Significant Deal Reached Between CTA and Charter Schools Association

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sacramento - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D- Oakland) announced an agreement on AB 1360 today which will benefit students throughout California.

After lengthy negotiations with the California Teachers Association and the California Charter Schools Association, California’s students will be protected from discriminatory admissions policies and will be afforded due process in suspension and expulsion proceedings under AB 1360.

“Any practices that serve to exclude or push out certain children or families, whether intentional or unintentional, must be eliminated,” said Bonta. “Under AB 1360, charter schools must provide fair access to all students, regardless of academic performance, family circumstances, where they were born, or the language they speak,” said Bonta.

AB 1360 clarifies that a charter school’s admissions policies must not limit access to groups such as special needs students, low income students, or English learners.

Part of the agreement reached is a requirement that parents be given written notice of an appeal process if their child is removed from the school.  Any suspension and expulsion procedure must comply with federal and state constitutional due process requirements, including fair notice and an opportunity to be heard.

AB 1360 is sponsored by the California Teachers Association (CTA), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, California Federation of Teachers, California School Employees Association, Public Advocates, and Public Counsel.

"Public education should be open to all children,” said Eric Heins, CTA President. “Working with Assembly Member Rob Bonta and our coalition partners, CTA supports amendments to AB 1360 that will stop charter schools from engaging in discriminatory admissions practices and exploitive suspension and expulsion policies. No child should be denied access to any public school, including charter schools, because of their socioeconomic status, race, grades or native language. Establishing uniform suspension and expulsion policies at charter schools will also help students and families,” said Heins.

"It is encouraging to see organizations from all sides of the charter debate work together and stand up for all California students,” said Sylvia Torres-Guillen, ACLU of California's Director of Education Equity.

“AB 1360 presents an important opportunity to make progress towards evening the playing field and ensuring charter school admissions policies are open and fair.  The bill also provides critical due process protections to students who are suspended, expelled, or removed from school," said Torres-Guillen.

“I appreciate the thoughtful and productive discussions we’ve had with the California Teachers Association and the California Charter Schools Association,” Bonta said. “This legislation has always been about promoting what’s best for our students. AB 1360 will be milestone legislation that protects all students from discrimination in any publicly-funded school.”

Assemblymember Rob Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro and is the Assistant Majority Leader and Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus.