But how do I know if this isn't the staff of The Stranger just pretending to be Hugh Spitzer?
I hope this analysis is correct, because I see no other way to keep the Gates Foundation and its collaborators from buying themselves an initiative.
Wow, thanks Hugh. I read it twice and somehow missed spotting the ban on gifts of public funds to the private sector.
There are also a couple of other legal issues that are not related to the Constitution.

One, this initiative may violate the "one-topic" rule for initiatives in that there is not just one kind of charter but two. The second one, the conversion charter, involves the use of a petition, signed by the majority of parents OR teachers at a school. If a charter group submits that petition as part of the proposal and it gets approved, the charter takes the school, building and all.

This ability to use teachers in this way is not in any takeover law in states with charters. (Indeed, I know of NO other charter law in the country with this embedded in it.)

So imagine if you had an elementary school with 18 teachers, if just ten people sign a petition, they upend an entire school community.

No private entity should be able to take over a non-failing public school.

The second legal issue is that the new 9-member Charter Commission that would be created? ALL the members have to:

"demonstrated an understanding of and commitment to charter schooling as a strategy for strengthening public education."

So meaning, there will be no objectivity or balance to the Commission - only true believers can apply.

That would seem contrary to most democractic principles.

No on 1240,
Why can't we just bring some sanity to this state and pass a Constitutional amendment requiring the state Supreme Court to vet any/every proposed Initiative BEFORE they can be put on the ballot?

Seriously - the AGs office and Code Reviser's office already have to sign off on technical issues such as the wording that actually appears as the initiative title on the ballots, so isn't it a no-brainer that the actual content of an initiative should assessed for constitutional muster by the one institution that has absolute authority on the matter?
@5, this is more fun and costs WAY more money
Well Hugh, you bring up good, LEGAL points. But the public policy arguments FOR charter schools are still more compelling. Of course good liberals like you will gladly challenge an initiative like this (for a hefty fee) notwithstanding how bad the current system--which has had plenty of opportunity and billions of dollars over many years to get right--is for poor and minority children.

This is the same guy that wants to overturn the Constitutional principle that income = property so he can make it easier for his fellow liberals to get an income tax on the books without a vote of the people. Another useless lawyer doing the bidding of the gov't worker unions.
There is also some serious question about whether the charter schools would be under the authority of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and therefore consistent with the state constitutional requirement.

The initiative tries to get around the gift nature of the rent-free use of a school building by a conversion charter by chartacterizing it as "part of the consideration for providing educational services under the charter contract" except that the charter contract is with the state, not the local district that owns the school. The state doesn't have license to give away use of the district's property.
@7: Whatever fucks you and yours right up the ass with a wire brush is A-OK with me.
I would really love to see a conversion charter challenged on the rent-free use of a public school building. I would really love to see a Court tell the state that they can't offer use of a school district's property as part of their payment to the charter school sponsor.

While the charter initiative allows districts to lease school buildings to charters at below fair-market rates, it does not require it. The district can charge whatever they want.

This is the main point: the school buildings are the districts' property, not the state's, and the districts, not the state, get to control them.
Oh! But this was supposed to be the greatest charter law on the planet!! And the Yes crowd led such a "positive" campaign...(none of this "notwithstanding how bad the current system--which has had plenty of opportunity and billions of dollars over many years to get right--is for poor and minority children" business)
I'm confused about what Charlie Mas said, conversion schools, it sounds like to me would HAVE to provide facilities rent free to charters that have taken over the existing facility (or obligated to? Right? Here's the text "... (5) A conversion charter school as part of the consideration for providing educational services under the charter contract may continue to use its existing facility without paying rent to the school district that owns the facility. The district remains responsible for major repairs and safety upgrades that may be required for the continued use of the facility as a public school. The charter school is responsible for routine maintenance of the facility including, but not limited to, cleaning, painting, gardening, and landscaping. The charter contract of a conversion charter school using existing facilities that are owned by its school district must include reasonable and customary terms regarding the use of the existing facility that are binding upon the school district. "

Because it isn't the Supreme Court's job to vet laws. This is supposed to be an open and democratic process, not a secret decision made in some star chamber. Even if it costs more it is worth it.

Please wait...

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