#AnotherDayAnotherCharterScandal

Shouldn’t All Children Be Safe In The Schools They Attend?

The California Charter School Association blocks a bill requiring private schools to follow the same environmental rules as public schools.

Carl J. Petersen
Age of Awareness
Published in
5 min readSep 29, 2021

--

There is no meaningful distinction to be drawn between public and private when it comes to the preservation of public health. I was unaware that a loophole existed. When I became aware…we quickly agreed that private schools should be subject to the same protective procedures and standards.

- Ron Reynolds, California Association of Private School Organizations

For obvious reasons, buildings that house public schools are subject to strict standards for health and safety. For example, the Field Act mandates “rigorous oversight of the construction of every public school” ensuring that California schools “are the safest buildings in the world” during an earthquake. When public school facilities are built “on land that was previously contaminated, state law outlines specific protocols to safely remediate the area.” If a proposed site “is within a quarter-mile of a facility known to emit air pollution, schools are required to contact local government air quality regulators to assess the potential health risks.

Parents who send their children to private schools, including charter schools, may not realize that privately-owned facilities are not subject to these same requirements. This exception is not an oversight, as the California Charter School Association (CCSA) has used its considerable political heft to block legislation that would make the schools that they represent safer for students. In fact, a 2019 presentation from this trade organization listed requiring “charters to comply with Field Act” as one of the “greatest threats” facing charter school operators.

--

--

Carl J. Petersen
Age of Awareness

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com