Charter school transparency bill signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom

In a decision that validated years of CSBA advocacy on the issue of charter school transparency, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 126 (Leyva and O’Donnell) into law on March 5.

The CSBA-supported legislation echoes many of the recommendations found in CSBA’s Charter School Task Force report, Uncharted Waters: Recommendations for Prioritizing Student Achievement and Effective Governance in California’s Charter Schools.

SB 126 states that charter schools and entities managing charter schools will be subject to transparency, accountability and conflict of interest laws which have long applied to traditional public school districts, specifically:

  • The Ralph M. Brown Act
    (or the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, if the charter school is operated by an entity which is governed by that act)
  • The California Public Records Act
  • The Political Reform Act of 1974
  • Government Code 1090

The Governor’s signature on SB 126 is particularly gratifying since CSBA twice sponsored similar legislation only to see it vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov. Jerry Brown, respectively. In addition to signing the bill, Gov. Newsom signaled he might keep the door open for future legislation related to charter school oversight.