- Aspire and State Board give up fight over controversial charters - by John Fensterwald
- Oakland pulls Americian Indian charters, citing mismanagement - by John Fensterwald
- Brown’s former adviser: Aim for balance behind shift to local control - by John Fensterwald
- Rocketship’s cofounder departing for online learning startup - by John Fensterwald
California was the second state in the country (after Minnesota) to enact charter school legislation when lawmakers passed the Charter Schools Act of 1992. The intent was to allow groups of educators, community members, parents, or others to create an alternative type of public school.
Charters were to operate outside the regular school district governance structure and be free from most regulations that apply to other public schools. In return, these schools were supposed to be more accountable for student achievement than traditional public schools, with charters subject to closure if they did not meet performance goals. This combination of freedom and accountability was meant to spur innovation and instill choice and competition in the public school system.
Since 1992, the state has significantly amended and expanded its policies related to charter schools, but the premise has remained largely intact. Another constant has been interest in how the academic performance of charter schools compares with that of traditional public schools.
For more information about charter school funding, see Charter School Funding in the Finance System section.