Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Charter School Measure Lacked Safeguards

June 04, 2005

Re "Teachers' Pets," editorial, May 19: Senate Bill 844, which would have made it easier to authorize charter schools, was defeated because it would short-circuit basic safeguards necessary to prevent some abuses that tarnish the promise of charter schools. As you acknowledge in your editorial, similar legislation was rejected twice before. Far from having been "tightened" in a positive way, SB 844 was a much broader bill that lacked safeguards present in previous versions.

The bill could permit any public or private university or community college to authorize charter schools. In the editorial, you idealize Stanford University supervising "three or four charter schools in the lowest-performing areas of East Palo Alto or Oakland." Unfortunately, Stanford cannot sponsor schools in Oakland under SB 844 because it has no campus in Alameda County. Instead, commercial business colleges that operate campuses statewide could sponsor an unlimited number of charter schools.

Under SB 844, stopping -- even carefully scrutinizing -- such applications would be difficult. As bitter experience with a few bad charter school sponsors has taught us, that is a dangerous idea. As a former college president, I support higher education institutions that operate their own charter schools, as both UCLA and UC San Diego do under current law. But should we gut sensible safeguards to encourage every kind of "higher education" institution to establish networks of charter schools at public expense? I am not convinced. That is why I did not vote in favor of SB 844.

State Sen. Jack Scott

D-Altadena

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|