Every school a charter school?
An effort is gaining steam in California to grant charter status to all ten of Grossmont Union High School District's schools. This move might bode well for education reformers, coming as it does in the wake of last month's Big Labor victory over Governor Schwarzenegger's statewide education initiatives (see here). But some generally choice-friendly Grossmont Union district parents are skeptical about converting their district to an all-charter one, because district trustees would still be in charge. So how would it be different, they ask, from the existing system? According to trustee Ron Nehring, the plan would present more options to district parents. Each school would be governed by a parent-elected board, as opposed to a district-appointed board, though the trustees would still oversee the schools. But parents aren't buying it. Some contend Nehring's plan is a ploy to divert attention from a plan to convert Grossmont's Steele Canyon High to a teacher-run charter school. If approved, Steele Canyon High would enjoy more autonomy than it would under Nehring's plan. California has several all-charter school districts, but currently the largest has just 2,000 students; Grossmont has 24,000 students. Nehring's plan comes before the school board on January 12, 2006.
"Trustee proposes Grossmont switch to charter district," by Liz Neely, San Diego Union-Tribune, December 6, 2005
"Onward, Charter Soldiers," by John Fund, OpinionJournal's Political Diary, December 13, 2005
"Trustees hold meeting at Steele Canyon High," by Leonel Sanchez, San Diego Union-Tribune, December 7, 2005