500 signatures reached
To: The Honorable Gavin Newsom, and The Honorable Tony Thurmond
Protect California's Public Schools
Congratulations on your victories! Many of us campaigned for you, donated to you, and voted for you. Now we write to ask you to represent us – the public school students, families, teachers and taxpayers of the great state of California.
Given that a mere ten percent of California’s public school students attend charter schools, we sincerely request you make the following changes immediately upon taking office:
1. Ninety percent (or 10 out of 11) of your nominees to the State Board of Education (SBE) ought to come from traditional public schools and districts, not charters or pro-privatization groups. Current SBE Members disproportionately represent charters, or have financially benefitted from their relationships to charters.
2. Similarly, staff the California Department of Education's (CDE) Advisory Commission on Charter Schools (ACCS) with seasoned educators from traditional public schools, and those who have “unwound” failed charters. Again, current members disproportionately represent the charter school industry, and pro-privatization groups.
3. Staff the CDE’s Charter Schools Division with a staff which will oversee and regulate the charter sector and individual schools, rather than enable and coddle them. Charge them with protecting kids, families, teachers and taxpayers from faulty education practices, fraud, waste and abuse.
4. Commit to participating in a conversation with the public school community about increasing funding for our schools and reforming existing charter law, including the appeals process and Proposition 39.
Why is this important?
It’s time to put our resources and support behind the educators and schools which continue to teach the overwhelming majority of California’s school children.
As you make staffing and personnel choices, we urge you to get the foxes out of the henhouse at the California Department of Education (CDE). The current configuration of the CDE devotes a disproportionate amount of staff and resources to a movement and agenda funded largely by billionaires which is underperforming, unaccountable, segregationist, rife with financial waste, and undemocratic.