What are charter schools? Why aren’t they the same as other public schools?

A public school is one that is both publicly funded and publicly managed by locally-elected officials. By this measure, most charters - including RVCharter - cannot be regarded as truly public.

Charter schools are publicly funded. Tax dollars are pulled out of the local school district, thus weakening existing schools. However, charter schools are also often privately run: They are not required to have local, publicly elected oversight. RVCharter is managed by a self-appointed board. Two board members don’t even live in California. One member (Kristi Kimball) is also on the board of The California Charter Schools Association, a lobbying group.

Originally created to encourage experimentation, especially in failing districts, charters do not need to follow proven curriculum, nor can they guarantee academic results.

Charters favor the benefit of the few over the many. They provide what’s best for “my” student, while excellent public school districts like the RVSD strive to provide an ideal learning environment for all students.

Until charter schools are governed by local, democratically elected leaders and follow the same rules regarding transparency and equity as public schools, we do not regard charter schools as truly public.