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Senator Alvarado-Gil Proposes Pandemic Protections For Charter schools

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Sacramento, CA– California Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil has introduced new legislation, SB 739, aimed at providing pandemic protections to charter public schools in the state. The proposed legislation would extend the charter renewal period for an additional two years, affecting more than 284,000 students who attend charter public schools. The protection was initially put in place by Governor Newsom and the Legislature in 2021 to mitigate disruption to students early in the pandemic, especially in low-income communities. Charter public schools are required to be renewed periodically based on specific metrics of school performance on the state dashboard. However, significant data gaps and testing suspensions caused by the pandemic made it difficult to accurately measure school performance.

Senator Alvarado-Gil’s proposed legislation would leave every accountability measure that charter schools must comply with in place, but extend the renewal of charter public schools for an additional two years. The California Charter Schools Association (CCSA), the state’s largest advocacy organization for charter schools, supports the proposed legislation.

“I want to thank Senator Alvarado-Gil for her leadership on this issue, which is so vital for charter schools who are serving our most vulnerable student populations, which will be most impacted if these pandemic protections are not extended,” said Myrna Castrejón, CEO and President of the CCSA. “All public schools are dealing with learning loss, working to re-engage their students, and teacher burnout and a resulting shortage. We should not be unfairly penalizing our charter public schools by forcing them to face renewal while their limited resources are focused on what they do best, delivering a high-quality education to their students.”