A proposed California law would tighten rules around conflicts of interest and public information at charter schools, a change that would settle disputes over what public school rules apply to charters.

It would explicitly require charter school board members to file statements listing their economic interests, mandate that meetings be open and noticed to the public, and require schools follow the Public Records Act.

Those rules came into play last summer when Theory Into Practice Academy, an Encinitas charter, was shuttered by its school district for alleged conflicts of interest and mismanagement of public funds. Encinitas Union School District claimed that the charter school was subject to a state law that bans public officials and employees from participating in contracts that could benefit them financially.

Charters have long argued that the specific rule does not apply to them. They point to other protections in the California Corporations Code. The question has never been settled in court.

You can read more about the proposed changes here. Or check out an analysis of the California bill here.


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