By Richard Bammer
Lack of accountability and transparency at California charter schools is hurting students, a group of state officials, educators, civil rights leaders said Thursday, noting that a new law awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature that will require all charter schools to be open to greater public scrutiny.
In a national media teleconference, Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson, the author of Assembly Bill 709, said some of the state’s 1,200 charter schools fail to make financial and administrative records open to the public, in violation of the law.
“They cannot be excused from accountability,” he said.
The bill would increase transparency and accountability to parents and to disclose how the schools spend taxpayer money, including budgets and contracts. Additionally, it prohibits charter school board members and their families from profiting from their schools, and requires charter schools to comply with California’s open meetings, open records and conflict-of-interest laws.