California Assembly Bill 1316 (AB 1316) will have a tremendously negative impact on charter school students in our state, including our own Method students and families. In recent years, various bills have been introduced and passed that have severely impacted and limited our ability to serve students. AB 1316 is undoubtedly the biggest attack on charter schools - and school choice for families - since the inception of charter schools through the Charter Schools Act of 1992. Assembly Bill 1316 further entrenches the "education based on zip code, not by choice" mentality in California. It also perpetuates harmful myths about charter schools - and particularly non-classroom based schools.
Among other things, AB 1316 sets limits to how many students can enroll at individual charter schools, further restricts what counties students can reside in, and eliminates up to 30% of per student funding. This is in addition to a moratorium on new charter schools which was enacted over a year ago. This bill could also affect how your student's online school day looks, with less flexibility to work at their own pace and at a time of day that works for them. In short, AB 1316 is an unfortunate step backwards for online, flexible, and non-classroom based learning.
Method Schools has been in operation for nearly eight years and has established itself as a formidable leader and partner with school districts within the non-classroom based space in Southern California. Method's founders and school leadership team have witnessed and weathered over 25 years of legislative limitations imposed upon charter schools, and this Assembly Bill is just another example of a new proposed law that hurts students and families. Though we're faced with striking constraints that may require modifications to the way we conduct business, we're in a secure position to withstand the increased regulations and decreased funding and flexibility that may be coming our way.
Though it's too soon to determine which elements of Assembly Bill 1316 will, in fact, pass, we will provide updates on a regular basis on our website and within email correspondence to our stakeholders. As always, we at Method will stay focused on enhancing the unique and effective solutions for our students and protecting the fundamental right to choose a model such as ours for a flexible and accountable public education in California.