COMMENTARY: State lawmakers hurt charter schools, online learning with funding deal – EdSource

Credit: Rocketship Public Schools

A student works on a laptop while at home learning remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020-21 state budget signed back in June by Gov. Newsom glaringly failed to fund regular public schools and public charter schools with growing enrollments.

A purported “fix” to this problem, pushed by the governor and Democratic legislators, turns out to be just more Sacramento smoke and mirrors.

The budget for the new fiscal year froze funding for schools at their 2019-20 level, preventing additional state funding for growing schools with increased numbers of students in the fall.

This provision contradicted court decisions, such as the landmark Serrano II decision that ensures “equality of treatment to all the pupils in the state,” and state-education-funding reforms, such as the Local Control Funding Formula that funds charter schools based on “the total current year average daily attendance in corresponding grade level ranges” so that when students move from one school to another, their attendance and corresponding unit of ADA funding follows then to the new school.

In response, a lawsuit filed by several charter schools charged that if “funding did not adjust each year to reflect the number of students actually enrolled in each public school,” then “public schools with increasing enrollment would have fewer resources to serve more students.”