A legal opinion from the office of the California Attorney General saying the state’s charter schools should be subject to the same transparency laws as regular public schools is getting a mixed response.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra's non-binding legal opinion finds that California charter schools should have open meetings and make their financials available to public scrutiny.
"It's likely to be persuasive to some of the legislators who will be considering potential legislation on issues of conflict of interest and transparency around charter school governance," said California School Boards Association spokesman Troy Flint. "A mantra of the charter school movement is that charter schools are public schools. And if that's the case, then they should be subject to the same laws."
In a statement, Brittany Chord Parmley, spokesperson for the California Charter Schools Association, said the vast majority of charter schools in California already comply with these laws.
"The California Charter Schools Association has supported charter schools operating in transparent manner consistent with these laws and has been actively engaged in legislative discussions over these issues," Parmley said. "However, we are concerned that a wholesale application of these laws to charter schools will harm the clear intent of the Charter Schools Act by preventing teachers from serving on their governing boards and allowing board members at charter schools to provide financial support or other resources which could be of great benefit to schools."