Public School and Charter School Advocates Face Off Over New Legislation

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SACRAMENTO — Thousands of teachers, school staff, parents and students took to the streets of downtown Sacramento Wednesday demanding more funding for public education.

It was all part of the national Red For Ed movement.

“We are 43rd in the nation in per pupil spending but we’re the fifth largest economy in the world,” said Jeff Freitas, the president of the California Federation of Teachers.

Freitas said along with not enough money coming from lawmakers, public schools now also have to compete with charter schools for the limit funding there is.

“There’s a double hit, lack of funding and siphoning those funds off and using it in a non-community way,” Freitas told FOX40.

That’s why Wednesday thousands marched from the State Capitol to the office of the California Charter Schools Association on 9th Street.

“There are organizations traded on Wall Street that are running charter schools,” Freitas said.

At that location, charter school advocates held their own demonstration and claimed the public education system has failed their students.

“Charter schools in California serve about 600,000 students. These are students whose families and parents have chosen these options for them,” said Brittany Chord Parmley with the CCSA.

The CCSA said their schools help a population often underserved by the public education system.

“Particularly with African American students, we see them flock to charter schools because they know that that’s an education that will help set them up for success,” Parmley told FOX40.

The CFT would like to see four bills pass, which would further govern charter schools.

“We need to make sure that we have transparency and accountability for our charter schools and that’s what these bills are about, and returning the authority back to our school boards,” Freitas said.

Yet, the CCSA says some of those bills would only flunk out more students.

“A moratorium on charter schools is simply a moratorium on opportunities for our students,” Parmley said.

The CFT also held another march to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office on Q Street.

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