Let's Do This! Why is this Important and Why Now?

Check out our petition update below, complete with more links and research for those who want to do a deeper dive.

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Dear Friends,

Thank you for signing the petition Protect California's Public Schools, can you help spread the word by forwarding the link below to your friends and sharing on social media? Tweet @GavinNewsom and @Tony Thurmond using the hashtag, #ProtectCAPublicSchools.

https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/get-the-foxes-out-of-the-henhouse-at-the-california-department-of-education

 

Why is this Important, and Why Now?

 

Our responsibilities in this democracy do not begin and end at the ballot box. In addition to celebrating the election results, we need to continue to support and press our newly-elected leaders to do right by ALL of California’s public school kids, families, teachers and taxpayers.

 

When 90% of public school students in California are educated in neighborhood public schools, we believe 90% of the State Board members should draw their experience from neighborhood public schools.

 

The Governor-appointed members of the State Board of Education (SBE) oversee the California Department of Education (CDE). The SBE and CDE are responsible for the interpretation and application of education law to over 6 million California students and the spending of $76 billion. As Jerry Brown is a noted charter school advocate, the current SBE has a disproportionate number of members who have ties to the charter school and privatization industry. Governor-elect Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent-elect Tony Thurmond now have the power to transform these bodies into protectors of kids, families, teachers and taxpayers.

 

Current SBE members who have more time on their 4-year appointments will need to be reconfirmed by the state senate in order to continue to serve (This process is murky, so we called the SBE and were told Kirst’s, Holaday’s, Williams’s and Valdes’s seats are all open for appointment/reappointment, though the person on the phone was uncertain), and should take place shortly after Newsom and Thurmond take office in early January.

 

The CDE’s Advisory Committee on Charter Schools (ACCS) is the first stop for a charter petition appeal, denied by its local, democratically-elected boards. The ACCS, also stacked with pro-charter folks, makes a recommendation to the SBE on how to vote on each appeal. The ACCS should be a backstop for our democracy, and a protection for our kids, schools and communities, not another rubber stamp for the privatization of our public schools.

 

Likewise, the CDE’s Charter Schools Division has a history of failing to provide adequate oversight of charters they authorize, and of not requiring that its charters follow the law. This must stop.

 

Despite their betrayal of Gavin Newsom in the primary, rest assured Reed Hastings, and other pro-charter billionaires, are pressuring Mr. Newsom to carry out their public education-privatization agenda. That is why this petition is the urgent business of all of the rest of us; the people.

 

What’s Next?

 

This petition is one small step to ensure our public schools are governed by those who are invested in ensuring our resources and energy support the schools and teachers who educate the overwhelming majority of California’s public school students - our neighborhood, public schools.

 

We plan to hand deliver the signatures to Mr. Newsom and Mr. Thurmond in early January. Keep on signing and sharing!

 

We look forward to working together with all of you moving forward to change charter school law, Prop 39, the charter appeals process, and to increase funding for the good of ALL of California’s kids.

 

Sincerely,

 

The Folks from We Choose Bay Area