Here’s our pick of recent news about the ongoing effort to privatize public education in California. Want these straight to your email inbox? Sign up here.


Charter school leader was making $24,000 a month. An audit has found that the married top leaders of Contra Costa County’s Clayton Valley Charter High School raked in almost $850,000 in less than two years before leaving the school last spring. The probe also revealed that the couple misused school funds, hired people in secret, and created positions without the school board’s approval. (Earlier this year, In the Public Interest released a reporton fraud and waste in California’s charter schools.) The Mercury News

“It’s obvious this isn’t the first time we’ve been down this road.” The Sierra Sands Board of Education has unanimously denied a renewal petition from a charter school “based on a number of criteria, including lack of sufficient supporting documents in [the charter’s] petition to the school district. Sierra Sands board members remarked that while they didn’t wish [the school] to close down—and likely won’t—past petition renewals should have provided the school with lessons on how to properly apply.” The Daily Independent

Another charter school denial likely on the way. East Los Angeles’s Montebello Unified School District has received another application from a charter school—the school board shot down a different proposal earlier this year—and again district staff is recommending denial. Whittier Daily News

In case you missed it. There’s a new video explaining problems with Prop 39, the law passed by voters in 2000 allowing the private operators of charter schools to “co-locate” at traditional, neighborhood schools. Education professor and California NAACP chair Julian Vasquez Heilig puts it into context here: “Co-locations is clearly another issue we must limit and regulate with new legislation in California and elsewhere.” In the Public Interest

Charter school real estate is becoming a hot market.“Where there’s smoke there’s fire — and there’s tons of smoke when it comes to the charter school industry pocketing public money meant for school buildings,” writes In the Public Interest’s Jeremy Mohler. “One recent example: a charter school in California, Imagine Schools at Imperial Valley (ISIV), closed its doors in September after years of poor academic performance — but not before its owners made out with a fortune.” In the Public Interest

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