Legislation that would create huge secrecy loopholes for charter schools is amended then voted down

After pressure from CNPA and the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Steven Glazer (D-Walnut Creek), on Tuesday amended his SB 806 to remove several provisions that would have allowed the boards of charter schools complying with open meeting and open records laws to nonetheless meet and act in secret.

During the committee hearing on the bill, the author also removed a provision that would have allowed charter schools to charge a requester of information the actual costs associated with producing the information even if the requester wanted only to inspect the record.

Despite eliminating the loopholes, the measure could not muster enough votes and failed passage 2-1 with four members of the committee not voting.

The California Teachers Association and several education groups continued to oppose the bill because it would have allowed charter schools to skirt conflict-of-interest laws.

The committee granted Sen. Glazer reconsideration, meaning the committee is willing to rehear the bill next week, but the deadline for fiscal bills to pass out of policy committees is today, rendering SB 806 a two-year bill.