The Pros and Cons of California's Charter Schools Essay

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California is one of the largest states in the country and has one of the biggest state budgets, but in the past several years, its school system has become one of the worst in the nation because of enormous budget cuts in efforts to balance the state’s enormous deficit. The economic downturn at the end of the 2000s resulted in even more cuts to education. It is in environments like this one in which students from poor backgrounds become most vulnerable because of their lack of access to support in their homes as well as other programs outside of schools. Their already financially restricted school districts have no choice but to cut supplementary programs and increase class sizes among other negative changes to public schools. The lack …show more content…
These parents and community members took control and took their students out of what they perceived to be a flawed educational system. It is from schools like these that the idea for charter schools evolved (Clark, 1045). Although “free schools” eventually disappeared because of their complete lack of structure, the idea of alternatives to the traditional public school system appeared again in public discussion when in the 1980s the Reagan Administration published a report on the “‘mediocrity’ in America’s public schools” (Clark, 1046). The idea of what is now known as charter schools evolved from ideas that were “scribbled on a napkin” at an education conference in 1988 (Clark, 1046). Since then, charter schools have appeared in moderate numbers across the country. Since charter schools are a fairly new phenomenon and many states have evolving new policies towards the creation and maintenance of charter schools, there are many differing views on whether charter schools are beneficial to students or if they create more problems than they solve. Specifically in California, the passage of the Charter School Act of 1992 made it the second state in the country to allow public charter schools “that operate independently from the existing school district structure” (“Charter Schools”). There are currently approximately 700 charter schools serving about four percent of the public school student population (“Charter Schools”). Many of the charter schools focus on serving

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