Updated: Jun 30
Dear Lab Families,
We are writing to make you aware of Assembly Bill 77/SB 98 and its potential impact on space available in Independent Study Charter Schools THIS Fall.
AB 77/SB 98 caps Fall 2020 enrollment in charter schools at each school's February 2020 level. At the same time, the number of students seeking to enroll in charter schools this Fall is expected to increase significantly as parents look for alternatives in response to COVID-19.
Because of this charter schools are expected to run-out of available enrollment space for the Fall.
You should contact your child's charter school ASAP to confirm your child's space in their charter school if you plan to homeschool this Fall.
What is AB 77/SB 98?
AB 77/SB 98 is the Education Omnibus Budget Trailer bill. AB 77/SB 98 caps charter school enrollment at their February 2020 levels. Meaning they can only receive funding for up to the number of students they had enrolled as of February 2020.
At the same time that the State is hoping to CAP enrollment in Charters, we are expecting demand for them to rise as parents look for alternatives to traditional public school settings during COVID-19.
Read more about AB 77 here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB77
There is a current push underway to ask the Governor to strike the charter school cap from the existing bill but this effort is not expected to succeed.
The Lab has written a letter to the Governor asking him to strike the cap from the bill. If you would like to fax a letter to the Governor asking for a line-item veto, please see the end of this post for information on how to do this. Letters need to go in today as the Governor is expected to sign the Bill into law this evening or tomorrow. The more letters the better.
What does this mean for your child?
If you HAVE ALREADY SIGNED a Master Agreement for your child to continue with their current charter school for this Fall, then your child should have a space already secured for the Fall.
IF you have NOT SIGNED your Master Agreement for your child to attend their charter school this Fall, you should DO this ASAP.
If you are considering CHANGING charter schools for next Fall, please CONFIRM with your desired new charter that they will accept your child BEFORE your
disenroll from your current charter.
If you are UNCERTAIN whether your child is enrolled in their charter school for the Fall, you should reach out to your EF or charter school IMMEDIATELY to confirm your child's enrollment in their charter school for Fall 2020.
Blue Ridge Academy: https://theblueridgeacademy.org/
Sky Mountain: https://skymountaincs.org/
IMPORTANT! The LAB CANNOT enroll your child in a CHARTER SCHOOL or sign your MASTER AGREEMENT for FALL. THE LAB DOES NOT receive these documents. They are sent directly to you from your child's charter school. Enrolling in classes at The Lab DOES NOT MEAN you are enrolled in your CHARTER school for the FALL. YOU MUST DO BOTH!
How does AB 77 impact the Lab?
The Lab is an enrichment program not a charter school so AB 77 has no direct impact on The Lab or its classes.
What do I do if the charter schools are full?
If Independent Study Charter schools are full, you CAN still homeschool and also take enrichment classes at The Lab.
Your option in this case would be to file a PRIVATE SCHOOL AFFIDAVIT (PSA) with the State to become a private school of 1 student.
This will ALLOW YOU TO CONTINUE to homeschool your child, determine their curriculum and ALSO decide if and where you would like them to take enrichment classes - like The Lab, Inspyr Arts, etc.
As a private school, you WILL NOT RECEIVE any instructional funds from the State and you will need to pay for your child's curriculum and classes out-of-pocket.
For information on how to file a PSA go to this link: https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ps/affidavit.asp
Please feel free to email Lyndee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to set-up a time to talk.
Lyndee and Mr. T
LET THE GOVERNOR KNOW YOU DISAGREE WITH AB 77 - TODAY!
As of 3:30 today, Monday June 29th, the Governor still has not signed the Bill.
To submit your letter to the Governor click here: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/?fbclid=IwAR3dScCmzEAR3kaqtAlTtKx2fcyT_RnHzH6jLpBPTn-7Isn34UUdrjd58uY
Here is a sample letter you can copy and paste or edit to make your own that was provided by the Legislative Action site:
Dear Governor Newsom,
I am dismayed at the discrimination shown by the state Senate Budget Committee in school funding bills AB 77 and SB 98. They voted to deny funding to new students enrolled in an independent study public charter school in the coming school year, capping their budget based on last year's enrollment. On top of that, SB 98 para. 60 withholds federal emergency relief funding from these schools! California has long made it a policy to fund the public education of any child born in or brought to this state, yet this provision (Sec 34, part 24.5 paragraph 43505b) would deny their right to fund the school that they want to attend.
Senators and Gov Newsom, who is going to be denied? As the COVID-19 situation remains insecure, many parents who are needing different educational options for their child, or whose children have medical problems, immune issues, and special needs which would make brick-and-mortar classrooms dangerous or traumatic are looking for options. Non-classroom based public charter schools provide proven distance education programs and accountability that many families are looking for to educate their children outside a traditional classroom.
By approving paragraph 43505b in AB 77, you deny their right to a safe educational environment in which they can thrive during the uncertainties of COVID-19. By starving independent study charter schools and denying them full funding for the new students who have been waiting for months to enroll, you deny educational choice to some of the most vulnerable students among us.
A vote for AB 77 and SB 98 is a vote for state-sanctioned discrimination. As a voter whom you represent, I urge you to strike paragraph 43505(b) from these bills!!