizing district, also passed out of the Appropriations Committee on August 29.